Command Line Commands for Control Panel Applets

List of Control Panel Commands in Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP

Screenshot of the BitLocker Drive Encryption Control Panel applet in Windows 8
BitLocker Drive Encryption: control /name Microsoft.BitLockerDriveEncryption.

Did you know that each Control Panel applet in Windows can be opened by executing a specific command? It's true! You just have to know what that command is.

Sometimes it's easier, or maybe even in some cases necessary, to open an applet in the Control Panel from a command line in Windows. For example, if you're building a script or software program that needs to open an applet, these little tricks help.

More common, however, is a situation where your computer is misbehaving in a certain way that prevents you from navigating around like usual, leaving you with no way to open Control Panel normally, which you likely need to do to solve the issue! Frustrating, I know.

Often times, however, these situations still allow the execution of a command. That's where the list of Control Panel command line tricks in the giant table below comes in very handy.

Start by opening Command Prompt, or even just the Run box. Once open, execute, exactly as shown below, the command that corresponds with the Control Panel applet you want to open. It's as easy as that.

Note: See my List of Control Panel Applets in Windows for Control Panel applet descriptions and information about changes in applets between the Windows operating systems.

"The" Control Panel Command

Maybe you don't want to open a specific Control Panel applet from Command Prompt, or the Run box, but instead you want Control Panel itself to open...

the Control Panel "home page" so to speak.

This is as easy as executing control from a command line in any version of Windows. Don't add anything after it... just control by itself.

Control Panel will open just as it does when you do all the clicking or tapping you usually do to open it normally.

