7 ways to fix a control panel that won’t open

Although Microsoft has moved a lot of features to the Settings app, you can still use Control Panel to configure and troubleshoot Windows. Unfortunately, the Control Panel will sometimes refuse to let you in, leaving you unable to make specific fixes.

Fortunately, we have put together a list of 7 solutions that you can use to fix Control Panel.

1. Try some quick and common fixes first.

Before taking a look at the other more advanced solutions on this list, try these quick fixes.

First, restart your computer. If you put your computer into sleep mode after you’re done with your day’s work, you’re not giving it the ability to clear its memory, shut down, or update programs. So giving it a chance to restart the processes might solve your problem.

Also, make sure there is no pending Windows update. Open Settings and head to Update & Security> Windows Update. There, click on the Check for updates button.

Check for updates

If you try these fixes and you still cannot open Control Panel, continue with the next solutions.

2. Open Control Panel from File Explorer

If you don’t have time to troubleshoot Control Panel, you can always open it via File Explorer. Go to This PC> Local Disk (C :)> Windows> System 32 and search appwiz.cpl. From the search results, open appwiz.cpl and this will lead you to Programs and Features in Control Panel.

Finally, click Control Panel of the address bar.

Related: The Windows 10 Settings Guide: How To Do Anything And Anything

3. Run a quick virus scan

Malware or corrupted system files can affect your system and prevent Control Panel from opening. You can scan your system for malware using an installed antivirus or use the built-in Windows tool.

Follow these steps to run a quick scan with Windows Defender:

  1. Open Settings by pressing Win + I.

  2. Head toward Update & Security> Windows Security.

  3. To select Open Windows Security.

  4. Click on Virus and threat protection> Quick scan.

Windows 10 Quick Scan

After Windows completes the process, restart your computer and see if you can open Control Panel.

If Windows Defender couldn’t identify any malware in your system, but you still want to check, you can run a System File Checker (or SFC) scan.

  1. Grab command prompt in the Start menu search bar and choose the Execute as administrator option.

  2. Type sfc / scannow.

  3. hurry Enter to start the analysis.

SFC Analysis

If Windows detects malware or corrupted files, it will replace them on its own. After the scan is complete, restart your computer and try to open Control Panel.

5. Check Windows services

If any of the services running Windows in the background stopped working, it could lead to all kinds of issues, including the inability to open Control Panel.

Follow these steps to make sure that the software protection service is running:

  1. Grab services in the Start menu search bar and click Execute as administrator.

  2. Open Software protection.

  3. Check if Status is Functioning.

  4. Yes Status is Stopped, click it Start button.

  5. Click on Apply> OK to save the new changes.

Windows 10 services menu

In addition, you need to take a look at the Windows Error Reporting Service. This service is known to interfere with the functionality of the Control Panel and sometimes prevent it from launching.

In the Services window, find and open Windows Error Reporting. Yes Status is not Stopped, Click on Stop to deactivate this service. Then click Apply> OK to save your new system changes.

6. Access the strategy editor

If none of the solutions mentioned above helped you fix Control Panel, you should take a look at Local Group Policy Editor.

  1. hurry Win + R to display a Run dialog box.

  2. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter.

  3. Move towards User Configuration> Administrative Templates.

  4. There, double click Control Panel.

  5. In the list on the right, open Forbid access to Control Panel and PC settings.

  6. To select Not configured.

  7. Click on Apply> OK to save your new changes.

Windows 10 Policy Editor

7. Delete specific keys from the Windows registry

Delete the SacMRU and Bags keys might solve the problem. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Grab registry editor in the Start menu search bar and click Execute as administrator.

  2. Head toward Computer> HKEY_CURRENT_USER> Software> Classes> LocalSettings> Software> Microsoft> Windows> Shell.

  3. Develop Shell.

  4. Wipe off SacMRU and Bags.

Remove subkeys

Before modifying the Windows registry, create a restore point for your system, as deleting files from the registry can cause major problems with your computer.

Related: Windows Files And Folders You Should Always Back Up

Take back control of the control panel

It does not bring any pleasure to work on a computer without being able to configure its parameters. Fortunately, repairing the control panel again is a fairly straightforward procedure, and hopefully one of the steps above did the trick for you.


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