8 ways to start the Control Panel in Windows 10

Windows 10 has a new Settings app that was supposed to replace the old Control Panel. Unfortunately it doesn't succeed in this regard as there are many settings and tools that you will find only in the Control Panel. Also, the Control Panel is hidden when compared to earlier versions of Windows and the more Microsoft updates Windows 10, the more hidden it gets. If you want to see all the ways for starting it in Windows 10, read this guide:

1. Use Search (Cortana)

One of the fastest ways to start anything in Windows 10 is to use Cortana and its search box on the taskbar. Click inside the search box or tap on it, type “control panel” and then click or tap the appropriate search result.

You can also talk to Cortana and say “Open Control Panel.” However, when you talk with Cortana, she gets mixed up and then asks which control panel you want to open. You will see at least two shortcuts, one of them for the Settings app. To choose the control panel, continue by saying “Open the first,” if the Control Panel shortcut is the first in the list.

2. Use the Control Panel shortcut from the Start Menu

A slower way of starting the Control Panel is to click or tap the Start button in Windows 10, to open the Start Menu. In the All Apps list, and scroll down to the Windows System folder and open it. There you will find the Control Panel shortcut.

Click or tap on Control Panel.

3. Use the Control Panel shortcut from our collection of Windows shortcuts

We have created a Control Panel shortcut which we offer in our collection of Windows shortcuts, here: Download The Biggest Library of Windows shortcuts. Extract the icon from our pack and place it where you want it to be.

4. Pin the Control Panel to the Start Menu

In order to quickly access the Control Panel you should pin its shortcut to a place where you see its shortcut without effort. One place where you should consider pinning it is the Start Menu.

To do that, search by typing “control panel.” In the list of results, right-click or press and hold the Control Panel search result. In the contextual menu, choose “Pin to Start.”

The Control Panel shortcut is now pinned to the Start Menu and you can use it to start it as quickly as possible.

5. Pin the Control Panel to the Taskbar

search by typing “control panel.” In the list of results, right-click or press and hold the Control Panel search result. In the contextual menu, choose “Pin to taskbar.”

The Control Panel shortcut is now pinned to the taskbar and you can use it at any time.

6. Use the WinX menu

We love using the WinX menu. As its name implies, the keyboard shortcut for opening it is Windows + X. You can also right click the Start button to open it or tap and hold on it.

When using the first versions of Windows 10, including Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the WinX menu included a shortcut for the Control Panel, like the one below.

However, as of Windows 10 Creators Update onwards, this shortcut has been replaced by Settings, because Microsoft wants to promote this app for managing the operating system and its settings.

If you want the Control Panel back to the WinX menu, read and follow the instructions from this guide: Add the Control Panel and the Command Prompt to the WinX menu, in Windows 10.

7. Use the Run window, the Command Prompt or Powershell

The command for starting the Control Panel is “control panel.” This command can be run anywhere: in the Run window, in the Command Prompt or in PowerShell.

For example, press Windows + R on your keyboard to open the Run window. Then, type “control panel” and hit Enter or press OK.

If you start the Command Prompt or PowerShell, type “control panel” and press the Enter key.

The Control Panel is now started.

8. Add the Desktop toolbar to the taskbar and use the Control Panel shortcut

This method is a bit more cumbersome but it may be useful to some users. It involves adding a new toolbar to the taskbar:

Right-click the taskbar in Windows 10 (or tap and hold on it) and then click or tap Toolbars followed by Desktop.

The Desktop toolbar is now added to the taskbar in Windows 10. Click or tap on it and then press Control Panel. If you look carefully, you will notice two Control Panel shortcuts: one for a menu with all the sections from the Control Panel and one for opening the Control Panel window.

Use the one that best fits your needs.

Which method you prefer?

These are all the methods we know for starting the Control Panel in Windows 10. Some of them are easier than others and we hope that you found this list helpful. If you know other methods, don't hesitate to share them using the comments form below. Other Windows 10 users will surely appreciate your insights.