Displaying the PC Settings Screen

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 13, 2020)

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 Windows 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.

If you are using Windows 10, displaying the Windows Settings screen is very easy: Just press Win logo key+I. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Windows Settings screen.

There are 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. (Note that these approaches don't work in Windows 10 because they involve the Charms bar, which is no longer in Windows 10.)

  • 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 haven't done so already, you should take some time to explore the options available in the Windows 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 Windows Settings screen, simply click the Close button at the upper-right corner of the screen. You may wonder how to get rid of the PC Settings screen if you are using Windows 8—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.)
  • 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. ...

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