How to Open Control Panel in Windows 11

It's still there, just a little harder to find

What to Know

  • Click the search icon on the taskbar, type Control Panel, and click Control Panel in the results.
  • You can also access the Control Panel by pressing Windows Key + R > type CMD > enter > type control > enter.
  • Functionality of most Control Panel applets has been duplicated in Windows Settings menu. Windows icon on taskbar > Gear icon.

This article explains how to open the Control Panel in Windows 11, including instructions for accessing the Control Panel with the keyboard.

Where Is the Windows 11 Control Panel?

The Windows Control Panel is a collection of applets, or small programs, used to configure various aspects of the Windows operating system. It’s been around since Windows 1.0, but it’s a little more difficult to find than it used to be.

If you’re having trouble finding the Windows 11 Control Panel, or wondering if Windows 11 even has one, it’s because a lot of the Control Panel functionality has been moved to the newer Settings menu. The Control Panel is still there, but it isn’t featured prominently, and you have to access it through the Windows 11 search function or the Command Prompt. The Settings menu is featured more prominently and is easier to access.

How Do I Open the Windows 11 Control Panel Screen?

There are two ways to open the Windows 11 Control Panel screen. You can use the revised search functionality present in Windows 11, or you can use the Command Prompt.

Here’s how to open the Windows 11 Control Panel using the search function:

  1. Click the Search icon (magnifying glass) on the taskbar.

    The search icon (magnifying glass) highlighted on the Windows 11 taskbar
  2. Click the search field, and type Control Panel.

    The search field highlighted in Windows 11
  3. Click Control Panel in the search results.

    Control Panel (App) highlighted in Windows 11 search results

    Microsoft wants people to start using Settings, so the Settings app will also appear in this search.

  4. The Control Panel screen will open.

    The Windows 11 Control Panel.

How Do I Open the Control Panel in Windows 11 With a Keyboard?

In addition to the search function, you can also open the Control Panel with your keyboard. This process uses the Command Prompt. If you’re already familiar with opening the Control Panel in this manner in Windows 10, it works the exact same way here.

Here’s how to open the Control Panel in Windows 11 with a keyboard:

  1. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run box.

    The Run box in Windows 11
  2. Type CMD and press enter.

    CMD highlighted on the Run box in Windows 11
  3. Type control and press enter.

    The control command entered in the Windows 11 Command Prompt
  4. The Control Panel will open.

    The Windows 11 Control Panel opened with a command prompt in the background.
  5. You can also open individual Control Panel applets through the command center by typing the appropriate Control Panel command line command.

  6. For example, type control appwiz.cpl into the Command Prompt, and press enter.

    The control appwiz.cpl command entered in the Windows 11 command prompt
  7. The Uninstall or Change a Program applet will open, saving you the step of opening the Control Panel first.

    Windows 11 Programs and Features opened via a command prompt Control Panel command.

Why Is the Control Panel Hard to Find in Windows 11?

Microsoft introduced the Settings menu in Windows 8, but they didn’t remove the Control Panel. Most of the Control Panel functionality has been moved into the Settings menu, which duplicates the functionality of Control Panel applets instead of replacing them. The process of migrating functionality has been slow, and the Control Panel is still present in Windows 11.

The new Apps & features and old Programs and Features side by side in Windows 11.

As an example, you can manage your Windows 11 programs, or apps, in two locations: the Apps & Features section of the Settings app, or the Uninstall or Change a Program section of the Programs and Features applet accessed through the Control Panel. The Apps & Features menu follows the Windows 11 design structure, while the Programs and Features applet looks a lot like it did in Windows 8 and Windows 10.

While Settings hasn’t completely replaced the Control Panel, Microsoft wants users to migrate to using Settings. The Control Panel may be replaced eventually, but Windows 11 only makes it difficult to find instead of completely replacing it.

FAQ
  • How do I open the Device Manager in Windows 11?

    Right-click on Windows Start and select Device Manager. From Windows Device Manager, you can update device drivers and troubleshoot your hardware.

  • How do I add programs to startup in Windows 11?

    Go to Windows Start > Settings > Apps Startup. Choose the apps you want to launch when Windows 11 boots.

  • How do I get the classic Start Menu back in Windows 11?

    Search for regedit to open Windows Registry Editor, then add the value Start_ShowClassicMode to a key within HKEY_CURRENT_USER. Change the value data to 1, and then reboot your PC to get back the classic Windows Start menu.

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