How to Access My Control Panel on My Computer

The Windows Control Panel provides access to your computer's most commonly-used settings. Among other things, from here, you can add new users, change your monitor's resolution settings and manage currently-installed hardware. The latest Windows version allows you to launch the Control Panel in different intuitive ways. These mainly include access using the default mouse cursor, as well as touch-based gestures.

Mobile devices with touchscreen interface
Control Panel access depends on your device and its default control scheme.
credit: scanrail/iStock/Getty Images

Using Search Option

Step

Swipe your finger from the right edge of the screen, then tap the “Search” field. Alternatively, move your mouse cursor to the upper-right portion of your screen, then move it down along the edge and click the “Search” field.

Step

Enter “Control Panel” until the applet appears in the list of results.

Step

Click or tap “Control Panel” from the results shown to launch it.

Right-Click Through Desktop

Step

Select the “Desktop” tile from the main Start screen to view the Windows desktop.

Step

Right-click an empty area to launch a context menu. Alternatively, press your finger on the screen until a semi-transparent square appears.

Step

Click or tap “Personalize,” followed by “Control Panel Home” from the ensuing screen.

Using Keyboard Shortcut

Step

Select the “Desktop” tile from the main Start screen to access the Windows desktop.

Step

Press the "Windows-I" keys on your keyboard to launch the right pane options.

Step

Click or tap “Control Panel” to launch it. Note that this method only works through the desktop, as performing it through the Start screen does not provide the immediate option to launch the Control Panel.

Desktop Settings Screen

Step

Select the “Desktop” tile from the main Start screen to view the Windows desktop.

Step

Swipe from the right edge of the screen to the left to bring up the right pane.

Step

Click or tap “Settings” followed by “Control Panel” from the ensuing screen options.

From Start Screen

Step

Swipe from the right edge directly from the main Start screen. You may press your keyboard’s "Windows" key to launch the Start screen in the event it is currently hidden.

Step

Click “Settings” followed by “Change PC Settings.”

Step

Click “Control Panel” from the ensuing screen options.

Using Quick Access Menu

Step

Select the “Desktop” tile from the Start screen to access the Windows desktop.

Step

Right-click the lower-left corner of the screen (where the former Start button would normally appear) to launch the Quick Access menu. Alternatively, press your finger on the screen for several seconds, then release it.

Step

Click or tap “Control Panel” from the list of available options.