Where is Control Panel?

Watch a video about the different ways to find and change your settings in Windows. (To view captions in your language, tap or click the Closed captioning button Closed Captioning button.)

In Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1, there are a few different ways to find and change your settings: PC settings, Control Panel, the Settings charm, and Search. Most of the settings that you'll want to change can be found in PC settings.

To open PC settings

  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)

    PC settings
    PC settings

    In PC settings, you can change most Windows settings, such as changing your screen resolution, adding and removing devices, personalizing the lock screen, changing the date and time, and adding user accounts.

To open Control Panel

  • Open Control Panel by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Control Panel in the search box, and then tapping or clicking Control Panel.

    Control Panel
    Control Panel

    Control Panel includes some additional settings that you might use less often, such as customizing the desktop.

To open the Settings charm

  • Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Settings.)

    In the Settings charm, you'll find settings, help, and info for the app you're in, plus a few common PC settings—network connection, volume, brightness, notifications, power, and keyboard. These PC settings are the same no matter where you are in Windows, but the app settings are different for every app.

To search for settings

If you're not sure where to find the settings you're looking for, you can search your PC.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)

  2. Tap or click the arrow The arrow in Search, and then tap or click Settings.
  3. Enter a word or phrase in the search box. If you see the setting you're looking for in the list of search results, tap or click it to open it. To see all of the results for your search term, tap or click the Search button The Search button to go to the search results page. Then tap or click a search result to open it.