How to Remove Icons from Control Panel in Windows?

By Dominic Chooper on April 18, 2023

In the Control Panel, there may be some icons that you want to remove, especially those that are invalid, duplicate, or non-functioning. You may uninstall it directly, but sometimes the icons may still remain.

Therefore, proper methods should be followed to remove them. If you are not aware of them, this is an article that will tell you the exact processes to follow. So, read on.


Why Do You Need to Remove Icons from the Control Panel?

The most significant reason to remove the icons from the Control Panel is to set it up just right so that it helps while changing settings for Windows.

You will also need to remove the invalid and non-functional icons from the Control Panel because these are mainly the results of an incomplete and improper uninstallation of a software program.

Some other minor, though not entirely insignificant, reasons to remove the non-functioning icons from the Control Panel are:

Ways to Remove Icons from the Control Panel in Windows

How to Remove Icons from Control Panel in Windows

**Typically, the Control Panel applets and their icons are stored in the System32 folder under Windows. These files normally have a Read Also:  How to Open Control Panel? (21 Methods)


Create shortcut

Shortcut properties

Change Icon

In the next window, you will see the path name of the CPL file in the System32 folder.

Select just the filename

File Explorer

go to Drive C

Windows folder

System32 folder

search bar at the top right corner

right-click on file

Delete File confirmation window

You’ll need to provide administrator permission to delete this file

After you have deleted the icon, refresh the screen, restart your computer, and go to the Control Panel to check whether or not the duplicate icon is removed from there.

Ideally, it should be removed, and there should be only one Java icon displayed in the Control Panel, as shown in the image below:

Java icon

Expert tip:

However, before you hit Delete, you will need to make sure that you did not delete the valid Java icon.

In order to check that, follow the same steps as above to open the Change Icon window. Check the path and make sure it is different.

Method 2: Removing from the Registry

You can remove the Control Panel icons by making some specific tweaks in the Windows registry.

This process, however, involves two parts. The first one is to find the .cpl file, and the second part, which itself has three different approaches, involves removing the Control Panel applet.


For the first part, follow the steps of Method 1 until you reach the Change Icon window and see the CPL file name.

First approach of the second part:

You can remove the icon from Policies. For this, simply follow these steps:


Now, once the Registry Editor opens, either double-click or left-click on the small arrow next to these following key folders to expand them in the exact order listed below:

Once you are there, look for the Explorer key under it. However, it may not always be there. If it is not there, create a new key by right-clicking on Policies and name it Explorer.




Read Also:  Mainframe Computer vs Microcomputer: 21 Differences

right-click on Explorer

String Value


The final representation will be something like this:

Registry editor

(Here, you can simply type the label of the applet you see in the Control Panel. There is no need to .cpl file name in this case.)

You can create as many String values as you want in this case, as the number of Control Panel applets you want to remove. Just name them 2, 3, 4, and so on, and set their values according to the specific applet label.

Second approach:

This is the converse of the first approach, where you instruct Windows to display only the necessary applets and remove or hide the others from the Control Panel.

All the steps to follow in this case are the same as in the second process with the only difference being that you should create the new DWORD value for the Explorer key as RestrictCpl.

The image below represents clearly what the final result will be, assuming that the AutoPlay applet is to be removed from the Control Panel:


As in the above approach, you can create as many String values as you want in this case as well.

Third approach:

Apart from the above two methods, you can also follow an alternative approach to removing the icon from the Control Panel key folder.

Open the key folders in this exact order:

When you have reached this far, these are the next steps to follow, which are similar to the steps of the first approach with just the difference in the nomenclature:

This will remove the icon from the Control Panel. If you want to have it back, follow the same steps, and in the last step simply set the value to ‘Yes.’

Method 3: Via Group Policy

You may also use the Group Policy feature to remove the icons from the Control Panel.


Edit group policy

Hide specified Control Panel items

click on the small circle next to Enabled

Show Contents

Click on the OK button to end the process

This will remove the icons that you specified above from the Control Panel.

Method 4: Using the Uninstall Programs Feature

Now, there may be a few specific apps that may or may not show up in the list of programs, and you want to remove them from the Control Panel.

In this case, you will need to dig deeper and do much more than the simplest way of right-clicking on the app and clicking on the Uninstall option.


If the specific app or program that you want to remove from the Control Panel is visible in the list, these are the steps to follow:

Click on Uninstall programs under Programs

Uninstall or change a program

Click on the Yes button

Sometimes additional questions, such as the reason for your wanting to delete the program or whether or not the data files should be deleted, may also be asked before deleting the program.

Now, if the program is not visible in the list, you will need to remove or uninstall it using the uninstall feature built into the app itself.

For example, if the Free Download Manager is not showing in the Control Panel’s programs list, then the specific steps to follow are:

Open file location

The system will find the file and open it in a new window.

Uninstall Free Download Manager option

This will remove the program.

In order to make sure that it is also removed from the Control Panel, you will first need to check whether it is there, and then delete it.

For that, you will need to go back to the Registry Editor once again as before and expand the following folders in this exact order:

Depending on what apps and programs you are using and have installed on your PC, the list may be longer since each of them will be displayed under this expanded version of Uninstall.

Registry editor

You will have to click on each of these keys individually and find out which one matches with the app or program that you have uninstalled.

To be doubly sure that it is the same app and not any other crucial app, check the DisplayName in the right side of the window.


If it matches, right-click on the app and simply click on the Delete option.

right-click on the app and simply click on the Delete option

Now, it will be successfully removed from the Control Panel.


Removing an invalid or non-functional icon from the Control Panel is not at all a tough job. It is only that you should know what you are doing and do it very carefully.

Thanks to this article, both of these requirements are satisfied, since you are knowledgeable about the methods as well as the distinct steps to follow.