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How to Add the Old Control Panel to the Metro Start Screen in Windows 8

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By default there is no way to easily access the old Control Panel in Windows 8, in order to get to it you have to go through the new Metro Control Panel or switch to Explorer. Here’s how to create your own tile for it.

To get started you need to create a shortcut, so right-click on the desktop, and choose New –>  Shortcut.

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When you are asked for the location of the item, type the following:

%windir%\explorer.exe shell:::{26EE0668-A00A-44D7-9371-BEB064C98683}

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Now we need to give our new shortcut a name.

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Now right-click on your new shortcut and select properties from the context menu.

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When the dialog opens, click on the Change Icon button.

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Paste the following into the textbox:

%SystemRoot%\system32\SHELL32.dll

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Now select the the Control Panel icon and click ok.

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Finally right-click on your new shortcut and select “Pin to Start” from the context menu.

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That’s all there is to it.

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Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 04/10/12

Comments (11)

  1. Florin

    Or you could just start typing “Control panel” when you’re in the metro environment. The Control Panel will appear and you’ll just right click and select “Pin to start”. Easy :)

  2. Craig S

    @Florin But that way’s not geeky!

  3. George

    @craig s
    how correct

  4. Wino

    Whew! Eight steps to do what used to take two clicks (even in Windows Vista). What progress!

  5. JEB

    I hate this ugly interface! Windows 3.1 was better!

  6. Kaessa

    Or… you could drag your mouse down to the lower left corner of your screen, and right click.
    Bingo! A handy dandy menu that includes the Control Panel will appear before your eyes.

  7. Fantasm

    If you have more than one monitor, that lower left corner doesn’t work properly…
    Often not at all….

    The smartest way to get the Old Control Panel is to simply reinstall Windows 7

  8. Max

    The Windows interface seems to be going further and further backwards. Options that were a couple of clicks away are now buried away and have to be Googled to find out where they went to.

  9. rocky

    Good to know about the How to Add the Old Control Panel to the Metro Start Screen in Windows 8

  10. Mikeytron

    This is a great article. But why? Becasue Microssoft thinks we are going to like their universal mobile crap solution

  11. TBOD

    My next Desktop & Laptop OSes after Win 7 will very likely be Linux. I will not be running Windows 8 Ball. Microsoft post Gates just can’t stand success.

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