Description of Control Panel Files in Windows XP


This article describes common Control Panel (.cpl) files.

More Information

Each tool in Control Panel is represented by a .cpl file in the Windows\System32 folder. The .cpl files in the Windows\System32 folder are loaded automatically when you start Control Panel.

NOTE: Occasionally, Windows uses entries in the [MMCPL] section of the Control.ini file to load Control Panel files.

The following table lists the most common .cpl files, including all the .cpl files that are included with Windows:
File namePurpose
Access.cplAccessibility properties
Appwiz.cplAdd/Remove Programs properties
Desk.cplDisplay properties
Hdwwiz.cplAdd Hardware properties
Inetcpl.cplInternet properties
Intl.cpl Regional Settings properties
Irprops.cplInfrared Port properties
(located in C:\Windows\Driver cache\I386\ until you install an infrared device)
Joy.cplJoystick properties
Main.cplMouse properties
Mmsys.cplMultimedia properties
Ncpa.cplNetwork Connections properties
Nusrmgr.cplUser Accounts properties
Nwc.cplGateway Services for NetWare properties
Odbccp32.cplOpen Database Connectivity (ODBC) Data Source Administrator properties
Powercfg.cpl Power Options properties
Sapi.cpl Speech Properties
(located in C:\Program files\Common files\Microsoft Shared\Speech)
Sysdm.cpl System properties
Telephon.cplPhone and Modem Options properties
Timedate.cpl Time and Date properties
Third-party software and hardware manufacturers add Control Panel icons to provide an interface for you to use when you configure settings for their products. An icon is displayed in Control Panel after the program's Setup tool places the .cpl file in the Windows\System32.

To create a shortcut to a Control Panel tool, either drag an icon from Control Panel to the desktop or another location or manually create a shortcut, and then specify the path to the .cpl file.

For additional information about Control Panel files, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

149648 Description of Control Panel (.cpl) Files
180025 How to Open Control Panel Folders from the Command Prompt

Article ID: 313808 - Last Review: Oct 23, 2008 - Revision: 1