Control Panel Command Line Commands in Windows

Control Panel AppletCommandOS Version
Accessibility Optionscontrol access.cplXP
Action Centercontrol /name Microsoft.ActionCenter8, 7
control wscui.cpl8, 7
Add Features to Windows 8control /name Microsoft.WindowsAnytimeUpgrade8
Add Hardwarecontrol /name Microsoft.AddHardwareVista
control hdwwiz.cplXP
Add or Remove Programscontrol appwiz.cplXP
Administrative Toolscontrol /name Microsoft.AdministrativeTools8, 7, Vista
control admintools8, 7, Vista, XP
Automatic Updatescontrol wuaucpl.cplXP
AutoPlaycontrol /name Microsoft.AutoPlay8, 7, Vista
Backup and Restore Centercontrol /name Microsoft.BackupAndRestoreCenterVista
Backup and Restorecontrol /name Microsoft.BackupAndRestore7
Biometric Devicescontrol /name Microsoft.BiometricDevices8, 7
BitLocker Drive Encryptioncontrol /name Microsoft.BitLockerDriveEncryption8, 7, Vista
Bluetooth Devicescontrol bthprops.cpl138, 7, Vista
control /name Microsoft.BluetoothDevicesVista
Color Managementcontrol /name Microsoft.ColorManagement8, 7, Vista
Credential Managercontrol /name Microsoft.CredentialManager8, 7
Client Service for NetWarecontrol nwc.cplXP
Date and Timecontrol /name Microsoft.DateAndTime8, 7, Vista
control timedate.cpl8, 7, Vista
control date/time8, 7, Vista, XP
Default Locationcontrol /name Microsoft.DefaultLocation7
Default Programscontrol /name Microsoft.DefaultPrograms8, 7, Vista
Desktop Gadgetscontrol /name Microsoft.DesktopGadgets7
Device Managercontrol /name Microsoft.DeviceManager8, 7, Vista
control hdwwiz.cpl8, 7, Vista
devmgmt.msc8, 7, Vista, XP3
Devices and Printerscontrol /name Microsoft.DevicesAndPrinters8, 7
control printers8, 7
Displaycontrol /name Microsoft.Display8, 7
control desk.cplXP
control desktopXP
Ease of Access Centercontrol /name Microsoft.EaseOfAccessCenter8, 7, Vista
control access.cpl8, 7, Vista
Family Safetycontrol /name Microsoft.ParentalControls8
File Historycontrol /name Microsoft.FileHistory8
Flash Player Settings Managercontrol flashplayercplapp.cpl8
Folder Optionscontrol /name Microsoft.FolderOptions8, 7, Vista
control folders8, 7, Vista, XP
Fontscontrol /name Microsoft.Fonts8, 7, Vista
control fonts8, 7, Vista, XP
Game Controllerscontrol /name Microsoft.GameControllers8, 7, Vista
control joy.cpl8, 7, Vista, XP
Get Programscontrol /name Microsoft.GetPrograms8, 7, Vista
Getting Startedcontrol /name Microsoft.GettingStarted7
Home Groupcontrol /name Microsoft.HomeGroup8, 7
Indexing Optionscontrol /name Microsoft.IndexingOptions8, 7, Vista
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL srchadmin.dll8, 7, Vista, XP
Infraredcontrol /name Microsoft.Infrared8, 7
control irprops.cpl8, 7, Vista
control /name Microsoft.InfraredOptionsVista
Internet Optionscontrol /name Microsoft.InternetOptions8, 7, Vista
control inetcpl.cpl8, 7, Vista, XP
iSCSI Initiatorcontrol /name Microsoft.iSCSIInitiator8, 7, Vista
Keyboardcontrol /name Microsoft.Keyboard8, 7, Vista
control keyboard8, 7, Vista, XP
Languagecontrol /name Microsoft.Language8
Location and Other Sensorscontrol /name Microsoft.LocationAndOtherSensors7
Location Settingscontrol /name Microsoft.LocationSettings8
Mail4control mlcfg32.cpl58, 7, Vista, XP
Mousecontrol /name Microsoft.Mouse8, 7, Vista
control main.cpl8, 7, Vista
control mouse8, 7, Vista, XP
Network and Sharing Centercontrol /name Microsoft.NetworkAndSharingCenter8, 7, Vista
Network Connectionscontrol ncpa.cpl8, 7, Vista
control netconnections8, 7, Vista, XP
Network Setup Wizardcontrol netsetup.cpl8, 7, Vista, XP
Notification Area Iconscontrol /name Microsoft.NotificationAreaIcons8, 7
ODBC Data Source Administratorcontrol odbccp32.cplXP6
Offline Filescontrol /name Microsoft.OfflineFiles8, 7, Vista
Parental Controlscontrol /name Microsoft.ParentalControls7, Vista
Pen and Input Devicescontrol /name Microsoft.PenAndInputDevicesVista
control tabletpc.cplVista
Pen and Touchcontrol /name Microsoft.PenAndTouch8, 7
control tabletpc.cpl8, 7
People Near Mecontrol /name Microsoft.PeopleNearMe7, Vista
control collab.cpl7, Vista
Performance Information and Toolscontrol /name Microsoft.PerformanceInformationAndTools8, 7, Vista
Personalizationcontrol /name Microsoft.Personalization8, 7, Vista
control desktop8, 7, Vista
Phone and Modem Optionscontrol /name Microsoft.PhoneAndModemOptionsVista
control telephon.cplVista, XP
Phone and Modemcontrol /name Microsoft.PhoneAndModem8, 7
control telephon.cpl8, 7
Power Optionscontrol /name Microsoft.PowerOptions8, 7, Vista
control powercfg.cpl8, 7, Vista, XP
Printers and Faxescontrol printersXP
Printerscontrol /name Microsoft.PrintersVista
control printersVista
Problem Reports and Solutionscontrol /name Microsoft.ProblemReportsAndSolutionsVista
Programs and Featurescontrol /name Microsoft.ProgramsAndFeatures8, 7, Vista
control appwiz.cpl8, 7, Vista
Recoverycontrol /name Microsoft.Recovery8, 7
Regioncontrol /name Microsoft.RegionAndLanguage8
control intl.cpl8
control international8
Region and Languagecontrol /name Microsoft.RegionAndLanguage7
control intl.cpl7
control international7
Regional and Language Optionscontrol /name Microsoft.RegionalAndLanguageOptionsVista
control intl.cplVista
control internationalVista, XP
RemoteApp and Desktop Connectionscontrol /name Microsoft.RemoteAppAndDesktopConnections8, 7
Scanners and Camerascontrol /name Microsoft.ScannersAndCameras8, 7, Vista
control sticpl.cplXP
Scheduled Taskscontrol schedtasksXP7
Screen Resolutioncontrol desk.cpl8, 7
Security Centercontrol /name Microsoft.SecurityCenterVista
control wscui.cplXP
Software Explorers8msascui.exe9XP
Soundcontrol /name Microsoft.Sound8, 7
control /name Microsoft.AudioDevicesAndSoundThemesVista
control mmsys.cpl8, 7, Vista
Sounds and Audio Devicescontrol mmsys.cplXP
Speech Recognition Optionscontrol /name Microsoft.SpeechRecognitionOptionsVista
Speech Recognitioncontrol /name Microsoft.SpeechRecognition8, 7
Speechcontrol sapi.cpl10XP
Storage Spacescontrol /name Microsoft.StorageSpaces8
Sync Centercontrol /name Microsoft.SyncCenter8, 7, Vista
Systemcontrol /name Microsoft.System8, 7, Vista
control sysdm.cplXP
System Propertiescontrol sysdm.cpl8, 7, Vista
Tablet PC Settingscontrol /name Microsoft.TabletPCSettings8, 7, Vista
Task Scheduler7control schedtasks8, 7, Vista
Taskbarcontrol /name Microsoft.Taskbar8
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Options_RunDLL 18
Taskbar and Start Menucontrol /name Microsoft.TaskbarAndStartMenu7, Vista
rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Options_RunDLL 17, Vista, XP
Text to Speechcontrol /name Microsoft.TextToSpeech8, 7, Vista
Troubleshootingcontrol /name Microsoft.Troubleshooting8, 7
User Accountscontrol /name Microsoft.UserAccounts8, 7, Vista
control userpasswords8, 7, Vista, XP
Welcome Centercontrol /name Microsoft.WelcomeCenterVista
Windows 7 File Recoverycontrol /name Microsoft.BackupAndRestore8
Windows Anytime Upgradecontrol /name Microsoft.WindowsAnytimeUpgrade7, Vista
Windows CardSpacecontrol /name Microsoft.CardSpace7, Vista
control infocardcpl.cpl7, Vista
Windows Defendercontrol /name Microsoft.WindowsDefender8, 7, Vista11
Windows Firewallcontrol /name Microsoft.WindowsFirewall8, 7, Vista
control firewall.cpl8, 7, Vista, XP
Windows Marketplacecontrol /name Microsoft.GetProgramsOnlineVista
Windows Mobility Centercontrol /name Microsoft.MobilityCenter8, 7, Vista
Windows Sidebar Propertiescontrol /name Microsoft.WindowsSidebarPropertiesVista
Windows SideShowcontrol /name Microsoft.WindowsSideShow8,7, Vista
Windows Updatecontrol /name Microsoft.WindowsUpdate8, 7, Vista12
Wireless Linkcontrol irprops.cplXP
Wireless Network Setup Wizard?XP

