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Change Your Windows 7 Control Panel to Classic View

Susanne from Sydney Australia writes:

I would like to turn my control panel to classic view in windows 7 64 bit. How do I do this?

It’s not uncommon for someone to miss the classic view of the control panel… the new look has everything sorted into a few categories so that what you’re after may take a couple of layers to find.

For example, let’s assume that I’m looking for the power settings on my laptop. When I open the Control Panel I initially see this:


With no direct reference to power settings, so it’s time to guess. It’s under System and Security but if you tried any other category you’d have to go back to the main screen and try again.


As you can see, once you are in the System and Security category it’s obvious, but if you miss the old days where the icon for Power Settings was front and center then this probably isn’t working for you.

Fortunately, there’s a quick way to remedy the situation right from your Control Panel window.

Take a look in the upper right hand corner of the window.


See it?

It says “View by: Category“. 

If you look closely you’ll see that the word Category actually has a down arrow next to it. Click it.

You’ll find two choices, large icons or small icons.

Choose one.


Either way you’ll now have a Control Panel containing all the icons for all the items – pretty much just the way you fondly remember the Control Panel of days gone by.

~ April