Command Line Commands for Control Panel Applets

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

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.

Animated illustration of control panels opening on a Windows computer
Lifewire / Kyle Fewel

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, we know.

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

Start by opening Command Prompt, or even just the Run box (WIN+R keyboard shortcut). 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.

See our 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

CMD Commands for Control Panel Applets

Applet Command OS Version
Accessibility Options control access.cpl XP
Action Center control /name Microsoft.ActionCenter 8, 7
  control wscui.cpl 8, 7
Add Features to Windows 8 control /name Microsoft.WindowsAnytimeUpgrade 8
Add Hardware control /name Microsoft.AddHardware Vista
  control hdwwiz.cpl XP
Add or Remove Programs control appwiz.cpl XP
Administrative Tools control /name Microsoft.AdministrativeTools 8, 7, Vista
  control admintools 8, 7, Vista, XP
Automatic Updates control wuaucpl.cpl XP
AutoPlay control /name Microsoft.AutoPlay 8, 7, Vista
Backup and Restore Center control /name Microsoft.BackupAndRestoreCenter Vista
Backup and Restore control /name Microsoft.BackupAndRestore 7
Biometric Devices control /name Microsoft.BiometricDevices 8, 7
BitLocker Drive Encryption control /name Microsoft.BitLockerDriveEncryption 8, 7, Vista
Bluetooth Devices control bthprops.cpl13 8, 7, Vista
  control /name Microsoft.BluetoothDevices Vista
Color Management control /name Microsoft.ColorManagement 8, 7, Vista
Color1 WinColor.exe2 XP
Credential Manager control /name Microsoft.CredentialManager 8, 7
Client Service for NetWare control nwc.cpl XP
Date and Time control /name Microsoft.DateAndTime 8, 7, Vista
  control timedate.cpl 8, 7, Vista
  control date/time 8, 7, Vista, XP
Default Location control /name Microsoft.DefaultLocation 7
Default Programs control /name Microsoft.DefaultPrograms 8, 7, Vista
Desktop Gadgets control /name Microsoft.DesktopGadgets 7
Device Manager control /name Microsoft.DeviceManager 8, 7, Vista
  control hdwwiz.cpl 8, 7, Vista
  devmgmt.msc 8, 7, Vista, XP3
Devices and Printers control /name Microsoft.DevicesAndPrinters 8, 7
  control printers 8, 7
Display control /name Microsoft.Display 8, 7
  control desk.cpl XP
  control desktop XP
Ease of Access Center control /name Microsoft.EaseOfAccessCenter 8, 7, Vista
  control access.cpl 8, 7, Vista
Family Safety control /name Microsoft.ParentalControls 8
File History control /name Microsoft.FileHistory 8
Flash Player Settings Manager control flashplayercplapp.cpl 8
Folder Options control /name Microsoft.FolderOptions 8, 7, Vista
  control folders 8, 7, Vista, XP
Fonts control /name Microsoft.Fonts 8, 7, Vista
  control fonts 8, 7, Vista, XP
Game Controllers control /name Microsoft.GameControllers 8, 7, Vista
  control joy.cpl 8, 7, Vista, XP
Get Programs control /name Microsoft.GetPrograms 8, 7, Vista
Getting Started control /name Microsoft.GettingStarted 7
Home Group control /name Microsoft.HomeGroup 8, 7
Indexing Options control /name Microsoft.IndexingOptions 8, 7, Vista
  rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL srchadmin.dll 8, 7, Vista, XP
Infrared control /name Microsoft.Infrared 8, 7
  control irprops.cpl 8, 7, Vista
  control /name Microsoft.InfraredOptions Vista
Internet Options control /name Microsoft.InternetOptions 8, 7, Vista
  control inetcpl.cpl 8, 7, Vista, XP
iSCSI Initiator control /name Microsoft.iSCSIInitiator 8, 7, Vista
Keyboard control /name Microsoft.Keyboard 8, 7, Vista
  control keyboard 8, 7, Vista, XP
Language control /name Microsoft.Language 8
Location and Other Sensors control /name Microsoft.LocationAndOtherSensors 7
Location Settings control /name Microsoft.LocationSettings 8
Mail4 control mlcfg32.cpl5 8, 7, Vista, XP
Mouse control /name Microsoft.Mouse 8, 7, Vista
  control main.cpl 8, 7, Vista
  control mouse 8, 7, Vista, XP
Network and Sharing Center control /name Microsoft.NetworkAndSharingCenter 8, 7, Vista
Network Connections control ncpa.cpl 8, 7, Vista
  control netconnections 8, 7, Vista, XP
Network Setup Wizard control netsetup.cpl 8, 7, Vista, XP
Notification Area Icons control /name Microsoft.NotificationAreaIcons 8, 7
ODBC Data Source Administrator control odbccp32.cpl XP6
Offline Files control /name Microsoft.OfflineFiles 8, 7, Vista
