Change Control Panel View by Settings in Windows 7 | 8

Windows 8 – like Windows 7 – allows you to open the Control Panel, with 3 different views. You can make it open in the default view, which is Category-wise. Many find this very useful as one can find the settings by looking for what you want to do. However, you can even make the control panel applets appear in a All Items List view. The List can further be displayed using Large icons or Small icons. All this can be easily changed using the View by settings’ drop-down menu and selecting the one you want.

However, if you find that this view setting does not always stick, and changes every time you open the control panel or restart the computer, you might want to look at tweaking the Windows registry. Do remember to create a system restore point first however.

Now you will have to open the Registry. In this example, let us say you want to set to display All Items View.

1. Press Windows Key + R combination on keyboard and type Regedt32.exe in Run dialog box. Press OK.

2. Navigate here:


3. In the right pane, you’ll see two DWORDs named as AllItemsIconView and StartupPage. Both having 1 as default value.

4. Let us take the first DWORD viz. AllItemsIconView, this will allow us to get large icons whenever we open Control Panel rather than displaying small icons. So double click on this DWORD and change the value to 0.

5. Now modify the second DWORD i.e. StartupPage. This DWORD manages the start up options means it is responsible to open Control Panel with small icons rather than categorizing them. So to get categorized way, double click on it and set its value to 0.

6. When you set both the value for 0, then they became default for OS. Now close the Registry Editor and press Windows Key + Q. Type control panel in search box and click on result to get Control Panel open in the way we just want.

Make sure that the Control Panel is closed when you’re making these modification to the Windows Registry.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
An Electrical Engineer by profession, Kapil is a Microsoft MVP and a Microsoft Content Creator. Please read the entire post & the comments first & create a system restore point before making any changes to your system.


  1. Vishank Parikh

    mine is coming the modified one…as the default

  2. Rol

    Personally, I’ve changed the Control Panel setting in the Customize Start Menu preference widow to “Display as a menu”, so that I can easily find the control panel applet I want in the Start menu -> Control Panel menu. If I prefer the standard “Category” view, I just have to right-click the Control Panel button of the Start menu and select Open. That works very nicely with Win 7. Not sure for Win 8, since it doesn’t have a Start menu by default.

    To configure the Control Panel button of the Start menu as a menu, right-click the orb of the taskbar, select Properties, then, in the Start Menu tab, click Customize.

  3. TeXaCo_sr

    Once you change it to list, is there any way to sort them in alphabetical vertical order? rather than Across?

  4. svsnead

    Did not work for me. I goes back to Category view.

  5. Fred

    In Windows 8, after closing the Registry Editor, you must FULLY shut down the PC in order for the changes to be made permanent.
    Select Settings > Power icon > Hold down Shift key and click on Shut Down.

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