Restore the Control Panel link in Windows 10's Win+X menu - gHacks Tech News

Restore the Control Panel link in Windows 10's Win+X menu

Microsoft added the Windows-X menu to Windows 8 in an effort to bring back some of the missing start menu links that it removed when it redesigned the start menu.

The Windows 8 or Windows 10 start menu does not contain a link to the Control Panel for instance. The most likely explanation is that Microsoft removed it because it wants to move all Control Panel items to the new Settings application eventually.

Users have been waiting for that day for years though and it is unclear whether the full migration is going to happen in 2017 when Microsoft plans to release two new feature updates for Windows 10.

The keyboard shortcut Windows-X opens a menu in the lower left area of the screen that offers links to the Control Panel and various other important tools or settings including an elevated command prompt, the event viewer or power management.

Restore Control Panel link in Windows 10's Win+X menu

control panel win-x

If you have installed the latest Windows 10 Insider Build you may have noticed that the Control Panel link is missing in the menu. We don't know why it was removed, only that it removes one option for users to open the Windows Control Panel.

While you may still open it using the Windows-Pause keyboard shortcut (this opens the System applet of the Control Panel), you may want to add the Control Panel link to the Windows-X menu if you used it primarily to open the Windows Control Panel.

You have two options to do that.

Option 1: Win+X Menu Editor

winx menu editor

Win+X Menu Editor is a free program for Windows 8 and 10 that allows you to manage all Win-X menu items.

The Win+X Menu Editor by WinAero was created for Windows 8 but has been updated to be compatible with Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system as well.

You may use it to remove links that you don't need, and add links to programs or system tools that you may need.

The program has not been updated in a while, and it still displays the Control Panel link in Group 2 on launch even though it is no longer displayed in the Win-X menu.

You may add the Control Panel link to any group in the following way:

  1. Launch the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Win+X Menu Editor on the Windows 10 device.
  2. Select the group you want to add the Control Panel link to (by left-clicking on it).
  3. Select "Add a program" > "Add a Control Panel item" > Control Panel.
  4. This adds a Control Panel link to the selected group.

That's all there is to the operation. You may use the editor to remove links you don't need, or add links to tools or programs that you use frequently.

Option 2: the manual way

The German blog Deskmodder has a post up that explains how to add the Control Panel link to the Win-X manually.

It involves downloading the old shortcut file and replacing the new one with the old. This requires quite a bit of work, as you should back up the old file, and may need to change a system setting to display hidden files.

  1. Download the old shortcut from the Deskmodder site.
  2. Open %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\WinX\Group2 in File Explorer.
  3. Back up all entries listed in the folder.
  4. Copy the downloaded Control Panel link to the Group2 folder. It will replace the current link.
  5. Restart Explorer, for instance by using the Task Manager.

Closing Words

Is the removal of the Control Panel link a hint that Microsoft will soon move all Control Panel items to the Settings application? We don't know yet as Microsoft has not mentioned the change in the release notes.

It could also be an oversight on Microsoft's part, something that has happened in the past.

Now You: Do you use the Win-X menu?

Summary
Restore the Control Panel link in Windows 10's Win+X menu
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Restore the Control Panel link in Windows 10's Win+X menu
Description
Find out how to add the Control Panel link to the Windows 10 Win-X keyboard shortcut menu; Microsoft removed it in the latest Windows 10 version.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Yuliya said on October 10, 2016 at 12:37 pm
    Reply

    “We don’t know why it was removed”
    It’s Micro$oft, they do everything they can to annoy the user.

    1. Jerod said on May 14, 2017 at 8:19 am
      Reply

      Wow! everyone is spazzing out about this and blaming Microsoft in addition to coming up with mile long solutions! Here is mine! “Hey, Cortana! Control Panel…”

      Cortana Replies…
      oK… Which control panel do you want to open?
      Control Panel <— The old one
      Settings <— The New one

      Gee took all of 5 minutes to figure that out! B-)

      1. Elsie said on June 7, 2017 at 4:39 pm
        Reply

        When I use Windows 10’s Win+X menu CONTROL PANEL is completely missing from MENU i.e.,

        – – > Task Manager

        . . > CONTROL PANEL missing here

        – – > Settings
        – – > File Explore
        – – > Search
        – – > Run

        the big deal is restoring the missing Control Panel that is suppose to be under Task Manager why the hell remove it .

        YES I know you can access the Control Panel 9 different ways the fact remains this is one of the most used i.e., right click Start is was clearly visible how ignorant Microsoft behalf to remove it blatant EPIC ignorance

      2. Cthia said on December 15, 2017 at 2:51 pm
        Reply

        You are an idiot Jarod, clearly people want another way! The FIRST thing I did in Windows 10 was DISABLE the spy tracking “Cortana” system. Additionally, I look like a retard talking to my computer when most people have actual friends to talk to. I’m sure your situation is quite different…

      3. Cthia said on December 15, 2017 at 7:33 pm
        Reply

        Hey Moderator, I apologize for the previous message calling you names!!!

        I thought my comment was being removed but I guess it just wasn’t posted yet. The second message from “Cthia December 15, 2017 at 3:30 pm” is a repeat post when I thought the first one was deleted. The second one can be removed…

        Thanks, I apologize once again.

  2. Jeff said on October 10, 2016 at 12:51 pm
    Reply

    This is an awful change!! You can’t access settings in that new app in a single unified list. You must know the correct category to find them by browsing by touch or mouse otherwise search is the only way out. There also isn’t a way to open 2 settings pages at a time. All of the settings have lost their color icons and replaced by boring glyphs. It’s like they are determined to destroy all the good user interfaces introduced in Windows 95 and continued up to Windows 7.

