Adjusting Your Settings

Learn how to adjust your Windows settings using this free lesson, which offers step-by-step instructions.

Adjusting your settings

At some point, you may want to adjust your computer's settings. For example, you might want to change your desktop background or modify your Internet settings. You can change these settings and more from the Control Panel.

However, in Windows 10, the Control Panel has mostly been replaced by the Settings app. The Control Panel is still available, but most of the tasks and settings are now also located in the Settings app.

To open the Settings app (Windows 10):

Click the Start button, then select the gear icon.

To open the Control Panel (Windows 10):

Right-click the Start button, then select Control Panel.

To open the Control Panel (Windows 8):

In Windows 8, you can open the Control Panel directly from the Start screen. Using your keyboard, type Control Panel and press the Enter key.

Screenshot of Windows 8

To open the Control Panel (Windows 7 and earlier):

  1. Click the Start button, then select Control Panel.
    screenshot of Windows 7
  2. The Control Panel will appear. Simply click a setting to adjust it. In this example, we'll click Change desktop background to choose a new wallpaper for our desktop.
    Screenshot of Windows 8

Adjusting application settings

You'll also be able to change the settings for different applications on your computer. You will usually find application settings under File > Options, Tools > Options, or within a separate Settings menu. Keep in mind that the location will vary, and some applications may not have any settings you can change.