How-To Geek

Access Windows 7 System Settings the Easy Way

Note: This article is part of our archive and is likely out of date.
(Links may not work, downloads have not been recently tested for safety)

Are you looking for a quicker way to access your system settings without using the Control Panel? Then “Windows 7 in a Box” is a program that you should take a closer look at.

SPECIAL NOTE: The domain for the software’s homepage has expired and the software is no longer available for download.

What “Windows 7 in a Box” Looks Like

Setting “Windows 7 in a Box” up is very quick and easy. Simply unzip the rar file, place the exe file in an appropriate “Program Files” folder, and create a shortcut. Once started the interface is easy to navigate and use with drop down menus.

Note: The main app window will be small.


The best thing to do once you have the program started is to look through the menus to become familiar with them. “System Settings” have been broken down into focused categories to help you find what you are looking for as quickly as possible.

For those who are curious, we have included screenshots for all six menus so that you can have a very good idea of all the settings available through the program. Here you can see the settings available under the “Functions Menu”…


And the items available in the “Folders Menu”.


The “Internet Settings Menu”.


You can access the more common apps included in Windows 7 (i.e. Windows Media Center, Snipping Tool, etc.) using the “Programs Menu”.

Note: This menu will not display user-installed programs added to Windows.


Use the “Tools Menu” to access “System Management Tools”.


Access often used “System Settings” such as “Screen Resolution, User Account Control, & Window Color and Appearance“ in the “Settings Menu”.


“Windows 7 in a Box” in Action

As a quick example, we used “Windows 7 in a Box” to access the “User Accounts” settings and they opened up very quickly.


Though not seen in our screenshot, “Windows 7 in a Box” is still open and running “behind the “User Accounts Window” ready for the next group of settings or program that you need quick access to.



If you have been wanting a quick way to access settings without going through the multiple layers of the Control Panel, then you will certainly enjoy “Windows 7 in a Box”.

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 12/10/09

Comments (16)

  1. Marco

    Wow! This is great! Thanks for this!

  2. Brain

    I’ll ignorethe hideousness of the application itself when making this comment, but…

    The whole thing is pointless. This application serves really no purpose. If the idea is to be efficient, pretty much everything it does can be done more efficiently. Want to lock the computer? Press Windows Key + L, rather than hunting through the “functions” menu in an app you have to open. Want to change UAC settings? Hit the windows key, the start menu opens. Type “uac” in the search box. First result, “change user account control settings”. hit enter. It opens. Need to change the screen resolution? The button’s right there when you right-click on the desktop, or again, when you type “resolution” into the start menu search. Pretty much everything listed in the menus above can be done from the start menu search box or with a quick keyboard shortcut. Way more efficient, faster because it’s built in, more aesthetic…

  3. Ivo

    You’re absolutely right, for someone who prefers using keyboard shortcuts instead, it’s way easier the way you’re proposing.
    But opening programs/changing settings per keystrokes is note everybody’s thing, you know.
    I don’t know why, but there are people who prefer the traditional way (pointing & clicking with the mouse).
    And this program is made for those who just prefer it that way, i guess.

  4. John Horne

    I agree with Brain on this one. If you understand how to use Windows, this is superfluous.

    I also find it odd that the creators don’t know that there is no apostrophe in “Windows.”

  5. JackC

    I concur with Brain… but the complete list of Functions, Folders, Tools and etc. is a mind sharping skills training tool. Time yourself… go through the entire list ASAP…. not a fast as you thought??? Really sorry to say the box is useless.

  6. Brain

    Thanks for the support guys!

    Here’s an idea for an app: instead of having a program which is just a ton of menus to do things for you, I think it would be more helpful to have an application like that where you can click on the action to have it just occur, or you can right-click to have it show you an explanation of how to do that efficiently yourself. That way, users could find things if they don’t know where they are already, but could also learn how to do it for themselves in the future.

  7. Glen

    You are all wet. This is a good tool for first timers to Windows 7.

  8. Brain-ier

    The app is rather basic but does put everything in one place if nothing else. Good idea, fair execution.
    Now, Brain – If you have such a vast understanding of Windows (just press this, just type that) and think something should created as a “better” app, code it out and test it. Then patent it and sell it – you too could be the next Bill Gates. Are you working in a garage right now??? That would be cool… Otherwise, start your own website and tout your own knowledge, people in cybrspace just love listening to self indulgent pinheads.

  9. Tobias

    Sorry, but this is just another example for a discipline among geeks called “Let’s make W7 suck again”. It’s right there with agonizing over how to restore the old Start Menu that’s been omitted this time. You see, Windows 7 comes with all these nice search functions for sole reason that nobody has to sort through excessive menus anymore. The Control Panel comes with a search bar, heck, you don’t even have to go to the Control Panel in the first place, you can just enter what you want in the Start Search Bar, and you’re done. This is just so much easier, and it’s a shame that so many experienced users don’t see this.

  10. mark farkle

    sounds great

  11. Tristan

    Or you could use the Godmode hack/devfeature/etc. create a new folder, and put “GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}” (without the quotes) in the folder name textbox (as far as I know this only works on win7 though).

  12. dires

    this works on vista?

  13. Asian Angel

    @dires – This was made specifically for Windows 7, so I would not try it on Vista.

  14. Miguel



  15. Akuiraz

    Download link now points to an expired domain… any chance of a repost?

  16. Asian Angel

    @Akuiraz – Afraid not…not with the home site now offline and the regular software websites that I checked all pointed towards the old home page.

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