How To Open Control Panel In Windows

Control Panel is a pivotal component of Microsoft Windows, enabling users to adjust their system settings. This guide will explore numerous ways to open it, offering step-by-step instructions to facilitate users.

Although the Settings app is its successor, it’s still useful in certain situations.

As the Control Panel is being phased out, it seems more difficult to access. It’s no longer in the places that you could get to it in earlier builds of Windows.

How to Open Control Panel

How to open Control Panel.

1. Using the Search Box to Open It

The Windows search box is a straightforward and speedy method to access the Control Panel.

  1. Locate the search box on your taskbar. In Windows 10, it’s positioned next to the Start button.
  2. Enter “Control Panel” into the search box.
  3. From the search results, select it to launch it.

This method applies to all Windows versions, including 10, 11, and earlier.

2. Using the Start Menu

Another convenient method is through the Start Menu.

How to open it using the Start Menu.
  1. Click the Start button or press the Windows key on your keyboard.
  2. In the search box, type “Control Panel”.
  3. Select the Control Panel shortcut from the search results and click on it to launch.

You can pin the Control Panel to the Start Menu or Taskbar for easier access. Right-click on the shortcut and select “Pin to Start” or “Pin to Taskbar” to keep it in your preferred location.

3. Using the ‘Run’ Command

The ‘Run’ command provides quick and easy access to the Control Panel.

Run command used to open the Control Panel.
  1. Press your keyboard’s Windows key + R to open the ‘Run’ dialog box.
  2. In the dialog box, type “Control Panel”.
  3. Click “OK” to launch it.

The ‘Run’ command is a powerful tool that allows you to launch applications and programs directly.

4. Using the Quick Access Menu

Another method is the Quick Access Menu or the Power User Menu.

  1. Press the Windows key + X on your keyboard, or right-click on the Start button.
  2. From the list, select “Control Panel” to open it.

This method is particularly convenient for power users who frequently access system utilities.

5. Navigating to Control Panel Through File Explorer

File Explorer offers yet another method to open the Control Panel.

  1. Open File Explorer by pressing Windows key + E on the keyboard.
  2. Click on the caret button next to “This PC” in the address bar at the top of the window.
  3. Select “Control Panel” from the menu to open it.

This method allows you to navigate to it directly from any open File Explorer window.

6. Accessing it via Task Manager

The Task Manager is not just for monitoring system performance and closing unresponsive applications. It can also be utilized to open the Control Panel.

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc or right-click on the taskbar and select “Task Manager” to open it.
  2. In Task Manager, click on “File” and select “Run New Task.”
  3. In the ‘Create New Task’ window that appears, type “Control Panel” and click “OK.”

This method opens it directly from the Task Manager, providing a quick and convenient way to access system settings.

7. Command Prompt and PowerShell

For those who prefer using command-line interfaces like Command Prompt or PowerShell, the Control Panel can be accessed by simply typing the command “control panel” and hitting the Enter key.

This method launches it directly from the command-line interface, providing users with a quick and efficient way to access system settings.

8. Opening it Using Cortana

If you’re using Windows 10, you can open it with Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant. Simply type “Control Panel” into the Cortana search box, or use the microphone icon to say “Open Control Panel”. Cortana will promptly launch it for you.

9. Creating a Control Panel Shortcut

Creating a Control Panel shortcut on your desktop or in a specific folder can provide quick and convenient access. To create a shortcut:

  1. Right-click on an empty space on your desktop or within a folder.
  2. From the context menu, hover over ‘New’ and then select ‘Shortcut.’
  3. In the ‘Create Shortcut’ wizard, type %windir%\System32\control.exe and click ‘Next.’
  4. Name the shortcut ‘Control Panel’ and click ‘Finish.’

This creates a shortcut that can be accessed directly from your desktop or the chosen folder.

10. Accessing the Control Panel Through Windows Tools

In Windows 11, there’s a new shortcut called Tools in the Start Menu that you can use to get to it. Open the Start Menu, open the All Apps list, and scroll down until you find the Tools shortcut. Click or tap on it, then select Control Panel to open it.

Create a shortcut to your taskbar

Once you have opened it, right-click on the icon in the taskbar and left-click Pin to taskbar.

Pin Control Panel shortcut to the taskbar.


While the Control Panel might be less prominent in recent versions of Windows, it remains an essential tool for managing and fine-tuning your system settings. The methods discussed here provide a variety of ways to access it, catering to different user preferences and habits.

Whether a power user or a casual user, understanding how to open it quickly can enhance your system management skills and improve your overall computing experience.