Open Windows Control Panel applets directly

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 6, 2017

The following master list lets you launch control panel applets from the command line, run box, or Start Menu search on Windows PCs.

The Windows Control Panel is an administrative interface that is part of all recent versions of Windows. It enables you to customize and manage different parts of the operating system, for instance devices, software, sound, the firewall, or user accounts.

Microsoft began its move away from the Control Panel in Windows 8 when it introduced a new administrative hub called PC Settings. It continued down that path with the release of Windows 10 and the operating system's Settings application.

Windows users have plenty of options to open the Control Panel, but they are usually less obvious on newer versions of Windows.

What has not changed is the ability to open Control Panel applets directly on Windows (though some applets may have been removed).

Control Panel Applets Master List

control panel items

Control Panel applet File Name What it does
Add or Remove Programs appwiz.cpl This opens the Uninstall a Program applet. May be used to uninstall installed programs, or add or remove features from Windows
Date and Time timedate.cpl Opens the Date and Time applet. Allows you to set date and time, change time zone, add additional clocks, and sync Internet time.
Device Manager hdwwiz.cpl The Device Manager lists all installed hardware. May be used to install and remove devices, install drivers, and more
Display desk.cpl Display provides you with options to set display related settings such as the color profile or scaling. Loads the Settings app on Windows 10.
Firewall firewall.cpl Opens the Windows Firewall. Turn it on or off, and open the advanced settings to block or allow connections.
Infrared irprops.cpl Lets you manage infrared devices.
Internet Options inetcpl.cpl Opens the classic Internet Options window. Manage Internet settings that Internet Explorer and other browsers may use.
Controllers joy.cpl Manage game controllers connnected to the operating system
Keyboard main.cpl keyboard Change keyboard repeat delay and rate, cursor blink rate, and check installed keyboard hardware.
Language control input.dll Opens the Language control panel applet. Add, remove or change the priority of languages.
Mouse main.cpl The mouse controls enable you to change mouse icons, button behavior, wheel scrolling, and more.
Network netcpl.cpl Opens the Network and Sharing Center. May use it to add a new network, set up connections, and manage existing networks
Network Connections ncpa.cpl Lists all known network connections and their status.
Power powercfg.cpl Opens the Power Options. Set a power plan, and customize it.
Region intl.cpl The Region control panel applets lets you change date and time formats, and your location
Screensaver control desk.cpl,screensaver,@screensaver Opens the Screensaver dialog to enable, disable and configure screensavers.
Sound mmsys.cpl The Sound properties lists all playback and recording devices, options to configure those, and manage sounds and communications.
System Properties sysdm.cpl System properties lists information about the device and Windows, and links to other control panel areas.
Tablet PC tabletpc.cpl Only available if you run in tablet PC mode.
Location Information telephon.cpl Set your country, area code, carrier code and dial number for telephony and modem services.
Security and Maintenance wscui.cpl Manage Security and Maintenance related features
User Accounts control userpasswords Opens the list of user accounts on the system.

Canonical Names

The command control /name Canonical Name enables you to run additional Control Panel applets for which no .cpl file are available.

Note that some are limited to certain editions or versions of Windows.

