Windows 11 open SettingsSource: Windows Central

On Windows 11, the Settings app is an essential component that allows you to configure and personalize virtually every aspect of the OS. The app includes the settings you need to customize the look and feel, install and manage peripherals, configure networking settings, add and remove accounts, change language settings, control privacy, and a lot more.

Although the Settings app is a handy tool, it will only help you if you know where to find it. Fortunately, on Windows 11, there are many ways to open it, including from the Start menu, Taskbar, Desktop, Start button, File Explorer, Quick Settings, and even using shortcuts or commands.

In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the different ways you can use to open the Settings app on your computer.

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How to open Settings from Start menu

One of the easiest ways to access the Settings app is by searching for the app in the Start menu or pinning the app to the Pinned section for faster access.

Search for the app

To open the Settings app on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Settings and click the top result to open the app.

    Search Settings appSource: Windows Central

  3. (Optional) Click the All apps button.

    All apps buttonSource: Windows Central

  4. Click one of the letters to open the dialer.
  5. Click on S.
  6. Click on Settings.

    All apps menu with SettingsSource: Windows Central

Pin app to Start menu

To pin Settings to Start, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Settings.
  3. Right-click the top result and select the Pin to Start option.

    Pin Settings to StartSource: Windows Central

  4. Open Start.
  5. Click the Settings item.

    Quick tip: If you don't see it, scroll down the "Pinned" pages to find it. Right-click the item and select the Move to top option to make it available on the first page.

How to open Settings from Taskbar

You can also access Settings from the Taskbar in two different ways.

Context menu

To open Settings from the Taskbar context menu, use these steps:

  1. Right-click the Taskbar.
  2. Select the Taskbar settings option.

    Taskbar settingsSource: Windows Central

Pin app to Taskbar

To pin the app to the Taskbar for quicker access, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Right-click the app button in the Taskbar.
  3. Select the Pin to taskbar option.

    Pin Settings app to TaskbarSource: Windows Central

  4. (Optional) Click, drag, and drop in the position you want the button to appear in the Taskbar.

How to open Settings from Desktop

To access the Settings app from the Desktop, use these steps:

  1. Use the Windows key + D keyboard shortcut (if applicable).
  2. Right-click an empty space on the Desktop.
  3. Select the Display settings or Personalize option.

    Desktop context menuSource: Windows Central

How to open Settings with shortcut

Windows 11 also lets you use shortcuts to access the Settings app.

Create shortcut

To create a shortcut to open Settings on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Use the Windows key + D keyboard shortcut (if applicable)
  2. Right-click an empty space on the Desktop.
  3. Select the New submenu and choose the Shortcut option.

    Context menu shortcutSource: Windows Central

  4. Type the following command and click the Next button.

    ms-settings:system

    ms-settings:systemSource: Windows Central

    Quick note: If you don't write "system," it will open the "Taskbar settings" page by default.

  5. Confirm a name for the shortcut – for example, Settings.

    Windows 11 Settings ShortcutSource: Windows Central

  6. Click the Finish button.
  7. Double-click the Desktop shortcut to open Settings.

Keyboard shortcut

The simplest way to open the Settings app is using the designated keyboard shortcut:

  • Windows Key + i.

How to open Settings with command

It's also possible to open Settings with commands through the Run dialog, Command Prompt, and Task Manager.

Run command

To launch Settings on a specific space with the Run dialog, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Run and click the top result to open the app.

    Quick tip: Alternatively, you can use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open Run.

  3. Type the following command and click the OK button:

    ms-settings:system

    Run dialog open ms-settings:systemSource: Windows Central

    Quick tip: If you want to open the Settings app on a specific page, then replace "system" for the page you want to open — for example, "bluetooth" to open Bluetooth & devices, "network" to open Network & internet, "personalization" to open Personalization, and so on.

Command Prompt

To open the Windows 11 Settings with Command Prompt, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Type the following command and press Enter:

    start ms-settings:system

    Start Settings with Command PromptSource: Windows Central

Task Manager

To use Task Manager to open Settings, use the steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Task Manager to open the app.

    Quick note: You can also open Task Manager using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keyboard shortcut.

  3. Click the More details option (if applicable).
  4. Click the File menu a select the Run new task option.

    Task Manager run new taskSource: Windows Central

  5. Type the following command and click the OK button:

    ms-settings:system

    Open Windows 11 SettingsSource: Windows Central

How to open Settings from Start button

To open Settings from the Start button, use these steps:

  1. Right-click the Start button to open the Quick Links menu.
  2. Select the Settings option.

    Start button menu Settings optionSource: Windows Central

How to open Settings from File Explorer

To use File Explorer to launch the Settings app, use these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer.

    Quick tip: You can open File Explorer with the Taskbar button or using the Windows key + E keyboard shortcut.

  2. Click the See more menu (three-dotted) button, making sure to item is selected.
  3. Select the Properties option.

    File Explorer open SettingsSource: Windows Central

    Quick note: The option won't be available within the Quick access section.

If you have the "This PC" legacy icon on the Desktop, you can right-click it and select the Properties option to also access the Settings app.

How to open Settings from Quick Settings

To open Settings using the Quick Settings flyout on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Click the Quick Settings button in the Taskbar.

    Quick tip: You can also use the Windows key + A keyboard shortcut.

  2. Click the Settings button in the bottom-right corner.

    Settings option in Quick SettingsSource: Windows Central

Once you complete the steps, you can start navigating and changing configurations in the Settings app.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources: