Once the Control Panel app was the heart of Windows OS allowed you to customize the appearance and its functions. Though Control Panel still exits, Microsoft moved most of its options to Windows Settings app in Windows 10. Subsequently in Windows 11, Settings app was completely redesigned with a new look and easy user interface. So, at this point opening Settings app in Windows 11 is the first thing you may need to do for changing any system settings. At least, you need to open this app frequently for using other features like accessibility or uninstalling apps.
Windows 11 Settings App
Below picture shows the default appearance of Settings app in Windows 11. As you can see, the app has sidebar navigation to quickly go to the required sections. You can also use the search box to find the settings easily.
There are at least 10 different ways you can open the Settings app in Windows 11. Though some methods are lengthier and not making sense for you, it depends on the individual. For example, some users prefer to do everything from command line (Terminal) instead of moving through different screens. So, choose one or two methods that you like to open the app.
1. Keyboard Shortcut to Open Settings App
This is the simplest option and I love to use all times.
Press Windows Logo and I keys to open Settings app in Windows 11.
Though this method works on all Windows based machines, you may need to use different shortcut keys when running Windows 11 on other OS platforms. For example, “Command + I” may open the app when you run Windows 11 on macOS with virtual machine setup. Apps like Parallels Desktop for Mac make this kind of tasks easier allowing you to map Windows equivalent shortcuts using Mac keyboard.
2. Open Settings from Power User Menu
Next method is to select Settings from the power user menu in Windows 11. You can open the menu in one of the following ways:
- Right-click on the Start icon in your taskbar and select “Settings” from the big list of menu items appears.
- Press Windows Logo and X keys to open the menu.
3. Open Settings App from Start Menu
Click the Start icon in taskbar and you will find the Settings app under “Pinned” items. By default, Settings app is pinned to Start menu in Windows 11 unless you removed the pinned app. You can right-click on the app and move its position or pin to taskbar for quicker access.
If you do not find Settings in pinned apps list, click “All apps” button. Scroll down and go to S section to find the Settings app.
4. Search and Open Settings App in Windows 11
Click the Start icon and type “settings” the search box. Alternatively, you can use the Search icon/box in the taskbar for searching. Click the Settings app showing under the “Best match” section to open the app.
Note: Select “App settings” option showing in the right-pane to go the settings section of the Settings app. From where you can repair and reset to fix any problems you face with Settings app.
5. Use Cortana Search to Open Settings App
Cortana is one of the confusions in Windows OS messing with default Windows Search functions. Though Microsoft removed Cortana from the visible interface of Windows 11, the app still comes with OS and available for use. Open Cortana app from the Start menu list and login with your Microsoft account. Type or use voice input as “open settings” and Cortana will instantly open Settings app in a new window. You can also find a link to Settings app appears in Cortana chat box which you can use any time.
6. Open Settings App from Action Center
Windows 11 has an Action Center with quick access settings which appears when you click on the network/speaker/battery icons. You can find these icons as a single group showing in the system tray of your taskbar. When Action Center appears, click on the gear icon showing at the bottom right corner. This will launch the Settings app showing all the options.
7. Open Settings App from Run Prompt
Press Windows Logo and R keys to open Run dialog box. Type ms-settings: in the box and press “OK” button. This is the command used in Windows 11 to open Settings app form Run.
8. Open Settings App from Windows Terminal
Now that Terminal app is the default command line interface in Windows 11, you can launch Settings app from there also. When you are in Terminal app, type start ms-settings: and press enter to launch Settings app in a new window. This command will work from both Command Prompt and Windows PowerShell interfaces.
9. Open Settings App from Taskbar
By default, the app will show “System” section whenever you launch. However, you can directly go to Taskbar settings in the app by right-clicking on the empty area on your Taskbar and selecting “Taskbar settings” option. This will open the Settings app and directly take you to “Personalization > Taskbar” section where you can customize the Taskbar settings.
10. Open Settings from Desktop
You can also directly go to “Personalization / Display” settings in the app from your desktop.
- For accessing “Personalization” settings, right-click on the empty area on your desktop and select “Personalization” option.
- Similarly, you can right-click on the desktop and select “Display settings” to go to “System > Display” section.
11. Create a Desktop Shortcut for Settings App in Windows 11
Pinned shortcut should be available in Start menu by default and you can pin the app to taskbar if needed. Other than this, you can also create a desktop shortcut if you really like that way.
- For that, right-click on the desktop and select “New > Shortcut” option.
- On the “Create shortcut” dialog, type ms-settings: command and click “Next” button.
- Provide the name for your shortcut and click to “Finish” button to add Settings app shortcut in your desktop.
12. Use Task Manager to Open Settings App
The last method is to use the Task Manager app and open Setting app in Windows 11.
- Right-click on the Taskbar and select “Task Manager” or press “Control + Shift + Escape” keys.
- Click “Run a new task” button and type the same ms-settings: command used in Run and Terminal.
- Press “OK” button to launch the Settings app in a new window.
Keyboard shortcut is the super easy way to open Settings app in Windows 11. However, you can also use the app’s shortcut from Start menu pinned list or pin it to taskbar for quicker access. If you are fond of Task Manager or Command Prompt, keep those methods as your preferred options.