Get back easy access to Control Panel in Windows 10

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

For some reason, Microsoft doesn’t want us getting in to the Control Panel on our computers. In Windows 10, they’ve created a different thing called “Settings”, but Control Panel is still there (at least for now) if you know where to find it. Here’s how to get to it easily in Windows 10.

control panel


Depending on how recent your Windows 10 updates are, you might be able to get to Control Panel by just holding down the Windows key and tapping the letter X. That brings up this quick menu, and Control Panel is right there.

Control Panel


But that only works if you DON’T have the most recent major Windows Update, called the Creator’s Update. Not everyone has it yet, so that’s okay. You’ll get it eventually. If you do have that recent update, you can still pull up the Windows key + X quick menu, but Control Panel is no longer listed there.

So what we want to do is get access to it initially, then set it up so that it’s EASILY accessible from now on.

The way to get to it is to click the “Search” option in the lower left corner (the magnifying glass icon) and in the search field, just type the word “control” (without the quotes). You’ll see Control Panel as an option to click in the search results:

control panel


And when you click it, you’ll see the old familiar Control Panel window there.

But do you really want to go through that whole process each time, just to get to Control Panel? I don’t. It would be much easier and faster if you could just find it in one of these locations:

  • listed in the Start menu
  • as an icon on the desktop
  • pinned at the bottom of the screen on the taskbar

Or if you want, you can put it in all three of those places! Here’s how you do that.

To pin Control Panel to the Start menu:

Search for “control” as above, but this time RIGHT click on it and choose “Pin to Start”:

control panel


Now when you click the Start button, you’ll see a new tile in the menu named Control Panel.

To make Control Panel an icon on the desktop:

Right click on it in the search results again like above, but this time choose “Open file location”. That shows you a window with some files listed, and one of them is Control Panel. Do a right click and choose Send to – Desktop (create shortcut):

control panel


To pin Control Panel to the taskbar:

The taskbar is the toolbar that runs across the bottom of your screen. It’s a handy place to put program icons that you want to have easy access to.

Once again you’re going to right click on Control Panel after searching, and this time choose “Pin to taskbar”. Now you’ll see the Control Panel icon, sitting on the taskbar waiting for you to open it whenever you want:

control panel


So now you have easy, quick access to Control Panel. Here’s the funny thing. On my computer, I don’t really even go into Control Panel very often. But I still like knowing that I have easy access to it. Maybe it’s just a psychological thing – Microsoft says they don’t want me to use it, so that makes me want it even more than I otherwise would.

listen to my podcast in iTunes

Share this post