Parental Controls control /name Microsoft.ParentalControls 7, Vista
Pen and Input Devices control /name Microsoft.PenAndInputDevices Vista
  control tabletpc.cpl Vista
Pen and Touch control /name Microsoft.PenAndTouch 8, 7
  control tabletpc.cpl 8, 7
People Near Me control /name Microsoft.PeopleNearMe 7, Vista
  control collab.cpl 7, Vista
Performance Information and Tools control /name Microsoft.PerformanceInformationAndTools 8, 7, Vista
Personalization control /name Microsoft.Personalization 8, 7, Vista
  control desktop 8, 7, Vista
Phone and Modem Options control /name Microsoft.PhoneAndModemOptions Vista
  control telephon.cpl Vista, XP
Phone and Modem control /name Microsoft.PhoneAndModem 8, 7
  control telephon.cpl 8, 7
Power Options control /name Microsoft.PowerOptions 8, 7, Vista
  control powercfg.cpl 8, 7, Vista, XP
Printers and Faxes control printers XP
Printers control /name Microsoft.Printers Vista
  control printers Vista
Problem Reports and Solutions control /name Microsoft.ProblemReportsAndSolutions Vista
Programs and Features control /name Microsoft.ProgramsAndFeatures 8, 7, Vista
  control appwiz.cpl 8, 7, Vista
Recovery control /name Microsoft.Recovery 8, 7
Region control /name Microsoft.RegionAndLanguage 8
  control intl.cpl 8
  control international 8
Region and Language control /name Microsoft.RegionAndLanguage 7
  control intl.cpl 7
  control international 7
Regional and Language Options control /name Microsoft.RegionalAndLanguageOptions Vista
  control intl.cpl Vista
  control international Vista, XP
RemoteApp and Desktop Connections control /name Microsoft.RemoteAppAndDesktopConnections 8, 7
Scanners and Cameras control /name Microsoft.ScannersAndCameras 8, 7, Vista
  control sticpl.cpl XP
Scheduled Tasks control schedtasks XP7
Screen Resolution control desk.cpl 8, 7
Security Center control /name Microsoft.SecurityCenter Vista
  control wscui.cpl XP
Software Explorers8 msascui.exe9 XP
Sound control /name Microsoft.Sound 8, 7
  control /name Microsoft.AudioDevicesAndSoundThemes Vista
  control mmsys.cpl 8, 7, Vista
Sounds and Audio Devices control mmsys.cpl XP
Speech Recognition Options control /name Microsoft.SpeechRecognitionOptions Vista
Speech Recognition control /name Microsoft.SpeechRecognition 8, 7
Speech control sapi.cpl10 XP
Storage Spaces control /name Microsoft.StorageSpaces 8
Sync Center control /name Microsoft.SyncCenter 8, 7, Vista
System control /name Microsoft.System 8, 7, Vista
  control sysdm.cpl XP
System Properties control sysdm.cpl 8, 7, Vista
Tablet PC Settings control /name Microsoft.TabletPCSettings 8, 7, Vista
Task Scheduler7 control schedtasks 8, 7, Vista
Taskbar control /name Microsoft.Taskbar 8
  rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Options_RunDLL 1 8
Taskbar and Start Menu control /name Microsoft.TaskbarAndStartMenu 7, Vista
  rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Options_RunDLL 1 7, Vista, XP
Text to Speech control /name Microsoft.TextToSpeech 8, 7, Vista
Troubleshooting control /name Microsoft.Troubleshooting 8, 7
User Accounts control /name Microsoft.UserAccounts 8, 7, Vista
  control userpasswords 8, 7, Vista, XP
Welcome Center control /name Microsoft.WelcomeCenter Vista
Windows 7 File Recovery control /name Microsoft.BackupAndRestore 8
Windows Anytime Upgrade control /name Microsoft.WindowsAnytimeUpgrade 7, Vista
Windows CardSpace control /name Microsoft.CardSpace 7, Vista
  control infocardcpl.cpl 7, Vista
Windows Defender control /name Microsoft.WindowsDefender 8, 7, Vista11
Windows Firewall control /name Microsoft.WindowsFirewall 8, 7, Vista
  control firewall.cpl 8, 7, Vista, XP
Windows Marketplace control /name Microsoft.GetProgramsOnline Vista
Windows Mobility Center control /name Microsoft.MobilityCenter 8, 7, Vista
Windows Sidebar Properties control /name Microsoft.WindowsSidebarProperties Vista
Windows SideShow control /name Microsoft.WindowsSideShow 8,7, Vista
Windows Update control /name Microsoft.WindowsUpdate 8, 7, Vista12
Wireless Link control irprops.cpl XP

[1] Color isn't available by default but is available for free from Microsoft. You can grab a copy from MajorGeeks.

[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 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 the Bluetooth Devices list under Devices and Printers. In Windows Vista, bthprops.cpl opens a true Control Panel applet called Bluetooth Devices.