10 ways to open Settings in Windows 10

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 all the methods for opening Settings, in Windows 10, read this tutorial and see all the shortcuts we found:

NOTE: The screenshots used in this article are from Windows 10 with Fall Creators 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.

Whether you like it or not, let’s see all the ways for starting it:

1. Use the Settings shortcut from 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.

2. Use 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 together and the Settings app opens instantly.

3. Use the WinX power user’s menu to open Settings

In the latest versions of Windows 10, 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, click or tap Settings.

4. Use Command Prompt or PowerShell to open Settings

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.

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

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

5. Use the Run window to open Settings

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.

The Settings app is opened instantly.

6. Use search (or Cortana) to open Settings

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.

Alternatively, you can talk to Cortana and say: “Open PC Settings.”

7. Use the Action Center to open Settings

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 on All settings and the Settings app is opened.

8. 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.

That will do the trick.

9. 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.

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

10. Open Settings from the Control Panel

The last method we found is very cumbersome, but we decided to share it anyway. Open Control Panel and go to “User Accounts -> User Accounts.” Then, click or tap on “Make changes to my account in PC Settings.” This takes you to the “Your info” section from Settings.


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.