The Control Panel is how you get under the bonnet of Windows 11. Although Microsoft may be all about the new and redesigned Settings app in the new OS, the classic Control Panel still holds sway.
There’s a reason why it is still part of the operating system.
And that reason is that Microsoft has not yet been able to transition away all the features and options that are available here. The Control Panel still contains a lot of advanced settings — hardware troubleshooting, backup and restore, internet and power options, sound, color management, and more.
Open Control Panel in Windows 11
There is more than one way to launch Control Panel in Windows 11, and also more than one way to use it. For what it’s worth, even the Settings app still contains direct links to certain Control Panel applets scattered throughout, signifying the importance of the classic Control Panel.
Although you will find personalization and customization options in both Settings and Control Panel, the latter now mostly contains legacy options. The migration of these is yet to be complete in Windows 11, meaning the classic Control Panel will remain in the OS for the foreseeable future.
That said, time to open it and see what all the fuss is about:
Open Control Panel from the Start Menu
Pretty much the first way most Windows 11 users will choose to open the Control Panel. A simple search in the Start Menu displays the option to launch this panel. Not only you can open it from here, but the recent applets you opened there can also be launched directly.
Search for Control Panel from the Start Menu, then either hit the Enter key or click the icon.
Open Control Panel from File Explorer
A shortcut to the Control Panel lies in the File Explorer, though not where you might expect it. You will have to go up a few places by clicking on the up arrow. Once you are on the Desktop, you will find an icon for the Control Panel nest there.
Open File Explorer, go up a few places to the Desktop, and double-click on the Control Panel icon there.
Open Control Panel from the Run panel
This is a simple and straightforward way to quickly launch Control Panel. You simply open the Run panel, and then type the name in the empty box, and you are done.
Press Winkey + R to open the Run dialog, enter control panel, and hit Enter or click OK.
Open Control Panel by using the Command Prompt
The Command Prompt in Windows 11 may slowly be heading for sunset, but this old terminal still lets has all the key tricks in the bag. Launching it is not as swift as in the previous versions of the OS, though, as Microsoft prefers to list Windows Terminal in the Power Menu on Windows 11.
Launch the regular Command Prompt window by either typing cmd in the Run dialog, or search for it directly in Start by typing Command Prompt. Once the terminal window opens, type control panel and hit the Enter key.
Open Control Panel via Windows Terminal
The new and fresh Windows Terminal is where the action is these days. And just like the Command Prompt above, it is possible to launch the Control Panel via this window. In fact, opening Terminal is a much swifter process, as you’ll find below.
Press the Winkey + X key or right-click the Start button to bring up the Power Menu, then choose Windows Terminal from the menu that pops up. Here, type control panel and hit Enter.
There you go! Five different ways to open the classic Control Panel in Windows 11. It is always worth knowing multiple was to open certain features in the OS, as this comes in very handy in case malware has affected your device, and you are unable to open something via the traditional way.