Control Panel, especially the Administrative Tasks, have too many confusing items, but since we don’t use most of them, it is a waste of time for some of us. In this tutorial, I will talk about a feature in Windows that lets you create a Custom Windows System Admin Control Panel which can be used to control your PC or any PC over the network. It will be available for all Windows users.
How To Create Custom Windows System Admin Control Panel
MMC or Microsoft Management Console is like a container containing admin tools like Disk Management, Printer Management, etc. Once you add the components, you can arrange them in the hierarchy, align them in a particular order and save them. Once saved, these can be assigned to a group or particular user on your Domain. In simple words, you can compare them with Bookmarks or Favorites.
This is how an MMC looks when you launch it by typing it in your Start Menu or run dialog box. It’s an open console where you need to add controls. Let’s get to know the basics :
Step 1: Rename the Console Root
The first thing you should do is rename the boring name, which defaults to Console Root. Let’s say you are creating this custom panel for a group of users who will manage the security and services of a computer, so let’s name it as SecServ. Right-click and rename.
Step 2: Add Controls
Now add related components to this console by clicking on File -> Add / Remove Snap-in or Control + M (More Shortcuts here)
You will have a list of items, all administrative items. Select the required one and click on add. You must specify which computer will be managed for some of the items. This is important, so make sure you add the right computer. If you think the option can be changed, check the box that says— Allow the selected computer to be changed when launching from the command line.
Step 3: Edit Extensions
Some controls have extra features which come as extensions for them. They are like add-ons that give more power and features to an existing item. If you are unsure of this and using this feature to simplify and sort some admin items into one place, skip it.
Step 4: Organizing the items into folders
Now let’s say you have around 10 to 15 items to be added, and you want to categorize them again. For this, you need to use the Folder Snap, listed as the items when you click on Add/Remove Snap-ins.
- Select Folder Snaps-in and add it.
- Now here, you will be unable to give it a proper name. We will come back to this in a later step.
- To add items under this folder, click on the advance button on the right.
- Check Allow changing the parent snapin. Since we need to move items into the folder, we will use this option to change.
- Right above, you will see a dropdown that will let you choose between any items. Select the folder.
- Once you select the folder in the dropdown, select items from the left, and add them, it will automatically move them into the folders. This was tricky stuff to find out. 🙂
- Now let’s rename it. Close the Snapin section and get back to the console part. Here you will see all the items you added listed here. Please right-click on the folder and rename it. This is stupid, though; now sure why we don’t have the option to rename right when we do snapin.
Step 5: Permissions and Authors
MMC created like this can be edited by others if allowed so. To make this editable, you need to go to File -> Options. Look for Console Mode, which is followed by a Dropdown. Here you can select what kind of access you want to give.
Step 6: Look and Feel
If you do not like the tree list, let’s make it different—Right-click on the top folder and select New TaskPad View. Here you can select between Horizontal View and Vertical View, Icon size, etc.
Done this now. You can save this as an independent file, which can be used without launching the complex control panel. I will suggest only power users create tools like this, and yes, you need to be an admin to create this tool. Finally, the tool will look similar to this: