PC Settings, introduced first with Windows 8, has been rebranded as Settings in Windows 10. Microsoft has completely overhauled the Settings app to make it easier to use and include new settings.
While the classic Control Panel is still part of Windows 10 and we need to navigate to the Control Panel to access some settings, most of the Settings can be found under the Settings app. In fact, many of the newly added settings and options are available only in the Settings app.
Settings to personalize the Start menu or screen, lock screen, and many other options are available in the Settings app only. Additionally, the Settings app allows you to pin your favorite settings or settings that you need to access very often to the Start menu or screen.
The design language of the Settings app goes very well with the overall design of Windows 10. All settings and options have been placed into nine different categories: System, Devices, Network and Internet, Personalization, Accounts, Time and Language, Ease of Access, Privacy and Update, and security. Navigate to the category to view sub-categories.
In fact, in many ways, the Settings app is much easier to use and navigate than the classic Control Panel.
Although the Settings app icon is pinned to the left of the Start menu or screen by default for quick access, the following are some of the lesser-known ways to open the Settings app in Windows 10.
NOTE: If the Settings app fails to open or closes automatically soon after launching it, refer to our fix to Settings app not opening in Windows 10 guide.
Tip: If you are on Windows 11, refer to our 11 ways to open Settings in Windows 11.
Method 1 of 8
Open Settings with a keyboard shortcut
This is the easiest way to launch the Settings app in Windows 10.
Step 1: Simultaneously press the Windows logo and I keys (Windows + I) to quickly open Settings in Windows 10.
Method 2 of 8
Open Settings from Win + X menu
Step 1: Perform a right-click on the Start button on the taskbar and then click Settings to open the same.
Method 3 of 8
Open Windows 10 settings from Start
Step 1: Reveal the Start menu or screen by pressing the Windows logo key or clicking (tap if you’re on a touch device) the Start button on the extreme left of the taskbar.
Step 2: On the left side of the Start, simply click or tap the Settings or gear icon to launch the same.
Method 4 of 8
Launch Settings app from the search
Step 1: Open Start menu or screen.
Step 2: In the search box, type Settings and then press Enter key.
Method 5 of 8
Quickly open personalization section of Settings
Step 1: Right-click on the desktop to open the desktop context menu.
Step 2: Click or tap Personalize option to open the personalization section of Settings.
Method 6 of 8
Open Settings app from the Action Center
Step 1: Click on the Action Center icon in the taskbar and then click All Settings tile to open Settings.
Method 7 of 8
Pin Settings app to the taskbar for quick access
Step 1: Launch the Start menu or screen by either clicking the Start (Windows icon) button on the taskbar or pressing the Windows logo key on the keyboard.
Step 2: Right-click on the Settings icon in the Start menu/screen, and then click Pin to taskbar option. That’s it!
Method 8 of 8
Add Settings to the desktop
If you would like to have the Settings app shortcut on the desktop as well, there is a way to get it on the desktop. Refer to our add Settings app to Windows 10 desktop guide for directions.
If you have issues with opening Settings, refer to our Settings not opening in Windows 10 guide.