Add the Control Panel and the Command Prompt to the WinX menu, in Windows 10

If you installed Windows 10 Creators Update on your computer or device, besides all the new features and options you get, you might have noticed that Microsoft decided to change some things which you probably used on a regular basis. One of these changes is the fact that the Control Panel and the Command Prompt ar no longer part of the WinX menu. These shortcuts have been replaced by shortcuts for the Settings app and PowerShell. But, although Microsoft clearly wants us to use these two new alternatives, some users prefer having the old shortcuts back. If you want to get them back, read this guide:

NOTE: This guide was created for Windows 10 Creators Update, which will be available to all Windows 10 users, for free, starting with the spring of 2017. At the moment when the article was written, it was available for testing as part of the Windows Insider program.

How to get the Command Prompt back in the WinX menu of Windows 10

The "power user" or the WinX menu from Windows 10 Creators Update includes two shortcuts for Windows PowerShell and Windows PowerShell (Admin). But, the WinX menu from Windows 10's Anniversary Update used to show Command Prompt and Command Prompt (Admin) instead. If you want them back in Creators Update, go ahead and read the instructions in this section.

Start by opening the Settings app. A quick way to do that is to click or tap on its icon from the Start Menu.

Inside the Settings app, enter the Personalization category and then click or tap on Taskbar, on the left side of the window.

On the right side of the window, scroll downwards until you find a setting that says "Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu when I right-click the start button or press Window key + X". By default, this option should be set to On.

Click or tap on its switch to turn it Off.

That's it! You can now close the Settings app and check the WinX menu. The PowerShell shortcuts should have been replaced with Command Prompt shortcuts.

But what about the Control Panel? Read the next section and you'll find how to get it back in the WinX menu.

How to get the Control Panel back in the WinX menu of Windows 10

In Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft decided that the Control Panel is obsolete and replaced its shortcut from the WinX menu with a shortcut that points to the more modern Settings app.

Unfortunately, getting the old Control Panel back in the WinX menu is not as simple as it is to get the Command Prompt back. In order to do this, you will have to download and use a third-party app called Win+X Menu Editor, developed by the guys at Winaero. The app allows you to easily customize the shortcuts displayed by Windows 10 in the WinX menu. If you want to see how to use it in detail, read this guide we wrote about it a while ago: How To Customize The WinX Menu In Windows, Using Win+X Menu Editor. If you're in a hurry though, and don't have the time needed to read another guide on the matter, follow the next steps in this guide to get the Control Panel shortcut back.

Download the Win+X Menu Editor app from its official webpage, here. You will get a ZIP file called Save it somewhere on your PC, like on your desktop, and then extract its contents. You will get a folder called WinXMenuEditorRelease, with two subfolders inside: x64 and x86. If you are using the 64-bit version of Windows 10, open the x64 folder. If you're using the 32-bit version, open the x86 folder. If you need help in determining the type of your operating system, this guide will help you: How To Determine What Version Of Windows You Have Installed.

Now double click or double tap to run the WinXEditor.exe file.

Win+X Menu Editor will open. When we published this guide, it had reached version number, and its user interface looked like this:

Click or tap to select the group in which you want to add the shortcut to Control Panel, in the WinX menu. By default, WinX menu's Group 1 is the group that holds the Desktop and the Shut down or sign out option, Group 2 is the one with the Task Manager, Settings, File Explorer, Search and Run, and Group 3 is the one where you will find Apps and Features, Power Options, Event Viewer, System, Device Manager, Network Connections, Disk Management, Windows Powershell and Windows PowerShell (Admin). The Control Panel shortcut used to be in Group 2.

Then, in the app's menu from the top left corner of the window, click or tap on "Add a program" and then on "Add a Control Panel item...".

Win+X Menu Editor will open a dialog window, in which you can select what Control Panel item you want added. Scroll downwards and you'll find an option called Control Panel. Click or tap on it and then press the Select button.

The Control Panel shortcut will now be displayed in the group you selected.

Note that if you chose to add Control Panel to the Group 2, where the Settings shortcut is also found, Win+X Menu Editor will now show two Control Panel shortcuts. But, one of them uses the icon of the new Settings app - that shortcut is actually pointing to Settings, not to the Control Panel. If you want to keep both apps in the WinX menu, leave it where it is. If you want only the Control Panel shortcut to be displayed, then select the Control Panel entry with the Settings icon, and then click or tap on Remove to delete it.

Either way, when you're done customizing, click or tap on the Restart Explorer button to apply the changes that you've made.

Now you'll have the Control Panel shortcut back in your WinX menu.

That was it!


Although Microsoft clearly wants us to use the old Command Prompt and the Control Panel less and less, that doesn't mean that you can't have their shortcuts back to the WinX menu. Hopefully, the company won't decide to remove these tools from Windows 10 completely. Do you believe this a good move on their part? Do you use the Command Prompt and the Control Panel shortcuts from the WinX menu?