Spinning Jenny: Pinning the Windows 7 Control Panel

Pinning the Windows 7 Control Panel
'twas beauty killed the beast...

Right-click a program or even a program shortcut in Windows 7 and "Pin to taskbar" appears on a pop-up menu. Simple. Drag a file you created with that pinned program to the taskbar, and your work pins to the program's right-click jump list. Simple. Open a file, right-click its taskbar icon, and pin away. Simple. Then there's Control Panel.

The desktop Control Panel icon will not pin. Shortcuts to Control Panel do not pin. And once you do pin the thing down, some features with an open window will pin to Control Panel but others will not budge. What the Windows 7 Control Panel really needs is a good caning (guessing not until at least the next service pack), but for now a pinning will have to do.

Open Control Panel. Right-click its taskbar icon and select "Pin this program to the taskbar." Drag the pinned Control Panel icon to a convenient spot among your other taskbar icons — right next to the Start button gets my vote.

Back in the Control Panel window, switch to either large or small icon view. Drag icons you frequently use from the Control Panel window and drop them onto Control Panel pinned to your taskbar. When you've had enough, close Control Panel.

Right-click on your desktop.
Select: New > Folder.
Copy/Paste to name the folder:

GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}

Open GodMode. In its default view, grouped by application, GodMode lists the names of each Windows icon living in Control Panel plus gives you icons to each feature's available submenus — almost every setting and feature on your Windows 7 computer. Now, instead of settling for a Control Panel icon that takes you to a window of links to more windows, you can grab a GodMode icon that takes you straight to the feature you want — desktop backgrounds if that's what you use most often, or to disk cleanup, folder options or to restore points. Handy.

Although it looks just like Control Panel, GodMode is but a mere folder and cannot be pinned to the taskbar in the same way as Control Panel — it pins to Windows Explorer instead. Useless. But GodMode icons can be pinned to Control Panel in exactly the same way as Control Panel icons — simply drag and drop whichever GodMode icons you desire onto Control Panel pinned to your taskbar.

After adding all the GodMode icons you want to Control Panel, customize the Control Panel jumplist further by sorting icons into whatever order is logical and most convenient to you — just drag and drop to rearrange them on the list. Unpin icons you no longer want by clicking their push-pin or right-click them for a menu.

And there you have it, a customized Control Panel with easy right-click access to only the Windows features you need and want; no wading through an awkward-to-read Control Panel; no trying to remember where an oft-needed Windows feature is buried; no clicking through seemingly endless menus to get where you want to go. Simple...