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Control Panel in different views

Question : Why does Windows XP have two views of the Control Panel area, and is one better to use than the other?

Answer : The Control Panels section of Windows XP is where you go to make adjustments to your computer's settings for everything from network connections to sound levels. There are quite a few individual control panel icons to choose from, and Windows XP lets you browse them in two different ways: Category or Classic view.

In Category view, the control panels are grouped together in nine categories like "Printers and Other Hardware" or "Network and Internet Connections." When you click on a category, Windows XP takes you to the control panels that are related to that topic. By sorting general groupings by theme or task, Category view is intended to help you find the right control panel even if you don't know exactly which one you're looking for. It can be helpful for those who are new to Windows or computers in general.

In Classic view, all the control panel icons are displayed on the screen so you can see them all at once. Earlier versions of the Windows Control Panel were set up this way, and some people prefer this view because they are familiar with it or because they can go directly to the system setting they want to adjust.

Which one you use is entirely up to you and whatever you feel most comfortable with. When computer advice columns or articles refer to specific Control Panel icons by name but not by Category, you may have to switch to Classic view to see the icon under discussion. You can easily switch back and forth between Category and Classic view by clicking on the link on the left side of the Control Panel window.


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Windows 1


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