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If one opens Windows Explorer and then enters "Control Panel" in the location bar, then the Windows Control Panel will start. Similarly, the location string "Control Panel\NVIDIA Control Panel" starts the NVIDIA Control Panel.

Is there a way to access this from the command line? The following does not work:

explorer "Control Panel\NVIDIA Control Panel"
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Just run control.

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I think this might be what I'm looking for -- "control nvidia.cpl", but unfortunately, I'm no longer using the Windows machine to verify that this works. Sorry! – gatoatigrado Aug 27 '10 at 23:38

This is easier than you can think, you just need to know the correct name of the control panel application.

The control panel applications are typically files with a .CPL extension in the Windows directory.

There are far too many of them, and they can vary depending on what is installed.

Wikipedia has a nice list of the official Windows ones and many of the bigger third part applcations.

In order to find them all, you can go to the command prompt and make sure to be in the root of the system drive and type

dir *.cpl /s

This will list all the control panel files on your machine.

So to run the Nvidia control panel, according to the Wikipedia link, you would type nvidia.cpl as long as the location of the file is pathed. (I cannot test this as I only have ATI cards here at the moment)

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Nice one! I tried it by going to the root drive in the Windows 7 explorer and typing *.cpl in the search box. – dbasnett Aug 21 '10 at 18:24
You can skip typing the ".cpl" part by using: setx pathext "%pathext%;.CPL" (Add /M to the end to make the setting apply to all users of the machine. Use "echo %pathext%" to view its value.) – BillP3rd Aug 21 '10 at 18:46
doesn't work with the nvidia cpl, unfortunately! – gatoatigrado Aug 27 '10 at 23:35

Control Panel items typically have a registered applet name associated with them. You will have to consult the documentation for the third party items or do a search for them.

Here you can find a list of the more common control panel applet shortcuts. For NVIDIA it lists nvidia.cpl to access the nvidia control panel, which I can confirm is working on my Windows 7 system. In at least some systems it is nvcpl.cpl. Another handy one to run from the command line is sysdm.cpl which brings up the system properties.

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If you open up Task Manager and view the processes before running nVidia's control panel you will see the process:


is the "real" nVidia control panel. It can be found in:

"C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\Control Panel Client\nvcplui.exe"
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