To open the Control Panel on Windows 10, open the Start Menu, search for "Control Panel," and then click "Open." Right-click the Control Panel icon on the taskbar, then click "Pin to Taskbar" for easier access in the future.

Windows 10 still contains the Control Panel. Some settings appear only in the Control Panel, some in the Settings app, and some in both. Here’s how to find the Control Panel, which is a little more hidden than it was on Windows 7.

On Windows 7, you could click the Start button and click “Control Panel.” On Windows 8 and 8.1, you could right-click the Start button or press Windows+X and click “Control Panel.” Neither of those methods works on the latest version of Windows.

Still, launching the Control Panel on Windows 10 is very easy: click the Start button or press the Windows key, type “Control Panel” into the search box in the Start menu, and press Enter. Windows will search for and open the Control Panel application.

Launching the Control Panel from Windows 10's Start menu

If you use the Control Panel frequently, right-click the Control Panel’s taskbar icon after launching it and select “Pin to Taskbar.” You can then easily launch it from your taskbar.

Pinning a Control Panel shortcut to Windows 10's taskbar

You can create a desktop shortcut to the Control Panel, too. Open the Start menu, scroll down to the bottom of the Apps list in the left pane, and click the “Windows System” folder. Drag and drop the “Control Panel” shortcut to your desktop.

Creating a desktop shortcut to the Control Panel on Windows 10

You also have other ways to run the Control Panel. For example, you can press Windows+R to open a Run dialog and then type either “control” or “control panel” and press Enter.

This command can be run from a Command Prompt or PowerShell window, too.

Command to launch the Control Panel on Windows 10

You often won’t need to access the Control Panel directly—that’s what Microsoft is counting on. Even while you’re using the Settings application, many settings pages link to individual Control Panel applets that offer additional settings.

Even the new Add or Remove Programs pane in Settings links to the classic Programs and Features tool, also known as the “Uninstall or change a program” pane.

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
Read Full Bio »