Exploring Windows’ Administrative Tools: Part 1

Fred Langa

Windows has a long and honorable history of including advanced tools and options that help unlock the operating system’s full potential.

In this first installment of a series of articles on these tools, you’ll see how a few easy tweaks can give you two-click access to hundreds of Windows’ most powerful features.

Accessing and understanding Administrative Tools

From XP on, Windows has come with a built-in suite of professional-quality, system-management utilities found collectively under the Administrative Tools menu. These apps are used to adjust and control many essential functions and features of the operating system.

Some of the tools are roughly the same across all current Windows versions. Other tools are version- and/or edition-specific. Each major tool contains many additional subtools and functions — a gold mine of powerful utilities buried in your operating system. Since you’ve already paid for them, why not spend some time learning how to use ’em?

In this article, I’ll point out the major tools and explain what they do. But first, take a look to see what admin tools are built into your edition of Windows. There are two common ways to do this.

The long-form method is to click through various Control Panel menus and submenus:

Win7: Start/Control Panel/System and Security/Administrative Tools

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All Windows Secrets articles posted on 2012-05-10:

Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.