Quick Tips!

Shortcuts - Windows Control Panel Applets

I like to use shortcuts whenever possible, sometimes the mouse can be the better tool and sometimes the keyboard can be faster. Often times, if you are already typing, its pretty tedious to pick up the mouse and click on Start -> Control Panel and then the applet. Or if your mouse is not working correctly, it would be nice to have an alternative way to get to these applications faster. I have seen a colleague use control panel applets directly in the past, he did this by typing an applet name along with the cpl extension. An example is appwiz.cpl, which brings up the Add or Remove Programs applet.

Below is a list of the most common applets that I find on my computer, and you'll probably find on yours. To run these applets, just open a run dialog box in one two ways in Windows XP

  1. Windows Key + R (hold the windows key, which is between your Alt and Ctrl keys, then press R)
  2. Using a mouse, click Start -> Run
Now you can type one of the below to open up the applet directly. You may not find this helpful right away, just like me. But when the need arises, it definitely beats looking through the list of applets in Control Panel.
  • access.cpl - Accessibility Options
  • appwiz.cpl - Add or Remove Programs
  • bthprops.cpl - Bluetooth
  • desk.cpl - Display Properties (same as right clicking on desktop and choosing properties)
  • firewall.cpl - Windows Firewall
  • hdwwiz.cpl - Add Hardware wizard
  • inetcpl.cpl - Internet Properties (same as IE -> Tools -> Internet options)
  • intl.cpl - Regional and Language Options
  • javacpl.cpl - Java Control Panel
  • joy.cpl - Game Controllers
  • main.cpl - mouse Properties
  • mmsys.cpl - Sounds and Audio Devices Properties
  • netsetup.cpl - Wireless Network Setup Wizard
  • nusrmgr.cpl - Windows User Manager
  • powercfg.cpl - Power Options Properties
  • sysdm.cpl - System Properties (same as Right Click on My Computer -> Properties)
  • telephon.cpl - Phone and Modem Options
  • timedate.cpl - Date and Time Properties (same as double clicking on the clock in your tray)
  • wscui.cpl - Windows Security Center
  • wuaucpl.cpl - Automatic Updates Control Panel
The ones I find most useful are appwiz.cpl, desk.cpl and sysdm.cpl. Its probably because I use these most often in my day to day. Do you find keyboard shortcuts more convenient than using the mouse? What are your favorite keyboard shortcuts? Please share your ideas in the comments.


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