[1] Color is not available by default but is available for free from Microsoft here.

[2] WinColor.exe must be run from the C:\Program Files\Pro Imaging Powertoys\Microsoft Color Control Panel Applet for Windows XP folder.

[3] I've listed Device Manager here because it's such a commonly used feature of Windows but please know that it is not a true Control Panel applet in Windows XP. See How To Open Windows XP Device Manager for more information.

[4] The Mail applet is only available if a version of Microsoft Office Outlook is installed.

[5] The control mlcfg32.cpl command must be run from the C:\Programs Files\Microsoft Office\OfficeXX folder, replacing OfficeXX with the folder pertaining to the Microsoft Office version you have installed.

[6] ODBC Data Source Administrator was removed from Control Panel after Windows XP but is still available from Administrative Tools.

[7] In Windows 8, 7, and Vista, task scheduling is performed by Task Scheduler which is not directly accessible from Control Panel. However, executing this command in those versions of Windows will forward to Task Scheduler.

[8] Software Explorers is the name for the Control Panel applet for Windows Defender, available for free from Microsoft here as part of Microsoft Security Essentials.

[9] Msascui.exe must be run from the C:\Program Files\Windows Defender folder.

[10] The control sapi.cpl command must be run from the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Speech folder.

[11] Windows Defender is available in Windows XP but the Control Panel applet is instead called Software Explorers.

[12] Windows Update is also used in Windows XP but only via the Windows Update website, not via a Control Panel applet like in later versions of Windows.

[13] In Windows 8, bthprops.cpl opens Devices in PC Settings which will list any Bluetooth Devices. In Windows 7, bthprops.cpl opens athe Bluetooth Devices list under Devices and Printers. In Windows Vista, bthprops.cpl opens a true Control Panel applet called Bluetooth Devices.

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