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Description of Control Panel (.cpl) Files
Article ID: 149648 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q149648
This article describes the purpose and usage of Control Panel (.cpl) files.
Each tool in Control Panel is represented by a .cpl file in the Windows\ System folder. The .cpl files in the Windows\System folder are loaded automatically when you start Control Panel. Note that Control Panel files are sometimes loaded using entries in the [MMCPL] section of the Control.ini file.
The following table lists the most common .cpl files, including all the .cpl files included with Windows:
Note that in Windows 98, the Desk.cpl file is named Deskw95.cpl in the compressed cabinet (.cab) file. The file is renamed to Desk.cpl in the Windows\System folder.
File name Purpose ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Access.cpl Accessibility properties Appwiz.cpl Add/Remove Programs properties Desk.cpl Display properties FindFast.cpl FindFast (included with Microsoft Office for Windows 95) Inetcpl.cpl Internet properties Intl.cpl Regional Settings properties Joy.cpl Joystick properties Main.cpl Mouse, Fonts, Keyboard, and Printers properties Mlcfg32.cpl Microsoft Exchange or Windows Messaging properties Mmsys.cpl Multimedia properties Modem.cpl Modem properties Netcpl.cpl Network properties Odbccp32.cpl Data Sources (32-bit ODBC, included w/ Microsoft Office) Password.cpl Password properties Sticpl.cpl Scanners and Cameras properties Sysdm.cpl System properties and Add New Hardware wizard Themes.cpl Desktop Themes TimeDate.cpl Date/Time properties Wgpocpl.cpl Microsoft Mail Post Office
Third-party software and hardware manufacturers can add Control Panel icons to provide an interface for setting configuration options for their products. An icon appears in Control Panel when the .cpl file is placed in the Windows\System folder by the program's Setup tool.
You can create a shortcut to a Control Panel tool by dragging an icon from Control Panel to the desktop or another location, or by manually creating a shortcut and specifying the path to a .cpl file.
Note that the Sounds tool does not have its own .cpl file; it uses the Mmsys.cpl file. To create a shortcut to the Sounds tool, use the command line control mmsys.cpl sounds.