Displaying the PC Settings Screen

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 1, 2016)

1

Most aspects of your Windows user interface can be changed by using what is referred to as the PC Settings screen. (Well, you can change whatever aspects that Microsoft allows you to change.) In fact, many of the customizations that used to require invoking the Control Panel can now be accomplished using the PC Settings screen. This means that you'll probably need to display the PC Settings screen over and over again as you use and customize Windows.

There several ways you can display the PC Settings screen if you are using Windows 8. The way you choose depends, generally, on the method in which you are communicating with Windows.

  • Keyboard. There are a couple of ways you can use keyboard shortcuts to display the PC Settings screen. First, you can press Win+I (to display the Settings pane) and then choose the Change PC Settings link. Second, you can press Win+C to display the Charms bar at the right of the screen, choose the Settings option (to display the Settings pane), and then choose the Change PC Settings link.
  • Mouse. Move the mouse to the very upper-right or lower-right corners of the screen. Windows displays the Charms bar, in which you should click the Settings option. Windows then displays the Settings pane where you can finally click the Change PC Settings option.
  • Touch. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen to display the Charms bar. At the bottom of the bar choose Settings to display the Settings pane. Finally, touch the Change PC Settings link.

If you are using Windows 10, then displaying the PC Settings screen is much easier: Just press Win+I. (The other approaches that worked in Windows 8 don't work in Windows 10 because they involve the Charms bar, which is no longer in Windows 10.)

If you haven't done so already, you should take some time to explore the options available in the PC Settings screen. Set aside a bit of time, as there are lots of things you can poke and change, if desired.

When you are done with the PC Settings screen, you may wonder how to get rid of it—there is, after all, no obvious Exit button or link. That's because Microsoft decided to have the PC Settings screen function in the same way that new apps function. In order to get out of the PC Settings screen (or out of an app), use one of these common methods:

  • Keyboard. Press Alt+F4.
  • Mouse. In Windows 8, move the mouse pointer to the very top of the screen. The mouse pointer should turn into a hand. Click and drag to the bottom of the screen to shrink the PC Settings screen. (You may have to hold the dragged "top" at the bottom of the screen for a few seconds.) If you are using Windows 10, simply click the Close button at the upper-right corner of the screen, just like you do for dialog boxes.
  • Touch. Tap at the top of the screen and drag the top to the bottom to shrink the PC Settings screen. (Again, you may have to hold at the bottom for a few seconds.)

 This tip (12678) applies to Windows 8 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Getting Rid of the Startup Spreadsheet

When you start Excel, you normally see a blank worksheet displayed. Here's how to get rid of it.

Discover More

Hiding Rows Based on Two Values

It's easy to use filtering to hide rows based on the value in a cell, but how do you hide rows based on the values in two ...

Discover More

Making Live URLs Into Normal Text

Convert those URLs into regular text! It's easy to do when you follow the steps in this tip.

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Understanding Windows Aero

Windows Aero, first introduced with Windows Vista, provides a nice visual experience when working on your computer. And the ...

Discover More

Renaming and Deleting Icons

Want to change the name of a desktop icon or get rid of it entirely? It's easier to do than you probably think!

Discover More

Starting Windows 10 in Safe Mode

Hopefully you'll never find yourself in a situation where you need to restart your computer in Safe Mode. If you do, though, ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven more than 5?

2016-08-01 14:01:14

D. Wallace

None of this worked on my Win 7 Acer laptop.

Any Ideas?????


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.