Remove Unused Third Party Items from Windows 7 Control Panel

All Windows users need to go to Control Panel once in a while to perform a maintenance task. But sometimes it gets cluttered up with third party software items. Here’s how to remove them.

Everyone needs to go in to Windows Control Panel from time to time to perform a maintenance task. But if you don’t like having to scroll through needless icons, here’s how to get rid of the ones that third-party programs add.

Remove Unwanted Control Panel Items

For this example I am removing the Flash Player Control Panel icon since I never use it anyway.

Flash Player Control Panel

Click Start and type: C:\windows\system32 into the Search box and hit Enter.


In the System32 folder do a search for .cpl files. This lets you find the Control Panel items easier. Then right-click the item you want gone and click Delete. In this case I ‘m deleting FlashPlayerCPLApp.cpl but the item you want to remove might be different. If you’re not sure which CPL file is associated with what you want to remove, just do a quick Google search.

Delete Flash

Close out of Control Panel and launch it again, and now the Flash Player Control Panel Item is no longer listed.

Flash Player No Longer Listed

Note: This works best to remove unwanted items that third-party software adds to Control Panel. In other words, you can easily remove a Flash or Stardock item, but not Windows Firewall or Device Manager. In fact, Windows won’t let you remove native items without hacking the Registry, using Group Policy, or taking ownership of the file first.

File Permission Denied



  1. tooltip86

    June 28, 2013 at 6:03 am

    Thanks, that’s a cool tip, but it’s better to do the search within the windows folder because i found some cpl files in a folder called syswow64 including flash player.

  2. Flavia

    March 31, 2016 at 2:37 am

    This was helpful, but my problem is how to delete a folder from there. There’s a folder showing up on my Control panel, which apparently is empty and i cant remove it.

  3. Yuanhan Hu

    March 29, 2017 at 3:23 am

    Thanks. I just removed a dead third-party control panel item. Before that, it always shows a error dialog box that I have to close it before I can use control panel.

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