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File Extensions

CPL File Format

SUMMARY: Some details about .CPL files, Windows Control Panel applets.

Files with the CPL file extension are normally Windows Control Panel applets, found by clicking on "Start" - "Control Panel". Each .CPL file represents a tool to perform different types of configuration, including:

* Accessibility Options
* Audio
* Date, Time, and Regional Settings
* Display settings
* Hardware
* Networking
* Program Management
* Security
* User Account Management

Screenshot of the Control Panel in Windows XP

In Windows XP, for example, these files are located in the C:\WINDOWS\system32 directory. For example, the file timedate.cpl displays the clock as well as Date and Time Properties.

Normally, you will not need to access these files directly but through the Windows Control Panel interface. However, in some cases you may want to create batch files that execute Control Panel applets.

Windows users: NOTE that unless you have configured your computer with the file extension viewing tweak, it is possible that a filename that looks like it ends with ".cpl", especially one attached to an e-mail message, actually has a hidden OTHER extension, meaning that if you double-click the file, it may actually run a computer virus! Also, since ".cpl" files can conceivably perform any action on your computer, including deleting files, installing spyware, or other problems, BE VARY WARY of such files delivered via electronic mail!

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.