Control Panel Items New to Windows 7

The Windows 7 Control Panel (CP) is a very busy place, since that is where you will need to go to make changes to Windows itself, as well as manage any attached hardware devices, installed software and so on.

This post will show you how to display all the CP icons in one window as well as list the items new to Windows 7.

Microsoft has, in a sense, hidden (or grouped together) many of the functions under broad categories, requiring some drilling down to see what lies buried in each category.If you prefer to see all your CP icons at once, just switch Category view to either large or small icon view:

Go to the Start button and click Control Panel on the right side of the Start menu. You will likely see something similar to what I have:

Here is the small icon view:

There are many new CP applications added to Windows 7.Some, depending on how you use Windows 7 may not be of immediate use to you, others you can use right away, such as Gadgets, Display and such. The Troubleshooting tool is especially handy if and when you may need it.

Here are the new CP items in Windows 7, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Action Center—Displays a list of your computer’s current security issues
    and hardware and software problems.
  • Component Services—Displays the Component Services window, which you
    can use to investigate Component Object
  • Biometric Devices—Enables you to configure biometric tools such as a
    fingerprint reader.
  • Credential Manager—This new tool enables you to store and work with
    usernames and passwords for servers, websites, network shares, and other secure resources.
  • Desktop Gadgets—Enables you to add and remove gadgets to and from the
    Windows 7 desktop. No sidebar like Vista had!
  • Devices and Printers—Displays a list of the major devices connected to
    your computer. This is the same as selecting Start, Devices and Printers.
  • Display—Enables you to change the size of the screen text and perform
    other display-related tasks.
  • Getting Started—Displays general information about your computer and
    icons to common Windows 7 tasks. Known as Welcome Center in Vista.
  • HomeGroup—Enables you to join a home group, which is Windows 7’s
    new user account-free networking technology.
  • Location and Other Sensors—Displays a list of the sensors attached to
    your computer. You use sensors to detect your current location (for GPS-enabled
  • Notification Area Icons—Gives you access to notification area customization
  • Recovery—Enables you to recover your system by restoring it to an earlier
    working configuration.
  • RemoteApp and Desktop Connections—Enables you to create a work with
    remote programs and desktops.
  • Troubleshooting—Displays a collection of tasks related to troubleshooting
    various aspects of your system.

Of interest, the following Vista icons are gone from the Windows 7 version
of Control Panel: Add Hardware, Bluetooth Devices, Game Controllers, Infrared,
iSCSI Initiator, Offline Files, People Near Me (although see Table 8.1, later), Printers
(replaced by Devices and Printers), Problem Reports and Solutions (replaced by Action
Center), Text to Speech, Scanners and Cameras, Security Center (replaced by Action
Center), Welcome Center (replaced by Getting Started), Windows Sidebar (replaced by
Desktop Gadgets) and Windows SideShow.