Control Panel

What is Control Panel?

A control panel refers to a part of the Graphical User Interface or GUI. Ideally, it consists of a set of individual applets that the users can access for easier and faster management.

Technically, it is a specific type of software module that allows access to particular types of software features.

Features of the Control Panel

Typically, the Control Panel includes a set of applets provided both by Microsoft and third parties that come with different categories, subcategories, and tools.

Depending on the version of the operating system, the control panel may typically come with different sections or categories and look like this:

Control panel category

All these sections contain different tools with different subcategories that you can use to optimize the settings and performance of your computer system.


The System and Security category comes with the following subcategories:

The Network and Internet have the following subcategories:

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The Hardware and Sound category comes with the following subcategories:

The Programs category comes with the following subcategories:

The User Accounts category comes with the following subcategories:

The subcategories of Appearance and Personalization are:

The Clock, Language, and Region category comes with the following subcategories:

The Ease of Access category has the following subcategories:

However, you will get to see more options when you choose Large icons by clicking on the small arrow next to the Category box, as follows:

Large icons

All of them will allow you to change your computer settings, almost every aspect of it.

Uses of the Control Panel

The specific interface of the Control Panel typically helps the users to manage the features and settings. It is mainly used to execute different types of management and administrative tasks, especially those related to the operating system, along with the installation and removal of programs.

In addition to the above, it also helps the users to configure different applications. Apart from that, it also allows changing different features of the hardware and software installed in the computer system.

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For example, you can change or modify the settings of different items including but not limited to the following:

When you are in the Control Panel, you can search for any specific setting you want to change or perform any particular task. You can use the Search box on the top-right corner of the window for it and type a word or phrase to open it.

Though every applet included in the Control Panel is useful, here are some of the uses of specific applets that perhaps you, like a lot of other users, are not aware of:

Device Manager

Devices and Printers

File Explorer Options


Keyboard Properties

Mouse Properties

Internet Properties



Programs and Features

Administrative Tools

Mind you, these are just a few of the many uses of the Control Panel. However, the purpose of it varies based on the operating system and the features offered.


The summary of this article is that the Control Panel is a Windows GUI, which you can use to view the system settings and make modifications.

This software module is usually created for the users to carry out administrative and management tasks with respect to a few specific software and hardware types.