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How To Start a Control Panel Applet in Windows 95 or Later

Article ID:135068
Last Review:December 16, 2004
This article was previously published under Q135068


Applications running under the said 32-bit Windows platforms can start a Control Panel applet by using the RUNDLL32 utility.


Control.exe is a utility that is included with Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 2000 that launches Control Panel applications. Applications can use the following command line to start a Control Panel applet:
control.exe mycontrol.cpl
This starts the first control panel applet in Mycontrol.cpl. If you have multiple Control Panel applets in Mycontrol.cpl, you need to add to the following line exactly as shown:
Control.exe mycontrol.cpl,@1
@1 specifies the second (zero-based) applet in the .cpl file. If you don't specify this parameter, @0 is used by default.

The final (optional) parameter serves as the command line parameters passed to the Control Panel applet in the CPL_STARTWPARM notification. For example, some of the system's Control Panel applets take the page number (one based, not zero based) as the command line parameter. For example, if you want to start the Add/Remove Programs applet from the Windows Setup page so you can instruct the user to add extra system components, you can use this code:
   Control.exe appwiz.cpl,@0,2
The Control.exe application recognizes special names for commonly-used Control Panel applications. Use these names instead of launching the corresponding .cpl file directly. For a list of these special names, see the following MSDN Web site:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/psdk/shellcc/shell/Shell_Adv/ConPanel.htm#Executing_Control_Pa (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/psdk/shellcc/shell/shell_adv/conpanel.htm#executing_control_pa)


For additional information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
166168 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/166168/EN-US/) How To Use RUNDLL32 to Debug Control Panel Applets

164787 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/164787/EN-US/) INFO: The Windows 95 Rundll and Rundll32 Interface

Microsoft Win32 Application Programming Interface (API), when used with:
  Microsoft Windows 95 Service Pack 1
  Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 7
  Microsoft Windows 2000 Standard Edition
kbcpapplet kbctrl kbhardware kbhowto KB135068

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at:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/135068/EN-US/

[ Sept. 2005  pcd ]