Control Panel was used to customize Windows before Windows 10. It was the go-to app for configuring everything in Windows, from wallpaper to firewall settings. Control Panel was and still is a desktop application that Microsoft is looking to eventually phase out. In its place is the Settings app.

Open Control Panel in Windows 10

With each major Windows 10 feature release, Microsoft moves Control Panel functionality to the Settings app, but there’s still a long way to go before Control Panel is no longer needed. Unfortunately, Microsoft has removed it from the Power User menu, so opening it is a bit confusing, since it’s not an app in the list of apps in the Start menu.

1. Open the Control Panel: Run box

Tap the Win + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run box.
In the Run box, enter the following and tap the Enter key.

control panel

2. Open Control Panel – File Explorer

Open File Explorer at any location.
Click inside the location bar.
Enter the following and tap the Enter key.

Dashboard control

3. Open Control Panel – Windows Search

Control Panel is still an app in Windows 10, so you can use Windows Search to open it.

Tap on the Win + S keyboard shortcut to open Windows Search.
Enter Control Panel in the search bar and find the app in the search results.
Click on the app to open it.

4. Open Control Panel – Task Manager.

Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager from the context menu.
In the task manager window, go to File > Run new task.
In the run box that opens, enter Control Panel and tap Enter.

5. Open Control Panel – Settings app

Open the Settings app.
Click inside the search bar on any screen.
Enter the Control Panel and select the application from the results.

6. Open Control Panel – Command Prompt

Open the command prompt.
Enter Control Panel and tap the Enter key.

7. Open Control Panel – PowerShell

Open PowerShell with normal user rights.
Enter Control Panel and tap Enter.


If you explore the Settings app a bit, you’ll find that many links to certain settings will open Control Panel. In addition to the methods above, you will also find some UI elements in Windows 10 that open a Control Panel window, such as the battery icon in the system tray. If you know which Control Panel setting you want to open, you can get its path from the Control Panel app and use all of the above methods to open it directly. All you have to do is use the path instead of using the Control Panel.