How to Find Settings in Windows 10

By Andy Rathbone

Microsoft released Windows 10 in July 2015, and the company never stopped updating it. For example, the Settings app alone now sports hundreds of new entries. The Control Panel bundled with earlier Windows versions still lurks in Windows 10, and it holds a few settings yet to be moved to the new Settings app.

To find the right switch to flip, let Windows 10 help you. Follow these steps to find the setting you need:

  1. Click the Start button, click in the adjacent Search box, and type a word describing your desired setting.

    When you type the first letter, every setting containing that letter appears in a list above the Search box. If you don’t know the exact name of your setting, begin typing a keyword: display, troubleshoot, mouse, user, privacy, or something that describes your need.

    Don’t see the right setting? Press the Backspace key to delete the letters you’ve typed and then try again with a different word.

    The Search box lists other matches for your keyword: files on your computer, apps from Microsoft Store, and even items found on websites. If you see too much clutter, filter the results: Type the word settings: into the Search box, followed by a space and your search term. For example, to search for camera settings, type this into the Search box and press Enter:

    settings: camera

    Don’t see the Search box? Right-click an empty portion of the taskbar along the screen’s bottom edge and choose Cortana from the pop-up menu. Then choose Show Search Box from the second pop-up menu. (Or, if your computer runs in Tablet mode, click the Cortana icon — the little circle near the Start button — to fetch Cortana and the Search box.)

  2. Click your desired setting on the list.

    Windows 10 takes you directly to that setting.

When searching for a setting, always try the Search box first. Spending a few minutes at the Search pane yields better results than scouring the hundreds of settings haphazardly stuffed into Windows 10.

Looking for the settings inside a particular app, rather than inside Windows itself? Look in the app’s upper-right corner for an icon containing either three dots in a row or three stacked lines. Click that icon, and a drop-down menu appears, almost always listing an entry for Settings.