How to access the System Control Panel on Windows 10

Windows 10, when it was first released, made it obvious that the Control Panel app would eventually be removed from the OS. The Settings app would take its place.

The Control Panel has been a part of Windows for a long time and it is home to an extensive list of settings. Phasing it out isn’t going to be easy and with Windows 10, Microsoft has been doing it piecemeal. 

If you’ve updated to the Windows 10 October 2020 update, the Control Panel System setting is no longer accessible. If you click it, it opens the Settings app instead.

Access System Control Panel 

Microsoft appears to have redirected the System item from the Control Panel. It hasn’t removed the setting though. Users are unable to access it directly but it is there, much like the Control Panel’s Personalization setting panel.

Run box

To access the System Control Panel from the run box, follow these steps.

  1. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box. 
  2. In the run box, enter the following. 
explorer shell:::{BB06C0E4-D293-4f75-8A90-CB05B6477EEE}
  1. Tap the Enter key.

File Explorer

You can also access the System Control Panel settings from File Explorer.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Enter the following in the address bar.
explorer shell:::{BB06C0E4-D293-4f75-8A90-CB05B6477EEE}
  1. Tap Enter.

Desktop shortcut

The Run box and File Explorer method work but aren’t easy to use because you have to remember a long address that is not user-friendly. You can set up a shortcut that will open it directly.

  1. Go to your desktop.
  2. Right-click an empty area and select New>Shortcut.
  3. In the location field, enter the following.
explorer shell:::{BB06C0E4-D293-4f75-8A90-CB05B6477EEE}
  1. Click Next. 
  2. Rename the shortcut.
  3. Click Finish.
  4. Open the shortcut and it will open the System Control Panel.

Control Panel God mode

You can access a complete list of every single setting or app that Control Panel has if you open it in God mode.

  1. Create a new folder anywhere on your system.
  2. Select the folder and tap F2 to rename it to the following.
GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
  1. Open this folder.
  2. File Explorer will open and list every single Control Panel item including the System Control Panel items.

Conclusion

The phasing out of the Control Panel still seems to be visual for the most part. Most settings that are removed are removed cosmetically. Functionally, they remain accessible and in some cases, they do not have alternative panels in the Settings app. This reflects on Microsoft’s poor planning and it tends to create problems for users who often cannot find how to change a setting on the OS.

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