How to Get to the Control Panel in Windows 10

There are few things in computing that were more controversial than Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system. The company designed it to shore up its offerings on notebooks, desktops and tablets. To make things easier on tablet users, the company made the decision to put the Control Panel on the back-burner and replace it with the Settings app. The company has done a lot of Windows 8’s touch-centric features since 2014, but restoring the Control Panel back to its former place at the center of the Windows experience hasn’t been one of them. In fact, Microsoft has made it more difficult to get to the Control Panel on Windows 10.

Dell XPS 15

Dell XPS 15

Read: Windows 10 Anniversary Update Review – Everything Necessary

Microsoft hopes that everyone will adopt the Settings app in due time. Once a huge number has, it’s likely planning to remove the Control Panel entirely. Until that happens, the Control Panel will still be there.

Here’s how to Get to the Control Panel in Windows 10 for now.

Why Microsoft is Hiding the Control Panel in Windows 10

Why is the company making it harder to get to the Control Panel in Windows 10? The answer lies in how the leadership at Microsoft is plotting the course of Windows 10. Windows has a long-running reputation for scaring people. Even to the well versed, it can be complicated. The more complicated it gets; the less people love it. That’s exactly what Microsoft doesn’t want to happen. It wants users to love Windows 10. If they do, they’re more likely to spend money on Office 365, OneDrive, Groove and the Windows Store.

The Settings app scales on different size screens, which is something the Control Panel doesn’t do very well. It’s also better organized than the Control Panel’s category centric structure.

How to Get to the Control Panel in Windows 10: Right-Click on the Start Button

The fastest and easiest way to get to the Control Panel in Windows 10 is hidden in plain view. With Windows 10, Microsoft added a menu for power users that deep-links to non-essential tools and features.

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On any screen, use your mouse to right-click on the Windows button in the Task Bar along the bottom of your screen. Touch users should place their finger on the Windows button and hold it there until they see a square appear where their finger is.

Control Panel is among the items listed in the menu.

How to Get to the Control Panel in Windows 10: Search for It

Another quick and easy way to get to the Control Panel in Windows 10 is to simply search for it using the Cortana area.

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Look for the Ask Me Anything search area in the Task Bar. Tap or click on it. Then begin typing “Control Panel.” Before you’ve finished, you should see Control Panel as a search result on your screen. Tap or click on that search result to be taken directly to the Control Panel.

How to Get to the Control Panel in Windows 10: Find it in Start

The Start experience provides quick links to everything. That includes the Control Panel.

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Open Start by tapping or clicking on the Windows button in the Task Bar or by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard. Tap or click on the all apps button. Now scroll down to apps listed under W. The Control Panel is inside the Windows Accessories folder.

How to Get to the Control Panel in Windows 10: From a Folder

From any open folder, click or tap on the up arrow to the left of the address bar until you reach the Desktop. The option to open Control Panel should appear.

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With so many options, there’s a shortcut for every type of Windows 10 user. As you use these shortcuts more, they’ll become second nature. Of course, you could simply drag a shortcut to the Control Panel on your Desktop.

Just remember that the Control Panel is a legacy part of Windows 10 at this point. Many of the operating system’s latest features can’t be accessed there. Over time that number of missing features will grow, forcing you to adopt the Settings app.