Control Panel View - Category or Icons

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  1. Posts : 71,709
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter

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

  2. Posts : 1
    Win 7 Pro 64 bit

    Ivan05 said:
    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
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  3. Posts : 23
    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!!!
    Last edited by sstowell; 04 Jan 2014 at 18:20. Reason: Read the follow up posts & found a solution after all.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 71,709
    64-bit Windows 11 Pro for Workstations
    Thread Starter

    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 Computer

  5. Posts : 1
    Windows 7 Ultimate x32

    Control Panel View

    A very late comment. Go to Start then Settings and hover above "Control Panel".
    Right click on that and select "Create Shortcut" which will be on the Desktop.
    Double-click on that and it will open CP at Small Icons.
    Last edited by PeterCCC; 24 Apr 2022 at 01:35. Reason: Paragraphing
      My Computer

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