Windows 7 Tutorial

How to get to the Control Panel in Windows 7

The Control Panel gives you a centralized access to pretty much any settings you'd want to configure in Windows 7 - it was completely redesigned with Windows XP, and once more in Windows Vista. If you've used Vista, the Windows 7 Control Panel will look familiar and behave quite predictably. In fact, it is the most intuitive iteration yet, and even beginners will figure out how to use it in no time. This tutorial shows you how to get to the Control Panel, and how to access quickly all the options it contains with just a few clicks and/or keystrokes!


How to launch the Windows 7 Control Panel

The easiest way to open the Control Panel in Windows 7 is to use the start menu: click on the start button (Windows logo in the corner of the screen, generally the lower left corner unless you've moved the taskbar), and click on the "Control Panel" button as shown below:

Get to the Control Panel from the Windows 7 start menu
Tip: if you cannot see that button on the right column of the start menu (it is there by default), learn how to show the Control Panel on the Windows 7 start menu.

Another way to launch it from the start menu is to type "control panel" in the search field:

Search for the Control Panel by name

Directly access the correct options screen

Because the Windows 7 start menu allows you search everything on your computer, you can in most cases bypass opening the main Control Panel page, and directly go to the settings you are interested in. For example, type "change wallpaper" in the search field, and Windows will automatically find the best result: notice that it is listed under a section labeled "Control Panel" to indicate that all results below it will open some settings inside the Control Panel:

Directly access a Control Panel set of settings

Efficiently using the new Control Panel

Regardless of how you get to the Control Panel, here are a few tips that will help you make the most of it, and quickly find any setting you want to customize - use the screenshot below for reference:

New Control Panel in Windows 7

Between the start menu and the introduction this tutorial gave you to the Control Panel, there are no settings you won't be able to access and customize in Windows 7!

Tutorial last updated on December 8, 2011
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