14 ways to open Windows 10 Settings

Windows 10 is used on hundreds of millions of computers and devices. To change its settings, you need to use the Settings app, which replaces the old Control Panel. If you need to familiarize yourself with it and learn how to open Settings in Windows 10, read this tutorial and see all the methods to open it:

NOTE: The screenshots used in this article are from Windows 10 with October 2018 Update. If you do not know which version of Windows 10 you have installed, you should read this guide: What version, edition, and type of Windows 10 do I have installed?.

What is the Settings app in Windows 10?

First, a quick explanation about the Settings app from Windows 10: this app is the modern replacement of the old Control Panel. It does almost the same things, but it was created so that it is easy to use with the mouse and keyboard, as well as with touch input, on tablets and 2-in-1 devices.

Settings app in Windows 10

Now that we know what the Settings app is, let's see all the ways for starting it:

1. Open Settings using the Start Menu

Using the Start Menu is one of the fastest ways to open Settings in Windows 10. Click or tap the Start button and then the Settings shortcut, on the left. It looks like a cogwheel.

Open Settings from Start Screen

2. Open Settings using Windows + I keys on the keyboard

We are big fans of keyboard shortcuts, and this method is the fastest of all shared in this tutorial: press the Windows + I keys simultaneously and the Settings app opens.

Press Windows + I on the keyboard

3. Access Settings using the WinX power user's menu

You can launch the Settings app from the WinX menu.

As the name implies, you press Windows + X on your keyboard, and the WinX menu is shown. To open it, you can also use the mouse and right-click the Start button. In the menu that is shown, go to Settings.

Open Settings from Power user (WinX) menu

4. Open Windows 10 Settings using the Action Center

Windows 10 includes a feature called Action Center, a place where you see notifications about the things happening on your device, as well as a section with quick actions that you can take. Open the Action Center with a click or tap on its icon from the Notification Area, at the right end of the taskbar. On the bottom of the Action Center, you see several actions and shortcuts. Click or tap All settings and the Settings app is opened.

Open Settings from Action Center

5. Use search to open the Settings app

On the Windows 10 taskbar, use the search box and, inside it, write "settings." When the search results are loaded, press Enter or click/tap the Settings result.

Use search in Windows 10 to open Settings

6. Tell Cortana to Open the Settings app

Alternatively, you can talk to Cortana and say: "Open PC Settings." If Cortana is enabled on your Windows 10 system, you can ask her to open Settings for you. After you activate Cortana by saying "Hey Cortana" or by clicking or tapping the microphone button on the taskbar, say "Open Settings." Cortana confirms your command and displays the "Starting Settings" message.

Telling Cortana to open Settings

7. Open Settings using Command Prompt or PowerShell

If you love command-line environments, then you will probably like this method: it involves Command Prompt or PowerShell, depending on what you prefer.

Open the Command Prompt (cmd.exe), type "start ms-settings:" without the quotation marks and press Enter.

Open Settings from Command Prompt

Alternatively, you can open PowerShell, type the same command and press Enter.

Open Settings from PowerShell

Once you press Enter on your keyboard, Windows 10 immediately opens the Settings app.

8. Open Windows 10 Settings using the Run window

Another similar method is to use the Run window. To open it, press Windows + R on your keyboard, type the command "ms-settings:" without the quotation marks and click OK or press Enter on your keyboard.

Open Settings using Run window

The Settings app is opened instantly.

9. Open Settings from File Explorer

File Explorer also gives us a fast way to open the Settings app. Open File Explorer and go to This PC. Expand the Computer tab from the ribbon menu on top, and then click or tap Open Settings.

Open Settings from File Explorer

That does the trick.

10. Pin the Settings app to the Windows 10 Start Menu or the taskbar

If you use the Settings app a lot, it might be a good idea to pin its shortcut to the Windows 10 taskbar or the Start Menu. To do that, open the Start Menu and locate the Settings shortcut. Then, right-click or tap and hold its icon. A menu is opened. Here, select "Pin to Start" or "More -> Pin to taskbar," depending on where you want the Settings shortcut placed.

Pin Settings to Start and taskbar

Once you do one of these actions, you can launch the Settings app using a convenient shortcut, either from the Start Menu, or the taskbar.

Settings shortcuts on Start and taskbar

11. Create a shortcut for Settings and pin it to your desktop

If a desktop shortcut is your preferred way to start apps, you can create one for Settings. In the Create Shortcut window type the destination "ms-settings:" (without the quotes). Read this guide if you need help with creating shortcuts.

Create a shortcut for Windows 10 Settings app

12. Open the Settings app by using Task Manager

You can open the Settings app using the Task Manager. Launch Task Manager (a quick way is by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + ESC). You may get the compact view of the Task Manager. In this case, press first More details in the bottom-left corner of the Task Manager window. In the File Menu, click or tap "Run new task." In the "Create new task" window that appears, type "ms-settings:" in the Open field, and press ENTER or click OK.

Start Windows 10 Settings in Task Manager

13. Open Settings from the desktop context menu

A roundabout, but a quick way to open the Settings app is from the context menu on the desktop. Right-click or tap and hold on the desktop, and choose Display settings or Personalize from the context menu.

Open Display settings or Personalize from the desktop context menu

The Settings app opens in the section you have chosen in the menu. In either case, click or tap the Home link in the top-left corner, and you get to the starting screen of the Settings app.

Go to Home in Windows 10 Settings app

14. Open Settings from the Control Panel

The last method we found is cumbersome, but we decided to share it for the sake of completeness. Open Control Panel and go to "User Accounts -> User Accounts." Then, click or tap on "Make changes to my account in PC Settings." It takes you to the "Your info" section from Settings.

Open Windows 10 Settings from Control Panel

The same as in the previous section, click or tap the Home link in the top-left corner, and you get to the starting screen of the Settings app.

Do you know other methods to open the Settings app in Windows 10?

These are all the methods we know for launching the Settings app in Windows 10. However, there might be more ways to do that, so if you know of others, do not hesitate to share them in the comments section below. We promise to update the article and include additional methods.