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How to Access the Control Panel in Windows 8 or 8.1

win_8_control_panel_all

With the old Windows Start menu, you could add the Control Panel as a menu or a drop-down list. With Windows 8, you can pin the Control Panel to the Start Screen and taskbar but first you need to know where it is.

One of the chief complaints about Windows 8 (or any new version of Microsoft’s operating system) is “where did such-and-such go?” With Windows 8, when MS removed the Start button and Start Menu, it threw a lot of people for a loop. Because the Start Menu was like an old familiar hang out; one of those places that no matter how it changed over the years, it was a fairly reliable place to find stuff whether it was your Documents folder, Devices, Printers, the ability to search your programs and files, and of course, the Control Panel.

There are about four ways (so far) to access the Control Panel in Windows 8 Preview Release.

Method 1: The Old Stand-By – Search for it …

Windows 8 introduces a “Charms” bar accessible from the top or bottom right “hot corner”. Simply drag the mouse pointer to either corner until the five Charms appear along the right edge of the screen. Drag the mouse pointer and click on Search (you can access the Search charm through the keyboard shortcut Windows logo + Q).

charms_search

The search pane will pop out and from there you can type Control Panel and select it from the results to the left. Alternatively, you can simply begin typing from the Start Screen.

search_control_panel

Method 2: The Ribbon aka Windows Explorer

In Windows 7, you can open Windows Explorer click on Computer and then Open Control Panel on the toolbar.

windows_7_explorer

In Windows 8, you can also click on Open Control Panel but the toolbar has been replaced by the Ribbon as found in Office 2010.

computer_control_panel

Method 3: More Charms – Settings

Access the Charms bar once more. Drag the mouse pointer to and click on Settings. The Settings pane will pop out and you can then choose Control Panel.

Note: To this settings option is only available from the desktop Charms setting.

settings_control_panel

Method 4: The Easiest Way – Right-click the Start “Button”

Last and perhaps the easiest way, right-click on what was formerly known as the Start button in the bottom left corner (now a hot corner), which allows you to switch between the Desktop and Start Screen. Right clicking brings up a context menu with wide array of options. The Control Panel is the fifth from the bottom.

start_right_click

And there you have it, four sure ways to access the Control Panel in Windows 8 Preview Release. Of course, some of these could change before it is released to manufacturers. We’ll be sure to keep you apprised of any of these changes if or when they happen.

Do you have an another way of opening the Windows 8 Control Panel? What is your preferred method? Let us know in the comments.

Living just north of the border, in what he calls Practically, Mexico, Matt spends his days scouring the latest tech news, writing e-books, and attempting to create the perfect breakfast burrito.

  • Published 06/12/13

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