About Windows Control Panel Functions

The Windows Control Panel is the function of the operating system that allows the viewing and the changing of windows settings. As a rule, a lot of the functions in each of the windows releases are loaded as default.

The control panel enables the customization of the features to make it more user-friendly.  Most of the time, the use of the control panel is to configure the system better to meet the needs of a particular user. 

Once the Windows control panel is opened out, it would display a large number of options to pick out. Each of these functions is unique to itself, and Microsoft has grouped certain related functions under the same icon.  This enables the uncluttering of the interface as well as make things easier to remember.

It must be pointed out that the control panel is something that has been changing with every significant release of the Windows operating system

Components of the Windows Control Panel

It must be said that there are some standard features to the control panel right through the various versions of the operating system. The control panel consists of applets that go on to control the different devices and functions of the computer.  They have been discussed in brief below.

Hardware Configuration

A computer is not just software alone but the associated hardware too. It is at the control panel that the hardware is tuned to work to the most optimum condition.  Often it could be possible to have conflicts of functions between two or more hardware components, and this is best resolved by making each component compatible with each other at the Hardware Applets.

Some of the hardware applets like the printer configuration needs external files to work and usually is provided by the vendor that supplies the printer. One of the progressions made with the Windows version 8 onwards is the reduced dependence on external drives to run peripherals like the printer and the likes. The system takes on a plug and play effect.

Software Configuration

The prime purpose of the computer is to run applications on them and perform computing activities.  Often when new software is added to a system, it might be necessary to remove the older version of the software installed on the machine. This is where the software configuration applet comes into play. It is possible to modify and even remove the particular software from the system. 

Specific software does not need extra handling to have the older versions of the application to be removed from the system. Even then, software that needs a manual intervention may occur from time to time. The Software configuration module also keeps track of the various applications that have been installed in the computer and can be made to display the same in chronological order or the type of files that they happen to be. 

User Accounts

Present-day computers are meant to be multi-user machines. Often in a household, there might be just a single computer to be shared by the different members of the group.

This is where the User Accounts come to be handy. It is possible to assign each user a user name and password so that the privacy of data and use is maintained.  Even with single-user computers, it is at the User Accounts that the password and items that define the user are set into the system. 

Accessibility Options

To have an all-inclusive society, there is now a greater sense of the need to integrate the less fortunate members into the mainstream activities. Computers are no longer exclusive instruments but rather everyday necessities.  In keeping with this view, the accessibility options are used to help out people with disabilities to operate the computer with relative ease.

These are aids to help the hearing impaired, the visual disabled, etc. access the computer.

Network Settings

This feature comes into picture when the computer has to be networked among themselves.  Presently, each computer is networked in some manner or other with other computers or the peripherals. It is these setting of the applet that allows the smooth synchronization of the system to enable smooth and free functioning.

Final Thoughts:
Discussed in brief are the heavy weight components of the Windows Control Panel.  It must be noted that the control panel has been in existence from the first release of the Windows operating system that is Windows 1.0 and carries on in the latest version of the Windows 10 as well. It amply demonstrates the critical nature of the panel in keeping the system functional.

Paul has more than 10 years of experience within the digital realm. He loves to talk about his ‘HOT’ girlfriend and when it comes to geeky boring topics, and nerdy technical issues he’s a magic man. Paul also enjoys reading and solving complex puzzles. "Give to the world the best you have and the best will come back to you" -Edward W. Bok 1929