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List of Control Panel Applets in Windows

Complete List of Control Panel Applets in Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP

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Control Panel applets are the individual components found in Control Panel that contain the settings and options for the various parts of Windows.

Below is a complete list of Control Panel applets that that you might find in Control Panel across Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP:

Note: Some Control Panel applets are only available in some versions of Windows, have changed names or uses from one version of Windows to the next, or are accessed via the Command Prompt in slightly different ways. I'll call out those differences in the applet descriptions below if necessary.

Note: Your computer may also have one or more applets provided from a source other than Microsoft, like NVIDIA, Flash, QuickTime, Java, etc., but I have not included any of those primarily because the list would be impossible to keep current.

Accessibility Options

Accessibility Options in Windows XP
Accessibility Options (Windows XP)

The Accessibility Options applet is used to configure StickyKeys, SoundSentry, display, mouse and other accessibility settings.

Execute control access.cpl from the Command Prompt to access Accessibility Options directly.

Accessibility Options was replaced by Ease of Access Center beginning in Windows Vista.

Accessibility Options is available in Windows XP.

Action Center

Action Center in Windows 7
Action Center (Windows 7)

The Action Center Control Panel applet is a centralized place to see security and maintenance settings and alerts.

Execute control /name Microsoft.ActionCenter from the Command Prompt to access Action Center directly.

Action Center replaced both Problem Reports and Solutions and Windows Security Center beginning in Windows 7.

Action Center is available in Windows 8 and Windows 7.

Add Features to Windows 8

Add Features to Windows 8 in Windows 8
Add Features to Windows 8 (Windows 8)

The Add Features to Windows 8 Control Panel applet is used to purchase an upgraded edition of Windows 8.

Execute control /name Microsoft.WindowsAnytimeUpgrade from the Command Prompt to access Add Features to Windows 8 directly.

Add Features to Windows 8 replaced Windows Anytime Upgrade beginning in Windows 8.

Add Features to Windows 8 is available in Windows 8.

Add Hardware

Add Hardware in Windows Vista
Add Hardware (Windows Vista)

The Add Hardware Control Panel applet starts the Add Hardware Wizard which is used to manually install devices which are not automatically recognized by Windows.

Execute control /name Microsoft.AddHardware from the Command Prompt to access Add Hardware directly. In Windows XP, execute control hdwwiz.cpl instead.

Add Hardware was replaced by Devices and Printers beginning in Windows 7.

Add Hardware is available in Windows Vista and Windows XP.

Note: The ability to manually add hardware is still available in Windows 8 and Windows 7 but is accessible instead via Add legacy hardware under the Action menu in Device Manager.

Add or Remove Programs

Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP
Add or Remove Programs (Windows XP)

The Add or Remove Programs applet is used to uninstall or change an installed program, view installed Windows Updates, or turn optional Windows features on or off, and to set default program accesses.

Execute control appwiz.cpl from the Command Prompt to access Add or Remove Programs directly.

Add or Remove Programs was replaced by, and split between, Programs and Features and Default Programs beginning in Windows Vista.

Add or Remove Programs is available in Windows XP.

Administrative Tools

Administrative Tools in Windows 7
Administrative Tools (Windows 7)

The Administrative Tools Control Panel applet is basically a shortcut to a folder full of shortcuts to additional tools useful for system administrators and users needing to troubleshoot certain kinds of Windows problems.

Execute control /name Microsoft.AdministrativeTools from the Command Prompt to access Administrative Tools directly. In Windows XP, execute control admintools instead.

Administrative Tools is available in Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

Automatic Updates

Automatic Updates in Windows XP
Automatic Updates (Windows XP)

The Automatic Updates Control Panel applet is used to configure how updates to Windows are downloaded and installed automatically.

Execute control wuaucpl.cpl from the Command Prompt to access Automatic Updates directly.

Automatic Updates was replaced with update settings as part of the Windows Update applet beginning in Windows Vista.

Automatic Updates is available in Windows XP.

AutoPlay

AutoPlay in Windows 7
AutoPlay (Windows 7)

The AutoPlay Control Panel applet is used to configure what Windows does when is sees a certain media type or a particular device.

For example, with AutoPlay, you can configure Windows to automatically start playing a movie with Windows Media Player when it sees that a DVD has been inserted.

Execute control /name Microsoft.AutoPlay from the Command Prompt to access AutoPlay directly.

AutoPlay is available in Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.

Backup and Restore Center

Backup and Restore Center in Windows Vista
Backup and Restore Center (Windows Vista)

The Backup and Restore Center Control Panel applet is used to create and restore backups of groups of files and folders using Windows Backup. Backup and Restore Center can also be used to create a Windows Complete PC Backup.

Execute control /name Microsoft.BackupAndRestoreCenter from the Command Prompt to access Backup and Restore Center directly.

Backup and Restore Center was replaced by Backup and Restore in Windows 7 and then in Windows 8 by both the Windows 7 File Recovery and the File History applets.

Backup and Restore Center is available in Windows Vista.

Backup and Restore

Backup and Restore in Windows 7
Backup and Restore (Windows 7)

The Backup and Restore Control Panel applet is used to create, manage, and restore backups using Windows Backup.

Execute control /name Microsoft.BackupAndRestore from the Command Prompt to access Backup and Restore directly.

Backup and Restore replaced Backup and Restore Center beginning in Windows 7, which was itself replaced by both Windows 7 File Recovery, and to a lesser degree File History, beginning in Windows 8.

Backup and Restore is available in Windows 7.

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