The Windows 7 Control Panel has a number of system setting and customization options. This article includes an overview of the main Control Panel categories and options, and some tips for searching the Control Panel and expanding shortcuts.
The Windows 7 Control Panel has a variety of options for adjusting Windows 7 system settings and customizing windows. To open the Control Panel first select the start menu, and then the Control Panel option on the right side of the start menu. There are alternative routes, such as by right-clicking on the desktop there is a shortcut to personalization options. Once the Control Panel is open you can then select from a variety of options under the following categories.
System and Security
The first category of options is the system and security options. This is where the vast majority of the Windows 7 system options are included. As such, system and security includes options for the windows firewall, windows update, battery options for laptops, back-up and restore, and admin tools. A new Windows 7 addition is that of the Action Center, which provides a central location for maintenance and security options. The Action Center can detect a variety of issues which can then be reviewed. Also among the more notable options is the Windows 7 index which is a limited benchmarking tool that will provide a base score for your PC, and also provide other system details.
The network category provides the relevant options for WANs (wide area networks) and LANs (local area networks). Here Internet options provide a variety of net and Internet Explorer customization options. You can also add new network connections with the network and sharing center.
Hardware and sound
Here you can select from a variety of hardware and audio options. Devices and printers provide options for adding hardware peripherals. You can adjust the Windows 7 audio with the sound options that are provided, and by selecting system sounds you can change the windows audio scheme. Display settings can also be adjusted, including the Windows screen resolution.
The primary option under programs is the uninstall option. When this option is selected the installed software is displayed as a list, and you can select which software to remove from Windows 7. In addition to this, programs also includes the desktop gadgets option where you can add a variety of desktop gadgets to the Windows 7 desktop.
User Accounts includes a number of options to manage user accounts. Here you can adjust your user account with options for changing passwords, changing the account picture, and account type. You can also add new Windows 7 user accounts if required.
Select personalization for a variety of Windows 7 desktop customization options. Here you can change the Windows 7 theme, desktop wallpaper, and screen saver. Overall, Windows 7 has a variety of themes either for Windows Aero or basic & high contrast themes. By selecting windows color the Windows Aero transparency can also be adjusted. Among the new Windows 7 desktop wallpaper options there is the desktop slide-show option which when selected will display a variety of desktop wallpaper. In addition to this, there are also shortcuts to audio options such as the windows audio scheme.
Clock, Language and Region
Here you can adjust the regional settings of Windows 7. This includes options for languages and time zones. You can also adjust the date, time, or number formats here.
Search the Control Panel
The Control Panel search box at the top right of the control panel provides a quicker way to search the Control Panel. Here you can input the relevant control panel option that you are searching for, and then the control panel will display matching options. For example, if you were searching for the Action Center then this can be input into the search box and a shortcut to the Action Center will be provided. Alternatively, you can input this into search box at the bottom of the start menu which will also find the Action Center and other Control Panel options in much the same way.
Adding Desktop Shortcuts
As a tip, it’s also worth noting that you can also drag short-cuts from the Control Panel and add them to your desktop short-cuts. Drag them out of the Control Panel window onto the desktop, and let go to include them among your desktop’s shortcuts. As such, further Control Panel shortcuts can be established in this way.
These are the main options that the Windows 7 Control Panel provides for customizing Windows 7 and adjusting system settings. Under these categories you can adjust a variety of Windows 7 settings & customize Windows 7 to better suit your own preferences.