Vista and Windows 7's System and Maintenance Area

What you can do with it in the Control Panel

The System and Maintenance area of the control panel in Vista and Windows 7 houses many programs and utilities that you can use to configure Windows.

Welcome Center

Select any of 14 programs to help you learn and get started with Windows Vista.

Backup and Restore Center

Back up and restore files on your computer as well as using the System Restore utility to fix problems with the operating system or to create a Restore point for future use.


View all relevant information about your computer including system, support, network, and Windows activation key.

Windows Update

Configure how and when you want Windows to update your computer. Find optional updates that can improve your PC experience.

Power Options

Power plans can help improve your computer’s performance, save energy and extend battery life for laptops. Choose a power plan or create your own.

Indexing Options

Set up the index program to search for file information how and where you want. This information is used by the Desktop Search feature to instantly show you results to your search criteria.

Problem Reports and Solutions

Identify problems and find solutions that can impact your Windows computer.

Performance Information and Tools

View your computer’s performance according to the Windows Experience Index, manage your startup programs, adjust visual effect and power settings. Start Disk cleanup to free up space on your hard drive; access other advanced tools to fix your computer.

Device Manager

Use Device Manager to check on a hardware’s operating condition, modify or change a problem software driver.

Windows Anytime Upgrade

This is Microsoft’s shameless attempt at self-promotion.

Administrative Tools

These are powerful, advanced tools that can monitor and manage your computer. If you are a beginner or intermediate user of Windows, you may want to leave these alone. Tools include Computer Management, Data Sources, Event View, iSCSI Initiator, Memory Diagnostics Tool, Reliability and Performance Monitor, Services, System Configuration, Task Scheduler and Windows Firewall with Advanced Security.