How to Change Control Panel Icons

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If you want to change the icons that display in your Windows 7 Control Panel, you can do so with the help of the Local Group Policy Editor. There are two options that you can use to change the Control Panel icons: either removing select icons from Control Panel (such as functions you never use) or specifying only the icons that appear in Control Panel (if you want to limit a user's ability to change settings on the computer). Performing these changes are quick and straightforward, even if you are a novice computer user.

Remove Select Icons From Control Panel

  • Click the "Start" button and type "gpedit.msc" (all typing done without the quotation marks) into the search box. Press "Enter." The "Local Group Policy Editor" window will appear.

  • Double-click on "User Configuration" on the left pane to expand the selection. Below that, expand "Administrative Templates," then "Control Panel."

  • Double-click "Hide Specified Control Panel Items" in the right pane. A new window will appear.

  • Select "Enabled," then click the "Show" button below it. The "Show Contents" dialogue box will appear.

  • Click "Add" and enter the name of the Control Panel icon that you want to remove from the Control Panel. If you wanted to remove the "Fonts" icon, enter "Fonts" into the dialogue box. Click "OK." Repeat this for each icon you want to remove.

  • Click "OK" to save your settings and exit the "Show Contents" dialogue box. Click "OK" again to apply your settings. The icons that you entered are no longer in your Control Panel window; all other icons still remain.

Specify Which Icons Show

  • Click the "Start" button and type "gpedit.msc" into the search box. Press "Enter." The "Local Group Policy Editor" window will appear.

  • Double-click on "User Configuration" on the left pane to expand the selection. Below that, expand "Administrative Templates," then "Control Panel."

  • Double-click "Show Only Specified Control Panel Items" in the right pane. A new window will appear.

  • Select "Enabled," then click the "Show" button below it. The "Show Contents" dialogue box will appear.

  • Click "Add" and enter the name of the Control Panel icon that you want to show in the Control Panel. If you wanted to add the "Personalization" icon, enter "Personalization" into the dialogue box. Click "OK." Repeat this for each icon that you want to show.

  • Click "OK" to save your settings and exit the "Show Contents" dialogue box. Click "OK" again to apply your settings. The icons that you entered are the only icons that will appear in the Control Panel; other icons will not show.

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