How to open the Control Panel in the Windows 10 Creators Update

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 17, 2017
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system ships with two control panels so to speak. First the classic Control Panel that was part of all recent versions of Windows, and then the Settings control panel which was introduced by the company in Windows 8.

Windows users who run Windows 10 face several challenges in this regard. First, that Microsoft migrates a couple of settings with every release from the classic Control Panel to Settings, and second, that Microsoft removed some links that pointed to the Control Panel in recent versions of Windows 10.

The first issue, that some preferences pages are migrated, is problematic in itself. Users who used to find a particular setting in the Control Panel need to use the Settings application for that now.

Microsoft may have added a link in the classic Control Panel so that users are redirected to the Settings application automatically. Still, having to juggle between two control panels is confusing and complicated.

Tip: if you run Windows 8, check out this guide on opening the Control Panel.

How to open the Control Panel in the Windows 10 Creators Update

windows-x control panel

Some long-standing options to open the Control Panel have been removed in the Windows 10 Creators Update. The most prominent, probably, is the removal of the Control Panel link of the Windows-X menu.

The Windows-X shortcut opens a menu in the area where the start menu is opened usually that links to various important tools or pages.

The Control Panel was listed there before, but Microsoft removed the link in the Windows 10 Creators Update.

This raises the question how you open the classic Control Panel on Windows 10. Here are your options:

Option 1: Windows-Pause

windows pause control panel

The keyboard shortcut Windows-Pause opens the System applet of the Control Panel. You can navigate it then, for instance with a click on Control Panel Home.

Option 2: Use the Run box

run box control panel

Use the keyboard shortcut Windows-R to open the run box of the operating system. Type control panel, and hit the Enter-key afterwards to open the classic Control Panel on the Windows 10 computer.

Tip: You can do the same on the command prompt or PowerShell.

Option 3: Start Menu

start menu control panel

You can open the Control Panel by tapping on the Windows-key or clicking on the Start icon, typing Control Panel, and selecting the matching result under programs.

This is the official option according to Microsoft.

Option 4: File Explorer

file explorer control panel

The Control Panel is listed under Folders when you open the "This PC" view of File Explorer.

Advanced options

The following options require some work before they become available. They may be useful however, as they may add links that you can open more comfortably.

Pin to Start or Taskbar

pin control panel

You can pin the Control Panel to the Start Menu. All you have to do is the following for that:

  1. Tap on the Windows-key.
  2. Type Control Panel.
  3. Right-click on the Control Panel result, and select the "pin to Start" option from the context menu.

The control panel is now added as a link to the Windows 10 Start Menu.

Add Control Panel to desktop

desktop control panel

You may add the control panel to the right-click context menu on the desktop. This requires using the Registry Editor. It is recommended that you create a system restore point or backup prior to making the changes:

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type regedit.exe and hit the Enter-key.
  2. Confirm the UAC prompt.
  3. Navigate to the value Computer\HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DesktopBackground\Shell\.
  4. Right-click on Shell, and select New > Key.
  5. Name the key Control Panel.
  6. Double-click on the default entry on the right of the newly created key Control Panel, and give it the value @shell32.dll,-4161.
  7. Right-click on the empty space below the default entry, and select New > String.
  8. Name the String icon.
  9. Set its value to control.exe.
  10. Right-click (again) on the empty space below the two entries, and select New > String.
  11. Name the new String Position.
  12. Set its value to Bottom.
  13. Right-click on Control Panel on the left (the key that you created in 4, and select New > Key.
  14. Name the key command.
  15. Double-click on default under command, and set the value to control.exe.

A right-click on the desktop reveals the new Control Panel link that you can use from that moment on (via WinFuture)

Closing Words

You may also use third-party start menu programs such as Classic Shell or Start10. Both support links to the Control Panel by default.

Now You: Do you prefer the Control Panel or the Settings application?

How to open the Control Panel in the Windows 10 Creators Update
Article Name
How to open the Control Panel in the Windows 10 Creators Update
Find out how to open the classic Control Panel on machines that run the Windows 10 Creators Update, or later versions of Windows 10.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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