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How to Set Up Shortcuts for Settings Pages in Windows 11

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The Windows Settings window is the most important built-in Windows 11 app alongside File Explorer. It includes a multitude of system maintenance, customization, network, app, device, and troubleshooting options for Windows PCs. Thus, Settings is one of the apps you can’t do without.

It’s better to set up shortcuts for Settings pages you regularly open. Then you won’t need to rummage through Settings whenever you need to access certain options. This is how you can set up Windows 11 desktop, hotkey, and context menu shortcuts for Settings pages.


How to Set Up Desktop Shortcuts For Settings Pages

You can add a Settings Page shortcut to your desktop with the ms-settings URIs listed within the developer Documentation tab on Microsoft’s website. That webpage includes a plethora of URIs for opening Settings pages. These are just some Settings page URIs listed there:

  • ms-settings: Opens the Settings homepage.
  • ms-settings:personalization-background: The URI for opening Windows background settings.
  • ms-settings:themes: A URI that opens the theme options in Settings.
  • ms-settings:appsfeatures: This URI opens the Apps & features tab in Settings.
  • ms-settings:defaultapps: Opens the Settings page that includes default app options.
  • ms-settings:easeofaccess-display: A URI that brings up the display options in Settings.
  • ms-settings:windowsupdate: Brings up the Windows Update tab in Settings.
  • ms-settings:about: Opens the About PC specification page.

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You can assign those URIs, and others, to desktop shortcuts. When you do so, you’ll be able to access their Settings pages directly from your desktop. For example, this is how you can set up a desktop shortcut that opens the Settings color page in Windows 11.

  1. Right-click an empty area on the desktop to select New.
  2. Click Shortcut to bring up the Create Shortcut window.
  3. Type ms-settings:colors in the location box, and select the Next option.
    The Create Shortcut window
  4. Enter Color Settings in the name text box.
  5. Click Finish to create the Color Settings desktop shortcut.
    A Color Settings shortcut
  6. Now double-click the Color Settings desktop shortcut to open the Settings page shown directly below.

The Settings colors page

You can set up a desktop shortcut with any other Settings page URI much the same. Have a look at Microsoft’s “How to launch the Settings” app page to find a URI for a shortcut. Then input that URI in the Create Shortcut window’s location box, and enter a title for it.

Read also: What Is a Desktop Shortcut and How Does It Work?

How to Set Up Hotkey Shortcuts for Settings Pages

When you’ve established a desktop shortcut for a Settings page, you can make a hotkey out of it. Then that Settings page will be accessible at the press of a key combination. Follow these steps to give your Settings page shortcut a hotkey.

  1. Add a Settings page shortcut to the desktop as covered in the preceding method.
  2. Right-click the Settings page desktop shortcut to select a Properties option.
    The Properties option
  3. Click inside the Shortcut key box on the Web Document tab.
  4. Press S (or another key) to set up a Ctrl + Alt hotkey.
    The Shortcut key box
  5. Select the Apply option to save the hotkey.
  6. Click OK to exit the shortcut properties window.
  7. Press the Ctrl + Alt + S keyboard shortcut to bring up its Settings page.

Read also: How to Set Up Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows 11

The desktop context menu (for the right mouse button) is another good place to add shortcuts. You’ve got to delve into the registry and add new keys there to set them up. Yet, it’s straightforward to set up context menu shortcuts for Settings pages. This is how you can add an Apps & features Settings shortcut to the desktop’s right-click menu.

  1. Press the Start button on the taskbar.
  2. Click the Type here to search box at the top of the Start menu, and enter the keyword Registry Editor.
  3. Then select the Registry Editor’s Run as administrator option within the search tool.
  4. Navigate to the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryBackgroundshell registry key location.
  5. Right-click the Shell key to select a New option.
  6. Select Key on the submenu.
    The Key option
  7. Type Apps & features for the new key’s name.
  8. Right-click the Apps & features key you just added to select New > Key.
  9. Enter command within the title text box for the key.
    The command key
  10. Select the command key, and double-click its (Default) string.
  11. Input C:Windowsexplorer.exe ms-settings:appsfeatures in the Value data box as shown directly below.
    The Edit String window
  12. Click OK to save the new string value.
  13. Close the Registry Editor’s window.


Now try out the new Apps & features context menu shortcut. Right-click a space on your desktop wallpaper and select Show more options. Click the Apps & features option on the classic menu to bring up that Settings page.

The Apps features context menu option

You can add context menu shortcuts for other Settings pages in the same way. Input the C:Windowsexplorer.exe <URI> for the Settings page in the Data value box for the command key’s Default string. Enter something different to Apps & features for the primary key’s title to change the option’s text on the context menu.

To delete the Settings page options on the context menu, open HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryBackgroundshell in the Registry Editor. Right-click a Settings page key you added and select Delete.

The Delete option

Read also: How to Add Software Shortcuts to Windows 11’s Desktop Context Menu

How to Set Up Settings Page Shortcuts With Winaero Tweaker

Winaero Tweaker is a terrific freeware customization kit for Windows 11. With that software, you can add a Settings submenu to the desktop context menu without editing the registry yourself. To do so, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Winaero Tweaker homepage, and click the Download option there.
  2. Launch File Explorer (press the Windows + E hotkey), and open the folder that includes the downloaded Winaero ZIP file.
  3. Double-click the Winaero Tweaker ZIP, and click the Extract all option.
    The Extract all option
  4. Select the Show extracted files when complete checkbox.
    The Extract Compressed window
  5. Click Extract to open an extracted Winaero Tweaker folder.
  6. Double-click WinaeroTweaker-1.33.0.0-setup.exe to open the installer’s window. Go through the setup wizard’s steps to install the software.
  7. Open the Winaero Tweaker window.
  8. Double-click the Context Menu category.
    The Context Menu category
  9. Select Settings on the window.
    The Settings context menu option
  10. Click the Add Settings to Desktop context menu checkbox to select that option.

You can find the new Settings submenu by right-clicking the desktop and selecting Show more options. Select Settings to open the submenu shown directly below. That submenu includes shortcuts for all the primary Settings page tabs. Click a tab there to open its page.

The Settings Submenu

Winaero Tweaker also includes a Settings Page Shortcuts option. That option enables you to add Settings page shortcuts to the desktop. Double-click the Shortcuts category and select Settings Page Shortcuts on the left of Winaero Tweaker. Then select a checkbox for a Settings page to add to the desktop, and press the Create Shortcuts button.

The Settings Page Shortcuts option

You can also pin Winaero Tweaker’s Settings page desktop shortcuts to the taskbar or Start menu. Right-click a Settings page desktop shortcut added with Winaero Tweaker and select Show more options. The classic context menu includes Pin to taskbar and Start menu options you can select.

The Pin to taskbar option

Access Options More Quickly With Settings Page Shortcuts

Settings page shortcuts will provide much more direct access to options when you need them. Adding shortcuts to the desktop with their URLs or via Winaero Tweaker will enable you to open settings by pressing hotkeys for them.

If you prefer not to clutter your desktop, you can add countless new Settings page options to the context menu instead. Either way, you’ll be able to open Settings pages quicker in Windows 11.


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