Enable XP Network Connections in Windows 7 Control Panel

May 1, 2010 | Filed under Windows 7


In Windows 7, you cannot find the good old classic Network Connections in Control Panel anymore. Basically the XP Network Connections lists all the network adapter you have on your computer and you can easily configure them by right clicking on the items and select Properties. When it comes to Windows 7, it has been replaced with Network and Sharing Center. Although Windows 7 is developed with a mindset of making everything easier but in fact the enhanced Network Connections seemed to be more confusing.

Fortunately Microsoft did not really remove the Network Connections from Windows 7 but merely just hid it from being displayed. One easy way you can open Network Connections in Windows 7 is by pressing WIN+R to bring up the Run window, type ncpa.cpl and hit enter which will instantly open the Network Connections just like what you get in Windows XP.

If you find it troublesome to manually type it or even remembering the weird file name, you can show the Network Connections icon in Windows 7 control panel by following the steps below:

1. Type regedit in Search Programs and Files bar at the Start Menu and hit enter.
2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Control Panel\don’t load
3. At the left pane, right click on don’t load folder and select Permissions
4. Click Advanced button, go to Owner tab, select the current logged in user and click OK.
5. At the Security tab, click on the username that is logged on and then check the Full Control at the Allow column and click OK.
6. At the right pane of don’t load, right click at ncpa.cpl and select Rename. Add a .bak at the end of the filename which makes it ncpa.cpl.bak

Now go to Control Panel and you should be able to see the Network Connections icon.

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