What is Windows Control Panel and how to change system settings

by Loredana Harsana

Chief Editor

Loredana is an avid writer with a keen interest in PC software and technology. She started writing about mobile phones back when the Samsung Galaxy S II was on top of the world and… Read More

  • The Windows Control Panel is a Microsoft component that allows you to change your system settings.
  • It was first introduced over 30 years ago and we might soon be saying goodbye to it.
  • There are several easy ways to access it to make the changes you need.

control panel what is windows control panel


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Users have asked what is Windows Control Panel and answering them is our goal today. To put it briefly, it’s a collection of applets, or small programs, that allow you to tweak different components of the Windows operating system.

Despite being available since Windows 1.0, it’s a little harder to locate these days.

This is because much of its functionality has moved into the modern Settings menu, which is why you may have trouble finding the legacy Windows 11 Control Panel or maybe wondering if the operating system in has a.

Even though the feature is still present, it is not displayed prominently and you have to reach it using the search function or the command prompt.

Microsoft has announced that the Windows 11 Control Panel will be removed as soon as a number of changes have been made to the Settings app to include some of the features of the former.

Follow us today, we’ll show you how to open and use Control Panel, as well as answer some of your most frequently asked questions about it.

Does Windows 11 have a control panel?

Microsoft introduced the Settings menu in Windows 8, but didn’t entirely remove the Control Panel from the operating system.

The majority of its functionality has been consolidated into the Settings menu, which duplicates rather than replaces applets functionality in the process.

Additionally, the Control Panel is still present in Windows 11, indicating that feature migration was slower than perhaps Microsoft intended.

control panel system and security what is windows control panel

For example, you can manage your applications from two different places: the Apps and features section of the Settings app, or from the Uninstall or change a program section of the Programs and Features applet accessible through the Control Panel.

The Apps and Features menu follows the design structure of Windows 11, while the Programs and Features applet looks similar to the one that appeared in Windows 8 and 10.

Since we are on the topic, users have been asking what is Immersive Control Panel in Windows 10. When you use it on your computer, it may save excess temporary data which may consume valuable hard drive space.

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Although Settings has not completely replaced the Control Panel, Microsoft encourages users to switch to this interface instead.

How can I use Control Panel to change Windows 11 system settings?

1. Use Windows Search

  1. Press the magnifying glass icon from your taskbar to open the Windows search function then type Control Panel and click on the best result.control panel-search what is windows control panel
  2. It’s still fairly easy to find, though Microsoft’s desire for people to start using the Settings app can be felt as the feature will show up in that search as well.settings-control-search what is windows control panel

When using your computer, Windows Search is an extremely useful feature. It works by using your favorite indexing options to help you locate what you’re looking for.

The indexing process works in the background, essentially creating a table of contents for all the files you have stored on your computer, without interrupting your work.

2. Use Run

  1. hold it the Windows + R keys simultaneously to open a Course box, then enter control.control-run what is windows control panel
  2. the Control Panel window will appear immediately after pressing Walk inshowing you all categories of applets.small control panel what is windows control panel
  3. Otherwise, open a new Course window and type ordered.cmd-inside-run what is windows control panel
  4. Inside of Command Prompt tab, type control then hit Walk in.control-cmd what is windows control panel

The Run command on an operating system such as Microsoft Windows or Unix-like systems is used to open a program or document whose path is known by opening it directly from the command line.

7 things to know about the Windows Control Panel feature

The Control Panel is still the heart of Windows and can be used to manage virtually every aspect of your operating system. He has access to everything from keyword and mouse settings, passwords and user registrations, to playing around with sound and other hardware settings.

Even though Microsoft is working to replace it with the Settings app, you can still control your computer from it, and in some cases it’s the only place to find specific options.

Here are seven things you should know about the Windows Control Panel feature before you completely forget it existed:

  • The original release date is 1985 – Since Windows 1.0, the Control Panel has been part of Microsoft’s operating system, with each subsequent version introducing new applets.
  • This is a special file – Since Windows 95, it has been implemented as a special folder, which does not physically exist but only contains shortcuts to various applets such as Internet options.
  • When System and Security (Windows 11) was added – Security Center (Windows 7), Action Center (Windows 8) or Security & Maintenance (Windows 10) were first included in Windows XP. It provides access to built-in security features and information about existing anti-virus software.
  • It may include third-party applets – Third-party applets, such as audio and video drivers, VPN utilities, input devices, and network tools, are available. Microsoft has disabled any shortcuts or third-party software that might have been used to access the old System page.
  • Efficient search function – When browsing the Control Panel by icons, type the first letter of the item’s name in the search bar at the top, to easily locate it in the list.
  • Storage Spaces has been moved to Settings – Storage Spaces allow you to pool multiple disks of different sizes and interfaces. The feature was previously available in the Control Panel, but later moved to the Settings app.
  • It will probably become obsolete – Microsoft is slowly improving the settings interface and migrating features to it, ending the old control panel after more than 30 years of existence and use.

You often open the Settings app when you want to change the configuration of Windows 11. The reliable Control Panel, meanwhile, continues to play a vital role during many configuration operations.

Check out our article on what to do when Control Panel is not responding in Windows 10/11, if you need more help opening it.

Alternatively, we have prepared a guide for you on how to fix the Settings app if it crashes due to file corruption or various other causes.

Leave us a comment in the section below and let us know if this guide was helpful for you. Thanks for reading!

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