The Windows Control Panel has been around ever since Windows 1.0. The Control Panel essentially gives the user control over almost every aspect of the computer from changing the way Windows looks to adding new hardware to the computer. Here are a few things you can do in the Control Panel.
Under the category System and Maintenance, you can access the all important Device Manager. The Device Manager shows you a list of all the devices connected to the computer and the computers components. It is very useful for installing drivers and resolving any conflicts in hardware but may be a bit intimidating to someone not too familiar with computers. Another action available under System and Maintenance is all important Windows Update. The Windows Update makes sure that Windows Vista is up-to-date with all the current patches to make sure the computer is secure from attacks and patches any errors that Windows Vista may have.
Another category that can be accessed from the Control Panel is User Accounts and Family Safety. From this category you can access the User Accounts that allow you to add or remove user accounts from the computer, change a password for a user account and even change the picture associated with a user account. The Parental Controls is another action that can be accessed from this category. The Parental Controls allows a parent manage how their children use the computer like how long they can stay on the computer, which websites they can go to, or even which programs they can run.
The Hardware and Sound is a category in the Control Panel that allows a user to configure the computer hardware. From here you can access the Printer action that lets a user add or remove a printer, set the default or preferred printer and even allows the user to send a fax. The Sound action under this category allows the user to adjust the volume of the sound coming from the computer and allows the user to manage other audio devices attached to the computer like a microphone.
The Programs category contains the actions Programs and Features and Default Programs. The Programs and Features action allows a user to uninstall or remove a program from Windows and even allows users to customize the features found with Windows like removing some games which the user doesn’t want or installing the Telnet Client which is not part of the default Windows Vista configuration.
The Control Panel also has a category called Network and Internet. In this category the user can choose the action Network and Sharing Center which allows the user to join a network at home or at the office and also set up file sharing and which files the user wants to share. Also found in this category is the Windows Firewall action that allows the user to customize the all important Windows Firewall. From here the user can turn the firewall on or off and also customize the Windows Firewall to allow which programs can access the internet.
These are just a few of the categories and actions that are found in the Windows Vista Control Panel. But with just these options we are able to limit a child’s access on a computer, remove unwanted programs from Windows, and even customize Windows Vista to your own personal taste proving that the Control Panel is an important component of every Windows Operating System.
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