Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.

Windows 7: Control Panel View - Category or Icons

14 Nov 2011   #20

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

You're most welcome rwmol. I'm happy to hear that you like it. :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2013   #21

Win 7 Pro 64 bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ivan05 View Post
Thanks for this tip, it was driving me nuts everytime I opened Control Panel it would open in the Category View.

FYI - If you create a desktop shortcut to Control Panel when it is in Category View and then change it to All Items by any method the shortcut will still open in Category View. You have to delete the shortcut and create a new one to have it open correctly.


I am running Win 7 Pro, version 6.1, Service Pack 1, Build 7601:

Here is what finally worked for me, to change Control Panel to small icons.
1. I deleted my Control Panel desktop icon (thanks very much Ivan05:) )

2. I then Expanded Control Panel in Start Menu (thanks to
a. Right-click an empty area of the taskbar and choose "Properties".
b. The "Taskbar and Start Menu Properties" multi-tabbed dialog box appears. Click the "Start Menu" tab.
c. Click customize button, The "Customize Start Menu" dialog box appears. Underneath "Control Panel" click the "Display as a menu" radio button.
d. Click "OK" on the dialog boxes to close them.
3. Now when you hit Start you will see the Control Panel with a little arrow to the right, so if you hover it will show all items.
4. Now just right click the Control Panel line, and choose "Show On Desktop". Open the desktop icon and you will see the small icons view.

Thanks everyone for all your help. I can finally sleep at night
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2014   #22

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Options 1 & 2 don't apply to my Windows 7 Home Edition. Control panel always reverts to "category" view for me... and no C:\Windows\System32\gpedit.msc. Given this, I am NOT going to try the registry script!
But deleting the desktop icon was the key, it did save the last set view once I deleted it. I have the menu view on by Start menu, but generally prefer to grab that shortcut.

So delete the shortcut, open the control panel via the start menu, set to view (small icons or whatever), and close. Go back and create a new shortcut and that should open with the view you wnat.

So thank you! Ivan05 & njb52!!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2014   #23

64-bit Windows 10 Pro

Hello sstowell,

If that's what you want, then you'll need to use OPTION THREE or OPTION FOUR to do so.

While W7 Home Premium doesn't have Group Policy included in it, you can still set the same policies, but must use the registry instead though. That's why I included the .reg file in OPTION THREE to make it easier and available to do in all editions of Windows 7. :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Control Panel View - Category or Icons

Thread Tools

Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Control Panel Icons View Shortcut - Create
How to Create a Control Panel Shortcut that Always Opens to Icons View in Windows 7 and Windows 8 This will show you how to create a Control Panel shortcut that will always open to either Large icons or Small icons view in Windows 7 and Windows 8. The Control Panel Icons View shortcut below...
How to change icons when seing control panel in Category View?
How can i change the icons when seing control panel in Category View !! These icons !! Please help !! Thanks !!
Control Panel Category View Shortcut - Create
How to Create a Control Panel Shortcut that Always Opens to Category View in Windows 7 and Windows 8 This will show you how to create a Control Panel shortcut that will always open in Category view in Windows 7 and Windows 8. EXAMPLE: Control Panel Category View To Download the...
Control Panel View
Hi, CP is an example, but same request on all screens with lists... in Win7, the default view in CP is "Icon with sub-list"... I much prefer the old view of a complete list with details of all options, files, docs, etc... the old view also offered the ability to sort by field column headings,...
General Discussion
Control Panel View
Hi Brink. I was looking through your beautiful picture gallery of tutorials and noticed an omission on this item. I am sure many users wish to keep their selected view. Your tip only allows the view for that session only, or at least on my computer. Fwiw, that "Other site" states that next time...
General Discussion

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 00:25.
Twitter Facebook