Microsoft made it harder to open the Classic Control panel in Windows 11. While it is still present in the OS, it is not exposed anywhere in the GUI any longer. If you still need to open the classic Control Panel app, we will review a number of how you can do it.
With Windows 11, Microsoft continued to move the classic settings from Control Panel to the modern Settings app. For example, you can now disable a network adapter without using the legacy applet. Also, more and more links to classic applet links were removed from the new Settings app.
There are still plenty of applets left in the legacy Control Panel. For example, the ability to copy language options to the sign-in screen still can't be found in Settings. There are also power options, advanced firewall options, and much more.
This post will show you how to open the legacy Control Panel app on Windows 11.
Open Control Panel in Windows 11
- Open Windows Search using the search taskbar button or the Win + S shortcut.
- Type control panel in the search box.
- Click on Control Panel in the search results.
- Alternatively, click on Open below the Control Panel item on the right.
Besides the search method, you can use one of the following tricks.
The Run dialog
- Press Win + R on the keyboard, or right-click the Start button and select Run.
controland hit Enter.
- The legacy Control Panel will instantly open.
Also, it will work if you type
control in Command Prompt, PowerShell, and even in the File Explorer address bar.
Launch the Control Panel faster
To open the legacy Control Panel even faster, you can pin it to the Start, taskbar, or create a desktop shortcut for it.
Pin it to the taskbar
Run the Control Panel using any method you prefer. E.g. you can use the Run dialog (Win + R) and type
control to launch the Control Panel.
While having it running, right-click its button in the taskbar. Select Pin to taskbar.
Next time you need it, click on its icon.
Pin individual applets
After you pinned the legacy Control Panel to the taskbar, you can right-click it and pick an applet from the Recent section. Click on the pin icon for the applet you want to always be displayed above others.
Pin to Start
- Press the Win + S and enter control panel into the search box.
- Click on Pin to Start.
- The Control Panel icon will appear in the Start menu.
Note: If you don't see the Pin to Start item, expand the section with the Open command using the down chevron button.
Create a Control Panel shortcut
While having it running, drag the icon from the address bar to the desktop and drop it there. Windows 11 will automatically create a new Control Panel shortcut with the proper icon.
Alternatively, you can create such a shortcut manually. Use control.exe as the shortcut object, and an icon from the C:\windows\system32\shell32.dll file.
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Everyone’s trying to spam Windows 11 stuff so much they forget the basics.