Description of Control Panel (.cpl) Files


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:

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

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.
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.


• Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
• Microsoft Plus! 95 Standard Edition
• Microsoft Windows 95
• Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition


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