February 23, 2009, 3:29 PM — Here's the old way of accessing the Windows Control Panel: Click Start, find and click Control Panel, wait for the window to appear, then sift through all the icons to find the icon you want. Double-click that icon to open yet another window.
Here's a faster way: Click Start, Control Panel, and then choose the option you want from the fly-out menu that appears.
Much more convenient, no? Here's how to tweak your Vista Start Menu to include a "built-in" Control Panel:
1. Right-click the Start button, and then click Properties.
2. In the Start Menu tab, click the Customize button.
3. In the Control Panel section, enable Display as a menu.
4. Click OK twice to exit.
Now, when you venture into Start, you'll see that the Control Panel button has an arrow attached. Click it and presto: All your Control Panel options are right there for fast and easy access.
If you're an XP user, the process is mostly the same. After clicking Customize in Step 2, switch to the Advanced tab, then proceed to Step 3.