How to Open Control Panel on Windows 11

When you want to change settings in , you usually reach for the Settings app. But the trusty still plays an important role during many configuration tasks. Here are several different ways to open it.

Why Use the Control Panel on Windows 11?

Not every option available in the is accessible in the Setting app yet, and you'll often find that items in the Settings app literally just redirect you to the Control Panel anyway. In many cases, it is just faster to go straight to the Control Panel rather skim through the Settings app trying to determine if the option you're looking for has migrated over.

One of the easiest ways to launch Control Panel is by using the Start menu. To do so, click the Start button on your taskbar and type “control panel.” Click the “Control Panel” icon that appears in the results, and Control Panel will launch immediately.

Use the Run Menu or Command Prompt to Access the Control Panel

You can also launch Control Panel from the Run menu. Press Windows+R on your keyboard, and when the Run window pops up, type “control”, and then click “OK” or press Enter. Similarly, you can open Control Panel from the Command Prompt or Windows Terminal by typing “control” and pressing Enter.

Pin the Control Panel to the Taskbar

Once you've opened Control Panel using any of the methods described above, its icon will appear in your taskbar. If you'd like to keep it there so you can launch it from your taskbar later, right-click the Control Panel icon and select “Pin to Taskbar.” The next time you'd like to launch Control Panel, click the icon in your taskbar.

Add a Control Panel Desktop Icon

You can also add a special desktop icon for Control Panel. To do so, press Windows+i to open Settings, then navigate to Personalization > Themes and click “Desktop Icon Settings.” In the Desktop Icon Settings window that opens, place a checkmark beside “Control Panel,” and then click “OK.” The icon will appear on your desktop. To launch Control Panel, double-click the desktop icon at any time. Good luck!

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