Restore the Control Panel link to the Win+X menu in Windows 10

By: Ivan Jenic
3 minute read

Microsoft silently, without any announcement, removed a few links from Windows 10‘s Win+X menu in the latest Windows 10 Preview builds. More precisely, the Control Panel shortcut was removed from the menu, which left some users wondering what happened.

Well, people assume that the reason for this is because Microsoft wants users to focus on the Settings app more, and slowly banish the traditional Control Panel. While the biggest job in Windows 10 is indeed done in the Settings app, we still need the Control Panel for some actions.

The easiest way to access the Control Panel in Windows 10 is to simply enter ‘control panel’ in the Search, and open it from there. However, some users don’t want to type in the Search box every time they need to do something in the Control Panel.

Luckily, there are other, easier ways to access, and even bring the Control Panel shortcut back to the Win+X menu in Windows 10. So, if you want to do it, try some of the methods listed below.

How to access the Control Panel in Windows 10

Method 1 – Pin it to the Start Menu

The easiest way to access the Control Panel in Windows 10 is to pin in to the Start Menu, as a Live Tile. Once you do that, a minimal effort will be required to access it. If you don’t know how to pin the Control Panel icon (and any other icon) to the Start, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to Search, and type control panel
  2. Now, just right-click on the Control Panel icon, and choose Pin to Startpin control panel start menu

Now, your Control Panel shortcut will be placed in the Start Menu, along with other Live Tiles, and you’ll be able to easily access it. However, this method won’t bring the shortcut back to the Win+X menu, so if you specifically want to access the Control Panel from there, try some of the methods below.

Method 2 – Use Win + X Menu Editor

Bringing the Control Panel shortcut back involves using a third-party program. The simplest possible tool you can use for this purpose is the Win+X Menu Editor. This tool allows you to add or remove any feature from the Win+X Menu, including the Control Panel.

Win+X Menu Editor was created by WinAero originally for Windows 8, but it has been updated to work with Windows 10, and you can normally use it.

To get the Control Panel shortcut back to the menu, do the following:

  1. Download the tool from this link.
  2. Launch Win+X Menu Editor (it has both x32 and x64 versions).
  3. Select the group you want to add the Control Panel link to (by left-clicking on it).
  4. Select “Add a program” > “Add a Control Panel item” > Control Panel.
  5. This adds a Control Panel link to the selected group.

win+xmenu editor

Using Win+X Menu Editor is the easier way to bring the Control Panel shortcut back in the menu. However, if you’d like to do it the more complicated way, check out the method below.

Method 3 – Do it manually

As ghacks writes, you can bring it back manually, but it requires quite a lot of work. First thing first, you’ll need to download the old shortcut file and replace the new one with it, and then change a few system settings to display hidden files. Here’s exactly what you need to do

  1. Download the old shortcut from this site (the site is in German).
  2. Open %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Windows\WinX\Group2 in File Explorer.
  3. Back up all entries listed in the folder.
  4. Copy the downloaded Control Panel link to the Group2 folder. It will replace the current link.
  5. Restart Explorer. You can do so by opening the Task Manager, and ending the File Explorer process.

There you go, after performing one of these three actions, you’ll be able to quickly access the Control Panel from the Start Menu/Win+X Menu. If you have any comments, or questions, just let us know in the comments. You can also tell us your opinion about the removal of the Control Panel shortcut from the Win+X menu.

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