Adding Older Version Of Control Panel to Windows 8

Windows 8 is Microsoft’s latest version of Windows series. Windows 8 was designed to work with laptops, tablets, desktops, home theater PCs as well as Mobile phones. The OS came with many significant changes, of which the touch based user interface is the most noted one.Microsoft introduced a new start screen which dynamically displays apps as grids using the Metro design.
Control Panel is a common component in all Windows versions, allowing users to configure basic system settings like adding hardware, removing programs, controlling user accounts etc. It is generally observed that users are taking time to get used to new Control Panel in the Metro interface. Users may prefer the older version of Control panel. It is possible to add the older version in Metro start screen. This tutorial provides the steps to add old Control Panel to the Metro Start screen of Windows 8.

Creating a new tile

In order to add the older control panel, you may have to use the new Control panel or switch to Explorer. For that, you have to create a new tile.

  • Step 1: Right click on the Windows 8 desktop
  • Step 2: Select New and click on Shortcut. A Create Shortcut window will now appear asking for the item’s location.
  • Step 3: Type the following for the location – %windir%\explorer.exe shell:::{26EE0668-A00A-44D7-9371-BEB064C98683}
  • Step 4: Click ‘Next’ to continue. The next window will ask you to name the shortcut.
  • Step 5: Type ‘Control Panel’ as the name for the shortcut you are creating
  • Step 6: Now click ‘Finish’ button to create the Control Panel shortcut. The shortcut named Control Panel with a folder icon will now appear in the desktop.
  • Step 7: Make a right click on the Control Panel shortcut
  • Step 8: From the Context menu that appears, select Properties. The properties dialog box will now appear.
  • Step 9: Click on the ‘Change Icon’ button right next to the Open File Location button in the dialog box

    You will see various icons and field saying ‘Look for icons in this file’
  • Step 10: Copy and paste the following in the field, after deleting what’s already in the field
    After copying this, explore the icons to find the Control Panel icon.
  • Step 11: Select the Control Panel icon when you find it and click OK. Now you will notice that the Folder icon of your Control Panel shortcut is changed. It will now have the Control Panel icon.
    The code you pasted for the shortcut in Step 3 is actually the shortcut for the older version of Control Panel. Doing this makes the shortcut a shortcut for the older version of the Control Panel itself. However, this is still just a shortcut. But for ease of use, you may add it to the Start menu.
  • Step 12: Make a right click on the shortcut you created in the desktop
  • Step 13: In the context menu that appears, select Pin to Start. Now it will appear in the Start menu itself.
    Note: If the location address in Step 3 is not copied as it is given, you won’t be able to use the shortcut. It will not point to the Control panel.


The present Control Panel in Windows 8 is actually more user friendly. The interface, however, needs some getting used to. Considering the number of users who use Windows 7, it’s quite tiresome to get used to a new interface. They might find the older control panel easier. With this technique, you will be able to use the old control panel again in Windows 8.

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