How To Replace Settings with Control Panel in Win+X Menu in Windows 10, or Vice Versa

The Win+X Menu is a context menu that pops up when you right-click the Start button or press a quick keyboard shortcut Win + X. It’s a springboard that provides a quick way of performing advanced system functions. Since the most of the commands there are made for the power users, I also called this menu the Power User Menu.

Since Windows 10 Build 14942, Microsoft replaced the Control Panel icon in Win+X Menu with the Settings icon, indicating that the long-lived Control Panel is on its way out, whether you like or not.

win-x-menu-with-settings-option

As we covered before here, the commands listed in the menu are the shortcuts (.lnk) files stored in each group folder located at %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\WinX. The Control Panel icon is stored in Group2 folder, like below:

win-x-menu-group-2-folder

To replace Settings with Control Panel in Win+X menu, you will need to copy the original icon from a computer that runs a version of Windows 10 prior to 14942 and paste it into the following folder:

%LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Windows\WinX\Group2

Then, close File Explorer and restart Windows Explorer process in Task Manager. Or simply do a cycle of logoff and log-back-in.

task-manage-restart-windows-explorer

If you are obsessed with the change and would like to have the Settings icon to replace the Control Panel icon in Win+X menu in an older version of Windows 10, copy the new Settings icon from a computer that runs 14942 and paste into the same location stated above. And again, restart the Windows Explorer or log off and log back in.

Furthermore, if you do a clean install of 14942 using the ISO, there are more icons in the Win+X menu that point to the Settings app, for example,

  • Programs and Features
  • Power Options
  • System
  • Network Connections

If you would like to replace these icons with the original Control Panel items, you may want to use this free portable tool called Win+X Menu Editor which allows you to not only modify the current items in the Win+X menu but add new ones as well.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 10/12/2016

Posted in: Tips & Tricks , Windows 10
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