[Ultimate Guide] Windows 10 and 11 Administrative Tools

[Ultimate Guide] Windows 10 and 11 Administrative Tools

/ Shayne Sherman

Windows operating systems offer a wealth of tools that can help system administrators and advanced users easily manage their systems. These tools are collectively known as Windows Administrative Tools or simply Windows Tools. Whether you need to troubleshoot a problem or optimize your system’s performance, these tools can be useful.

Windows 11 Administrative Tools: What Has Changed?

Windows 11, the latest iteration of the popular operating system, comes with a range of new administrative tools that build on those available in previous versions. These tools can be accessed in several ways, including through the Administrative Tools folder, the Control Panel, the Windows Start Menu, and the Windows Tools app. Some of the most commonly used administrative tools in Windows 11 include Task Manager, Event Viewer, Disk Cleanup, Performance Monitor, and Resource Monitor. The specific tools available and their locations can vary depending on your system configuration and version of Windows.

While Windows 10 and 11 share many similar administrative tools, there are a few key differences to note:

  1. Start Menu Programs: In Windows 11, the Start Menu Programs folder has been moved to the “ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu” location, while in Windows 10 it was located in “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs”.
  2. Windows Tools Shortcut: Windows 11 has a new Windows Tools shortcut in the taskbar that provides quick access to commonly used administrative tools, such as Task Manager and Settings, while Windows 10 does not have this feature.
  3. Control Panel Items: In Windows 11, many Control Panel items have been moved to the Settings app, while in Windows 10, they were still available in the Control Panel.
  4. Firewall with Advanced Security: The Firewall with Advanced Security tool in Windows 11 has been updated to include more advanced security features, including support for multiple profiles and customizable rules. In Windows 10, this tool had fewer options.
  5. New Administrative Tools: Windows 11 includes several new administrative tools, including the new Recovery Drive tool, which allows users to create a recovery drive that can be used to troubleshoot and fix system issues.

List of Windows Administrative Tools

It is important to understand what each administrative tool is used for. Here’s a breakdown of the Windows 10 tools with a brief description of their functionality:

  • Component Services: A tool used to manage COM+ applications and components.
  • Computer Management: A centralized console to manage local or remote systems and access other administrative features.
  • Defragment and Optimize Drives: A tool to optimize hard disk drives by defragmenting them.
  • Disk Cleanup: A tool that frees up space on local drives.
  • Event Viewer: A tool to observe system occurrences and troubleshoot errors.
  • iSCSI Initiator: A tool to configure and manage communication between iSCSI storage devices, typically used in enterprise environments.
  • Local Security Policy: A tool to administer local system security settings and policies such as software restrictions and password length.
  • ODBC Data Source: A tool to configure and manage data sources, available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
  • Performance Monitor: A tool to view performance data for the machine.
  • Recovery Drive: A tool to create a bootup drive or disk for recovering or repairing Windows.
  • Registry Editor: A tool to add, remove, or modify entries in the Windows Registry.
  • Windows Memory Diagnostic: A tool to detect memory defects in the system.
  • Resource Monitor: A tool to observe the status of system resources such as CPU, disk, network, and memory usage.
  • System Configuration: A tool for troubleshooting by configuring Windows’ start-up, boot, services, and command settings.
  • System Information: A console providing information on the system.
  • Task Scheduler: A tool to view and set automatic system tasks.
  • Windows Firewall with Advanced Security: A tool to fine-tune the Windows Firewall settings.
  • Services: A tool to observe, manage, and configure Windows background services.

Some of the tools above were carried over to Windows 11, including:

  • Component Services
  • Computer Management
  • Defragment and Optimize Drives
  • Disk Cleanup
  • Event Viewer
  • iSCSI Initiator
  • Local Security Policy
  • ODBC Data Sources (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Performance Monitor
  • Recovery Drive
  • Register Editor
  • Resource Monitor
  • Services
  • System Configuration
  • System Information
  • Task Scheduler
  • Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security
  • Windows Memory Diagnostic

Additional Tools in Windows 11 and Their Functions

  • Hyper-V Manager: Hyper-V Manager is an administrative tool with Windows designed to help you manage virtual machines and hosts on your local system. It is an enterprise-level tool intended for Windows Server, and it provides you with various tools and features to manage Hyper-V hosts and virtual machines.
  • Hyper-V Quick Create: Hyper-V Quick Create is a feature within the Hyper-V Manager that allows you to create virtual machines and Hyper-V hosts quickly. This feature is designed to streamline the process of creating new virtual machines and Hyper-V hosts, and it can save you a significant amount of time.
  • Power Automate: Power Automate is a low-code solution that enables users to create advanced automated workflows without the Windows Task Scheduler. This tool is compatible with many applications and services, allowing you to automate repetitive tasks and streamline your workflows.

