Tips and techniques for using Control Panel are shared for both Windows 7 and Windows 8 users,2817,2483646,00.asp

There are probably life-long Windows users who have never accessed the Control Panel—the interface for taking care of all the of the operating system’s settings. With the Control Panel, you can add or remove software/hardware, administer users’ accounts, take care of you security settings, change how Windows looks and acts, and a lot more. It’s powerful stuff. And scary for non-techies.

Consider this a quick-and-dirty intro to some of the less obvious things you should know about accessing the Control Panel—which is, really, just a virtual folder full of applets in a single location within Windows. It’s been that way since Windows 95, but we’re going to concentrate on the latest versions of Windows, the popular Windows 7, and the “we put up with it until the next one” Windows 8/8.1. We can’t cover everything you can do with Control Panel—that would fill entire books, and even then, not comprehensively. But we can get you started on the basics.  On Windows 7, click Start and Control Panel from the menu. It’s that simple.

There’s one other view—click the “View by” drop-down at the top of control panel and select “Large icons” or “Small icons” to get a long list of all the applets available. This is sometimes called the “Classic View” since that’s how control panels were displayed before Windows 7. This view includes every Control Panel applet that comes with Windows, plus any third-party control panel applets. In this screen you’ll see Quicktime from Apple, Flash from Adobe, and Rapid Storage Technology from Intel, for example.