Control Panel is a section in Windows which gives you an interface to change the settings of almost everything which is possible in your version of operating system. Control Panel is coming from the very early versions of Windows operating systems and has also been included in the latest Windows 7. Till Windows XP all the options available in the control panel were there directly available in the main control panel window but since the tools and capabilities are increasing so is the count of options available in control panel is increasing. With Windows Vista Microsoft in order to simplify the options available in control panel, categorised them into groups. For example all the options were network related settings are now under the Network and Internet Category. All the Security related options like firewall and updates etc have been placed under Security. This really has simplified the look of the control panel and has reduced the number of visible icons over there. This new interface or the view of Control Panel is good but it would require your understanding of the icons and there work only then you would be able to open the correct category to find the desired control panel option. For example if you know that Windows Firewall is a security feature then you can directly open the security option and find the firewall option other wise you might keep on searching for firewall option under the other categories. Keeping this in mind Microsoft has kept an option of viewing the control panel in its same old style. This old style is now called as the Classic View and the new Style is called the Category View.

Switching between the two views can be done from the Control Panel itself. Let us see how to switch between the two views in Windows 7. Click on the Start menu and then click on Control Panel. In control Panel on the left hand side you will see two options. 1) Control Panel Home and, 2) Classic View. These are the two links which in clicking will change the view to either one. So if you are in habit of using the Control Panel in same old XP style view then click on Classic View option and it will be done for you and vice versa.

Though it is beyond the limit of this topic but I would like to tell you that Windows Vista has yet another view of control panel and this view is called as the God Mode. If you enable it by following a series of steps then you can find all the settings which you can make in control panel listed in one single folder. These settings are categorised for ease and it is really a new view all together. To enable the God Mode right click on your desktop and create a new folder. Type a name for the folder, put a dot (.) and then paste the entire content given inside the quotes but note the quotes themselves “{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}”. So for example if you have kept the folder’s name as test then the whole string which you have to type in the folder name box should be “test. {ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}”. Try doing this on your Windows 7 machine and it will definitely interest you.