The three quickest ways to open the Control Panel in Windows 8
If you miss the Start menu in Windows 8 largely because of the easy path it provided to the Control Panel, there are three keyboard shortcuts you need to know.
Matt ElliottSenior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Watch this: Quickly access Windows 8 Control Panel
When I'm not blogging for CNET, I test and review laptops and desktops. During the getting-to-know process for each system I review, one of the places I usually stop by first is the Control Panel to tweak a setting or two before I start running benchmark tests. In the good old days of Windows 7 and XP, I simply clicked on the Start button and selected the Control Panel from the Start menu. With Windows 8, however, that path does not exist.
If you are using a tablet or refuse to engage in keyboard shortcuts, you'll need to perform a little tapping and swiping to reach the Control Panel. From the tiled Start screen, you can swipe up from the bottom edge of your screen and tap the "All apps" button in the resulting menu bar. From here, you can swipe your way left and choose Control Panel from the last grouping under the Windows System subhead. Alternatively, from the Start screen you can start typing "Control Panel" to search for the term.
If you are a regular visitor to the Control Panel, you can always pin it to the Start menu so that it's only a tap away. (Open the Control Panel, move up a level in the folder hierarchy, right click on the Control Panel icon, and choose Pin to Start.)
From the desktop view, however, these actions are not available. Thankfully, there are three keyboard shortcuts that will grant you quick access to the Control Panel.
1. Windows key and the X key. This opens a menu in the lower-right corner of the screen, with Control Panel listed among its options.
2. Windows-I. This opens the Settings menu of the charms bar on the right edge of the screen, with, yes, the Control Panel as one of its options.
3. Windows-R to open the run command window and enter Control Panel.