How to Access Windows Admin Tools?

Method 1. Via the Run Dialog

One of the quickest ways to access Windows Tools is using the classic Run dialog. If you can remember the command, this method can be very efficient.

To open Windows Tools using the Run dialog, follow these steps:

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run box.

2. Type “control admintools” in the dialog box.

control admintools

3. Click OK. This will open the Windows Tools folder on your computer.

Method 2. Via Control Panel

Although Microsoft is phasing it out, the Control Panel can still be accessed in Windows 11. It remains a repository of advanced options, including Windows Tools. Here’s how you can open it:

  1. Press the Windows key and type “control” in the search box.

2. Click on the Control Panel option from the search results.

windows search control panel

3. Select “Small Icons” from the “View by” drop-down in the top left corner once the Control Panel opens. This will display a list of all the Control Panel items.

4. Locate and click on the “Windows Tools” option to access your admin tools.

Alternatively, you can use the Control Panel’s search bar to find the necessary tool. Simply type “Windows tools” in the search bar and click on the appropriate option from the search results to open the Administrative Tools folder.

Windows Search is a useful tool for locating files and applications in Windows 11. Follow these steps to use it and access Windows Tools:

  1. Click on the magnifying glass icon in the taskbar to open Windows Search, or press the Win key to open the Start menu.
  2. Type “Windows tools” in the search bar and click on the app icon to launch it.

Method 4. Via Command Prompt

To open Windows Tools using Command Prompt, follow the steps below:

  1. Press Win + R to open Run.

2. Type cmd and click OK while holding Ctrl + Shift to open Command Prompt as administrator.

control find cmd

3. In the Command Prompt window, key in “control admintools” and press enter.

control admintools

4. Command Prompt will execute the command, and the Windows Tools dialog will appear.

Method 5. Via Powershell

Windows PowerShell has some similar commands to the classic Command Prompt. If you prefer to use PowerShell, here’s how you can open Windows Tools using it:

  1. Press the Window key and type “powershell”.
windows powershell

2. Right-click on the first result and select “Run as administrator”. If prompted by User Account Control, click “Yes”.

3. In the PowerShell window, type the following command and hit Enter: control admintools

4. After executing the command, the Windows Tools dialog should appear.

Method 6. Via the Taskbar

In Windows 11, you can access frequently used apps by pinning them to the taskbar. Once an app is pinned, you can open it with just one click or using a keyboard shortcut like Win + Number.

To pin Windows Tools to the taskbar, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows key and search for Windows Tools.
  2. Right-click on the Windows Tools app in the search result and choose Pin to taskbar.
  3. The app shortcut will now appear in your taskbar.

You can also use the Win + # shortcut to open apps pinned to your taskbar. For example, if Windows Tools is the third item in your taskbar, press Win + 3 to open it quickly.

Method 7. Via Desktop Shortcut

To create a custom desktop shortcut for Windows Tools:

  1. Right-click on an empty area on your desktop.
  2. Select New > Shortcut.
  3. In the Create Shortcut dialog box, paste the following item location: “C:\Users\Tashreef\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools.lnk”
  4. Click Next, enter a name for the shortcut (e.g., Windows Tools), and click Finish.
  5. If the newly created shortcut doesn’t appear on your desktop, ensure you have enabled Show Desktop icons on your PC. Right-click on the desktop, select View, and then click on Show Desktop icons.
  6. Double-click the shortcut to open Windows Tools.
  7. To add the shortcut to the Start menu, right-click the Windows Tools shortcut and select Pin to Start.
  8. Alternatively, you can copy and paste the shortcut to another location in File Explorer.

Unlocking the Power of Administrative Tools in Windows 10 and 11

In this ultimate guide, we explored the essential Administrative Tools available in Windows 10 and 11. By harnessing their capabilities, you can efficiently manage your system, troubleshoot issues, and optimize performance. From the powerful Task Manager to the versatile Event Viewer, these tools provide valuable insights and control over your operating system. With a solid understanding of their functionalities and how to utilize them effectively, you’ll be equipped to tackle any administrative task with confidence. Take charge of your Windows experience and unleash the full potential of your device with these indispensable tools.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert on all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. Aside from entertaining at his home theater, he enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie.