Posts Tagged ‘Control Panel’

The Windows Vista Customization Of The Control Panel.

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

The Control Panel is the center for most of your Windows Vista customization—or personalization, as it is now called. You can open the Control Panel through Start > Control Panel (or by pressing Win+R and then typing control). This Figure shows the Control Panel Home screen.

The major portion on the right of the screen shows the category headings, each of which links to a group of related functions. The subheadings beneath the category headings are links directly to some functions within those categories. In the Navigation pane are links to related tasks (which change as you move through the Control Panel).
Some of the Control Panel functions in Vista are dramatically different from those in XP; others are nearly identical to XP’s. That’s part of the excitement of exploring the Control Panel.

Note the section at the bottom of the Navigation pane for Recent Tasks (not shown in Figure 1 but you’ll see it as you move through the Control Panel), an easy way to return to your most recent activity in the Control Panel. This list will change as you use the Control Panel. Use the Control Panel Home link in the Navigation pane to return to the starting point. In some places, you will have to use the back arrow to return.

Control Panel Home Vs. Classic View
On the left of the Control Panel Home screen, you’ll see an option for the Classic View. Choose it and the previous category view disappears. In place of the new view is something closer to the old Control Panel appearance that originated with Windows 95. Clicking the Control Panel Home link returns you from the distant past.
In Classic View, every function under the Control Panel appears (42 icons in my case) in alphabetical order.

I confess that in XP I almost always work in Classic View. XP’s Category View seems to make it harder to get straight to the desired function. However, Windows Vista has greatly improved organization and direct access to functions, with links under the major categories as well as in the Navigation pane. Give this new default view some time to impress you. Resist reverting to Classic View immediately.

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Launch Windows Control Panel Applets From The Run Command.

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

As important as Windows Explorer is for navigating around the file system, the Control Panel is the central point of Windows Operating Systems for configuring various system and program options.

But to access the Control Panel, you need to navigate through the Start menu or create a shortcut on your desktop.

Just like executable or programs, Control panel applets can easily be launched from the run command. While there is no difference with opening items from the Control Panel, it can save you several steps from needing to open the control panel.


[Windows logo key]+R opens the Run command


For example, to launch Add or Remove Programs applet, just type appwiz.cpl in the run command field and click OK.

If you access an applet in the Control Panel frequently, you can also create shortcuts on your desktop or add it to the quick launch on the taskbar.

To locate all the applets, just open Windows Explorer and navigate to %System%\System32 folder. Then sort by file type and scroll down to all files with Control Panel Item (or you can search in the %System%\System32 for *.cpl).

Below is a list of the most typical applets you will find in the Control Panel. Depending on what you have installed on your system and if you are running XP or Vista, your list may be different.

access.cpl – Accessibility Options
appwiz.cpl – Add or Remove Programs
desk.cpl – Display Properties
firewall.cpl – Firewall
hdwwiz.cpl – Add Hardware Wizard
inetcpl.cpl – Internet Explorer Properties
intl.cpl – Regional and Language Options
irprops.cpl – Wireless Link (Infrared)
joy.cpl – Game Controllers
jpicpl32.cpl – Java Control Panel
main.cpl – Mouse Properties
mmsys.cpl – Sounds and Audio Devices Pro Properties
ncpa.cpl – Network Connections
netsetup.cpl – Network Setup Wizard
nusrmgr.cpl – User Accounts
odbccp32.cpl – ODBC Data Source Administrator
PLUGIN~2.CPL – Java Plug-in Control Panel
powercfg.cpl – Power Options Properties
sysdm.cpl – System Properties
telephon.cpl – Phone and Modem Options
timedate.cpl – Date and Time Properties
wscui.cpl – Windows Security Center
wuaucpl.cpl – Automatic Updates

Now, instead of navigating through the Start menu, you can easily access individual Control Panel items easily from the Run command…and save yourself a few mouse clicks.