  3. A or B, not C. said on October 10, 2016 at 2:11 pm
    Reply

    Most likely, by removing the Control Panel n forcing Win 10 users to use Settings, M$ wanna eventually change the desktop cptr UI to the smartphone/tablet UI.
    …….Eg, M$ hv stubbornly retained the silly Metro Tiles or Blocks or Bricks that was first introduced in 2010 for Windows Phone 7, for all their later OSes.(Block-heads.?. Win 10 cptrs being Bricked.?)
    .
    Problem is, immobile desktop cptrs r very different from mobile smartphones/tablets in terms of usage, eg most users can’t do productive/office work with smartphones/tablets.
    …….Likely, this change or trend is for M$ to eventually make Win 10 desktop cptrs to be as crippled n walled-off as smartphones/tablets, eg it would be hard to find certain things that the users want in Settings, only apps/programs approved by M$ can be installed, no other OS can be installed, etc. Maybe, M$ hope they will be able to make more $$$ with Win 10, like Apple’s iOS iPhones.

  4. Mark Hazard said on October 10, 2016 at 2:29 pm
    Reply

    I have a link to Control Panel in my Windows 8.1 Win-X menu. I did not install any add-on.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 10, 2016 at 2:36 pm
      Reply

      Mark, Microsoft did remove the link in the latest Windows 10 Insider Build. I don’t think Windows 8.1 is affected by the change.

  5. DVDRambo said on October 10, 2016 at 5:08 pm
    Reply

    Microsoft can kiss my ass if they actually remove the right mouse click Start button link to Control Panel in Windows 10. I use it more than any other shortcut when working on PC’s.

    1. Elsie said on June 7, 2017 at 4:25 pm
      Reply

      – A M E N – Microsoft has a habit of weird shit w/out notifying users when you call them they try to charge you a fee to help resolve blatant issues they created how ignorant.

  6. Ann said on October 10, 2016 at 5:16 pm
    Reply

    another bad move from MS
    And i dislike the shortcut keys as 90% of my work is on not full screen RDP sessions.
    That’s why I hate hot cornes too, to damn hard to hit em in not full screen.

    those tools are also only nice on your system, but I cannot install that on 1000 customer servers everywhere.

    on the other hand, it’s a reason why ppl like me have still work in europe , the make it more difficult to manage systems with each iteration.

  7. Anonymous said on October 10, 2016 at 8:16 pm
    Reply

    One of the first things I do with Windows 10 (as I did with Windows 8.x) was install Classic Shell, so I didn’t even miss the Win+X CPanel link…it’s on my Start Menu.

  8. jasray said on October 11, 2016 at 12:55 am
    Reply

    Use a different menu, or make a shortcut–

    Create Control Panel shortcut on desktop

    Step 1: Right-click on desktop, click New, and then click Shortcut.

    Step 2: In Type the location of the item box, type the following path.

    explorer shell:ControlPanelFolder

    Click Next button.

    Name it Whatever!

  9. Robert G. said on October 11, 2016 at 4:54 pm
    Reply

    Thanks jasray for the tip.

    :)

    Robert G.

    jasray October 11, 2016 at 12:55 am #
    Use a different menu, or make a shortcut–
    Create Control Panel shortcut on desktop
    Step 1: Right-click on desktop, click New, and then click Shortcut.
    Step 2: In Type the location of the item box, type the following path.
    explorer shell:ControlPanelFolder
    Click Next button.
    Name it Whatever!

  10. Murray White said on October 11, 2016 at 5:42 pm
    Reply

    Just updated a couple days ago to 1607 and have found nothing that is different from prior to AE and WinKey + X brings up the same list as R click on the start button but has the addition of the hotkeys for various items such as P for control panel which itself looks just the same as before with small or large icons and not category which was always a non-starter.

    The only issue I seem to be having is that my sound gets affected as I am using Voicemeeter which does not seem to be working the same with AE as it did previously so I have to turn it off and then back on when the sound goes “wonky” ( very high tech word).

  11. beergas said on October 11, 2016 at 8:49 pm
    Reply

    Windows + X still has Control Panel listed. Win 10 x64 Pro build 1607 OS 14393.222

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 11, 2016 at 9:07 pm
      Reply

      It is gone in the latest Insider Build.

  12. Giorgos said on October 28, 2016 at 9:05 pm
    Reply

    Stupid, stupid, stupid, once again!

    There is already a perfectly visible button for the Settings application on the Start menu. Why have another one on the Win+X menu? Anybody opening that menu probably knows where they need to go, and they are most likely to accomplish it through Control Panel rather than Settings.

    Yes, MS, I understand that in your dumb-everything-down, touch-first craze you want to push Settings (and all other “modern” UIs). However, I do not see it implementing more than perhaps one tenth of Control Panel’s functionality. When trying to adjust any slightly more advanced settings, the user is routed to Control Panel anyway. So what’s the point? Wasting people’s time? Getting higher telemetry readings for Settings usage and patting yourself on the back because more people end up in your alpha-quality UI?

  13. John Haggerty said on June 6, 2017 at 1:59 pm
    Reply

    Right-click ‘Control Panel’ in File Explorer and ‘Pin to Start’. That’ll put it in the Win apps list. So you can open Control Panel with 2 left-clicks (or a Win key and a left-click) instead of a right-click and a left-click.
    But does anyone know how to get Control Panel to remember changes to the ‘View by:’ option? I want it to display icons without having to select that option every time that Control Panel loads.

  14. David Hogg said on September 19, 2017 at 3:44 am
    Reply

    OK. My Control Panel link in Group 2 disappeared with the September 2017 updates from Microsoft. I’ve tried restoring it using the methods above and now have a very good shortcut in the Group2 folder which works fine if I click it from File Explorer. The problem is that Control Panel does not appear when I right click start or hit Win X. Any ideas?

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