The 'Control Panel' contains most of the maintenance, upgrade, and configuration tools which are contained in programs called applets .
You can get to the 'Control Panel' by clicking 'Start', and typing 'Control Panel'
into the search box, and pressing 'Enter' on the keyboard.
Alternatively, you can click 'Start', and select 'Control Panel'.
You can view the 'Control Panel' by 'Category', 'Large icons', and 'Small icons'. Selecting 'Large icons' gives you the classic icon-littered view and 'Small icons' is the same but with smaller icons. 'Category' groups fewer icons into broader categories.
There are a lot of 'Control Panel' applets, and far too many to cover here. Most are self-explanatory but i will list a few of the more interesting ones below:
This applet lets you choose which programs are opened when Windows opens a certain type of file.
If you click on 'Associate a file type or protocol with a program' then you can look for a file extension and see which program is associated with it. For instance, if you look at the file extension '.mp3' then on this computer is is associated with 'Windows Media Player which will run this type of music file. You have the option to change this program (Windows Media Player) to another program.
This lists the hardware along with the Device Drivers on your computer. More details here
Devices and Printers:
This is where you can view, and set up your Printers. More details here
From here you can set up your Display properties:- Display Resolution, Colour Calibration, Desktop Backgrounds and Themes etc.
Performance Information and Tools:
This is where you will find the 'Windows Experience Index' which rates the performance of your computer by looking at the processor, memory, graphics, and primary hard disk, giving you an overall score from 1.0 to 7.9. A high score means that your computer has a very good overall performance. You can also see which of your main components performs the best and which is the weakest and would benefit from being upgraded.
You can choose if the Monitor should turn off and/or your computer go into sleep mode after a certain length of time that your computer is inactive. A power plan can also be created such as 'Balanced', 'Power Saver', 'High Performance', or you can create a custom plan.
Program and Features:
This lists all of your installed software and by right-clicking on a program you can uninstall it or repair the software. If you want to uninstall a program on your computer and the program doesn't have an uninstall feature then you can uninstall it from 'Program and Features' in the 'Control Panel'.
Region and Language:
This is where you set the Keyboard layout and your default language.
This program provides protection against spyware which is regularly updated to enable detection of the latest harmful or unwanted software and preventing it from running on your computer.
Windows Firewall helps to prevent hackers or malicious software from gaining access to your computer via the internet or a network.
Windows Updates can be frequently downloaded to your computer and are designed to keep your software up-to-date by fixing problems, keeping them secure, and improving how your computer works. There are 3 types of updates:
- Offers significant benefits for security and reliability and should be installed immediately.
- These are updates for non-critical problems but can offer meaningful improvements.
- These are usually improved Microsoft Drivers and software to enhance your computer experience.
You can set Windows Update to automatically check and download the latest updates by clicking 'Change Settings'
and selecting 'Install updates automatically'
. You also have the option to automatically check for updates but to ask for confirmation to download and/or install the updates. You also have the option to never check for updates although it is recommended that you install the important updates at the very least.
You can also manually 'Check for updates'
and it will list all the important and optional updates allowing you to select which ones to download and install.