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I have to frequently view network connections. I used to search for the string ip on Windows 7 (also on 8) to directly go to this.

Is there any way I can pin a Control Panel item to Start?

Currently I access network connections by pressing Win, i, p, down, down, Enter, Enter.

I am looking for anything with lesser steps.

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

First we need to create a short-cut to Network Connections.

  1. Right click on an empty area on the desktop, and click on New and Shortcut.
  2. Copy rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL ncpa.cpl into the location area and click Next.
  3. Name it Network Connections. and click Finish.

That will do it, but you can change the icon to a network icon by the following:

  1. Right click and select properties of the Network Connections shortcut and select Change Icon.
  2. Copy "%SystemRoot%\System32\netshell.dll" for the path to "Look for icons in this file."
  3. Select your icon.


Now you just need to right click and pin your shortcut to Start.

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Thanks. It worked like a charm! :) – Prasanth Oct 31 '12 at 3:18
@Prasanth Or you can just create a Shortcut with control ncpa.cpl. – Ankit Mishra Dec 23 '12 at 10:29

I know this has been already solved but, there is a much easier way to achieve this.
You can create a Shortcut to Network Connections by typing control ncpa.cpl in location field in New Shortcut Creation Wizard and you are done.

Extra Information:
Here is a list of lot of .cpl (Control Panel Items) by Microsoft, these can be used to create shortcut to any of them.

Syntax is control <any item from list>.cpl.
This syntax can be used with Run to access a lot control panel items easily.

PS: C:\Windows\System32\control.exe ncpa.cpl can also be used as location.

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Thanks for your answer! I haven't tested it yet. I am a superuser on ubuntu now :D – Prasanth Dec 23 '12 at 15:44
Works pretty well. Thanks again! :) – Prasanth Jul 15 '13 at 4:15
yea, this serves as a nice work around to for the problem with the synaptics touch-pads always forgetting their settings. I can jump straight to the mouse panel and tell it to load the profile manually. with way less effort. – Kit Ramos Oct 25 '15 at 16:50

Currently, there isn't a way to "pin" various Control Panel items onto the Start screen.

The best that you can do is view "Administrative tools" (Win + C --> Settings --> Tiles --> Show Administrative Tools) which contains a few more applications within the Start screen, but not specific areas of Control Panel.

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Hit windows key

Type "control"

Right click on the control panel icon, then click Open File Location

This will open up a windows folder

C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\System Tools\

There is a control panel shortcut icon there, right click again, and Open File Location.

Now a "Desktop" folder is open.

Right click on "Control Panel System Folder" and click "Pin to Start"

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What control panel you want to pin?
there are two the main control panels.
non classic the \All Control Panel Items is classic..
You can send shortcut of C:\Windows\System32\control.exe to the desktop, then pin it to the start menu that gives you non classic..
For the classic control panel from the desktop shortcut open control panel click the > a drop down menu will appear, select the top All Control Panel Items.
Drag the All Control Panel Items icon to desktop than pin All Control Panel Items to the start menu.
hope that helps.

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