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How to access Control Panel personalization settings on Windows 10

The Control Panel is dying a slow death and the Settings app is taking over its job. The transition may never be complete which means that we will see the Control Panel for quite a while. The Settings app is a ridiculously basic, watered down version of the settings that the Control Panel used to have and the Personalization group of settings is a prime example of this. The good news is, if you ever need to, you can still access the Control Panel personlization settings on Windows 10.

Control Panel personalization settings

The personalization settings in the Control Panel are all still there in Windows 10 1809. You can no longer access them from the main Control Panel screen, nor can you access them from the context menu on the desktop. Instead, you need to use the run box. Tap the Win+R keyboard shortcut to open the run box, and enter the following in it;

shell:::{ED834ED6-4B5A-4bfe-8F11-A626DCB6A921} -Microsoft.Personalization\pageWallpaper

Tap enter and you will see the window below. It has every option that the Control Panel had under Personalization back in Windows 7 and 8/8.1.

These settings are perfectly functional. You can set the wallpaper from here and customize other settings related to the desktop background.

If you’re wondering what you’re missing between this window and the Background tab in the Personalization group of Settings, they differences are small e.g., you have far more options if you want to customize the slideshow interval. This isn’t the only setting that’s still around. A lot of the Control Panel settings that can no longer be accessed from the main screen can still be accessed if you know the correct path to them.

Why Microsoft won’t retire these Control Panel settings completely is a mystery. Maybe Windows 10 actually relies on them to some extent. It would explain why so many things break at random. That’s kind of why it’s such a bad idea to migrate these settings. It might have just been a better idea to allow users to keep both apps. Users still miss what the Control Panel had to offer. On top of that, the Settings app is still changing and despite Windows 10 having been out for 3 years now, users are still unaware of many of the settings that it has to offer.

Regardless, it’s hard to imagine any time in the future when the Control Panel will finally be phased out. It’s possible we might just get the next Windows before that happens.

1 Comment

  1. Windows 10 1909:
    Entering this in my search bar fires up Microsoft Edge, not the old Personalization/Wallpaper screen.
    Was this trick disabled in subsequent Windows 10 updates from when you published this?

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