Changing Control Panel Views

by Barry Dysert
(last updated March 19, 2018)

The Windows Control Panel is quite often the path to follow when doing a variety of system-level activities. There are a few different views to the Control Panel, though, and this sometimes leads to confusion. For example, you may be reading a tip that says to click on the "System and Security" link, but you don't see such a link when you look at the Control Panel. The problem may be that you're looking at a different view.

Changing Control Panel views is simple and harmless. The default view for the Control Panel is known as the Category view; this is what you see when you look at the Control Panel on a newly installed copy of Windows. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Control Panel's Category view.

To change the view, use the View By drop-down list near the upper-right corner of the screen. When you click on it, you'll see that you have three choices: Category, Large Icons, and Small Icons. The icon-based views are very similar to the way that the Control Panel looked several versions of Windows ago. (All the way back to Windows XP.) For instance, choosing Small Icons displays each tool in the Control Panel as a small icon, in alphabetical order. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Small Icons view of the Control Panel.

When you select a different view, the change takes place immediately and is thereafter used as the default view until you change it again. When you've selected the view you want, just close the window by clicking the "X".

 This tip (13225) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Searching From the Start Menu

You can be more efficient if you get used to using the search functionality from the Start menu. This tip discusses that.

Discover More

DesktopOK

Are you frustrated by your desktop icons moving around whenever you change your screen resolution or use Remote Desktop? ...

Discover More

Introduction to PowerShell

PowerShell is found on all modern Windows computers. You might think of it as the next step up from the command line .bat ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Putting the Control Panel on the Desktop

The desktop is designed to hold all your most commonly accessed programs, files, and folders. If you access the Control ...

Discover More

Adjusting the Mouse Double-Click Speed

Sometimes your finger is either too fast or too slow to get the proper response from a mouse double click. This tip tells ...

Discover More

Printing a Process List

There are programs (processes) running in your system all the time. You can view a list of these processes using the Task ...

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 4 + 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.