What is .CPL and How to Leverage To Create Control Panel Shortcuts


Every now and then I came across instructions, how-to articles with steps containing .cpl ending actions. If you do too and are wondering what it is, wonder no more. This post is going to show you what this .cpl is and how it works.

CPL are control panel extensions that can be executed to launch a specific settings on your computer. You can give it a try right now from your start menu type appwiz.cpl which will launch Add or Remove Programs properties directly without going through the control panel.

You might heard of the Windows 7 Hacker Mode (aka Windows 7 God Mode). That’s essentially just a trick to make all the settings available in one window. CPL extensions are similar but very different with the Hacker Mode.

List of Useful .cpl extensions for Create Shortcuts

Here is a list of the most common .cpl extensions you can use. /via Microsoft/

Pretty cool right? I thought that’s genius to including such function, which saves tons of time when you are on the phone remotely navigating your computer, or troubleshooting a computer issue. This will save all the time looking for a specific setting on your computer.

Here is an Example of using .cpl extension to Create Shortcuts

Right click any empty area, you will have an option to create Shortcut. Type one of the .cpl extension from above (ex. appwiz.cpl)


Give it a descriptive name.


Try it out!



By double-clicking the shortcut, it launches the add or remove programs from Control Panel, which is going to save you at least a couple of clicking steps to get to the right place. It’s also precise and accurate. You don’t need to rely on the search result from Windows start menu because it always returns the correct item you might looking for.



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