Putting the Control Panel on the Desktop

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 24, 2019)


I don't know about you, but there are several times a day that I pull up the Control Panel to make some configuration change or another in Windows. While it may seem trivial, it is tiresome to perpetually go through the steps to navigate to the Control Panel. It would be much simpler to have an icon for the Control Panel on the desktop where I could double-click and jump right to where I need.

Fortunately, it is rather easy to do this. Here are the steps in Windows 7:

  1. Click the Start button. Windows displays the familiar Start menu.
  2. Right-click on the Control Panel option in the Start menu. Windows displays a Context menu.
  3. Choose the Show on Desktop option. Windows immediately displays a Control Panel icon on the desktop.

If, at some later point, you no longer want the Control Panel displayed on your desktop, you can hide it by again performing these three steps.

Here are the steps in Windows 10:

  1. Start typing "Control Panel" in the Search box to the left of the Taskbar. Windows displays the search results for Control Panel.
  2. Click the Expand arrow beneath the Open link to expand the list of links. Windows expands the list to include: Open, Open File Location, Pin to Start, and Pin to Taskbar. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The search results for Control Panel.

  4. Click the Open File Location link. Windows displays the Manage tab of the Windows System dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Manage tab of the Windows System dialog box.

  6. Click the Move To tool in the Organize group and choose Desktop from the drop-down list. The Control Panel shortcut is immediately displayed on your desktop.

After completing Step 3 above, you could also simply press the CTRL key while clicking on the Control Panel link in the Windows System dialog box and drag it to an empty area on the desktop. The Control Panel icon is now displayed on the desktop.

If, at some later point, you no longer want the Control Panel displayed on your desktop, you can remove it by right-clicking on the Control Panel icon and clicking Delete from the context menu.

 This tip (3586) applies to Windows 7 and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is seven more than 6?

2019-06-26 16:04:50

David H.

Henry: Your method is MUCH easier - Thank you!

2019-06-24 10:23:51

Henry Noble

In Windows 10, it may be easier to stay out of the weeds.

Here's an alternative way of getting the Control Panel icon onto the Desktop:

Go to Settings > Personalization > Themes.

On the right edge of the Themes window, click the 'Desktop icons settings' link, click the boxes for the icons you want, then click OK.

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