  • ActionCenter: control /name Microsoft.ActionCenter
  • Administrative Tools: control /name Microsoft.AdministrativeTools
  • AutoPlay: control /name Microsoft.AutoPlay
  • Biometric Devices: control /name Microsoft.BiometricDevices
  • Bitlocker Drive Encryption: control /name Microsoft.BitLockerDriveEncryption
  • Color Management: control /name Microsoft.ColorManagement
  • Credential Manager: control /name Microsoft.CredentialManager
  • Date and Time: control /name Microsoft.DateAndTime
  • Default Programs: control /name Microsoft.DefaultPrograms
  • Device Manager: control /name Microsoft.DeviceManager
  • Devices and Printers: control /name Microsoft.DevicesAndPrinters
  • Display: control /name Microsoft.Display
  • Ease of Access Center: control /name Microsoft.EaseOfAccessCenter
  • Family Safety: control /name Microsoft.ParentalControls
  • File History: control /name Microsoft.FileHistory
  • Folder Options: control /name Microsoft.FolderOptions
  • Fonts: control /name Microsoft.Fonts
  • HomeGroup: control /name Microsoft.HomeGroup
  • Indexing Options: control /name Microsoft.IndexingOptions
  • Infrared: control /name Microsoft.Infrared
  • Internet Options: control /name Microsoft.InternetOptions
  • iSCSI Initiator: control /name Microsoft.iSCSIInitiator
  • iSNS Server: control /name Microsoft.iSNSServer
  • Keyboard: control /name Microsoft.Keyboard
  • Language: control /name Microsoft.Language
  • Location Settings: control /name Microsoft.LocationSettings
  • Mouse: control /name Microsoft.Mouse
  • MPIOConfiguration: control /name Microsoft.MPIOConfiguration
  • Network and Sharing Center: control /name Microsoft.NetworkAndSharingCenter
  • Notification Area Icons: control /name Microsoft.NotificationAreaIcons
  • Pen and Touch: control /name Microsoft.PenAndTouch
  • Personalization: control /name Microsoft.Personalization
  • Phone and Modem: control /name Microsoft.PhoneAndModem
  • Power Options: control /name Microsoft.PowerOptions
  • Programs and Features: control /name Microsoft.ProgramsAndFeatures
  • Recovery: control /name Microsoft.Recovery
  • Region: control /name  Microsoft.RegionAndLanguage
  • RemoteApp and Desktop Connections: control /name Microsoft.RemoteAppAndDesktopConnections
  • Sound: control /name Microsoft.Sound
  • Speech Recognition: control /name Microsoft.SpeechRecognition
  • Storage Spaces: control /name Microsoft.StorageSpaces
  • Sync Center: control /name Microsoft.SyncCenter
  • System: control /name Microsoft.System
  • Tablet PC Settings: control /name Microsoft.TabletPCSettings
  • Taskbar and Navigation: control /name Microsoft.Taskbar
  • Troubleshooting: control /name Microsoft.Troubleshooting
  • TSAppInstall: control /name Microsoft.TSAppInstall
  • User Accounts: control /name Microsoft.UserAccounts
  • Windows Anytime Upgrade: control /name Microsoft.WindowsAnytimeUpgrade
  • Windows Defender: control /name Microsoft.WindowsDefender
  • Windows Firewall: control /name  Microsoft.WindowsFirewall
  • Windows Mobility Center: control /name Microsoft.MobilityCenter
  • Windows To Go: control /name Microsoft.PortableWorkspaceCreator
  • Windows Update: control /name Microsoft.WindowsUpdate
  • Work Folders: control /name Microsoft.WorkFolders

Deprecated Canonical Names

  • Microsoft.BackupAndRestoreCenter/Microsoft.BackupAndRestore -- Removed in Windows 8
  • Microsoft.CardSpace -- Removed in Windows 8
  • Microsoft.DesktopGadgets Removed in Windows 8
  • Microsoft.GetProgramsOnline -- Removed in Windows 7
  • Microsoft.PeopleNearMe -- Removed in Windows 8.1
  • Microsoft.PerformanceInformationAndTools --Removed in Windows 8.1
  • Microsoft.WindowsSidebarProperties -- Removed in Windows 8
  • Microsoft.WindowsSideShow -- Removed in Windows 8.1


  • You can find out which Control Panel files (.cpl) are available on your version of Windows by going to c:\Windows\System32. There you find all that are available.
  • You may open different tabs directly by adding ,x to the command, e.g. sysdm.cpl,4 to open the System Protection tab of the System Properties control panel applet. This works on the command prompt, but does not on Start or the Run Box.
  • You can run applets with elevated privileges by starting them from an elevated command prompt. Hold down Ctrl and Shift on the keyboard when you launch the Command Prompt to do so.
  • The canonical names used above may be used to reference these items in the Group Policy.


  • Canonical Names of Control Panel Items -- Microsoft MSDN
  • How to run Control Panel tools by typing a command (applies to Windows 95 and Windows NT) -- Microsoft Technet.
Open Windows Control Panel applets directly
Article Name
Open Windows Control Panel applets directly
The guide lists the file names of Control Panel applets so that you may run these using Start, the Run Box, or the command prompt interface.
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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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