What are Windows Administrative Tools and How to Use (Windows 10 / 11)

What are Windows Administrative Tools and How to Use (Windows 10 / 11). One of the biggest reasons users choose Mac over Windows is because of its ease of use. There is no worry about the administrative side of things. While Windows doesn’t give you the full unbridled administrative access of a Linux distro, it does offer more balance and support. Nevertheless, if you want more options for customization for Windows, the best way is to use Windows Administrative tools. This guide will teach you what they are and the various ways to find and use them.

Let’s continue  reading What are Windows Administrative Tools and How to Use (Windows 10 / 11).

What are Windows Administrative Tools?

Windows Administrative Tools give power users and system administrators access to a host of utilities to help them optimize their system and keep it running at peak efficiency. Understanding how the Windows Administrative tools work and how to use them is an important part of securing the CompTIA A+ Certificate.

Nevertheless, Microsoft replaced Windows Administrative Tools with Windows Tools in Windows 11. As with previous instalments of Windows, you should still be able to open them using the Control Panel. However, the Windows 11 iteration of Windows Administrative Tools is vastly different from previous versions. For instance, it contains a mixture of items you would find in the Control Panel (as well as the Control Panel itself) and applications that were a part of the Windows Accessories folder.  

Regardless, this guide will mainly focus on the Windows Administrative Tools for Windows 10, since it was still the most popular desktop operating system at the time of writing this guide.   

How to Find Windows Administrative Tools?

This section will explore all the ways you can open/run Windows Tools on Windows 10 and 11.

Using the Control Panel

  • Run the Windows Control Panel.
  • Make sure you view the Control Panel items as small or large icons.
  • If you are using Windows 10, select Administrative Tools which should be the first item on the list. This action should open the Windows Administrative Tools in your File Explorer window.
  • If you are using Windows 11, scroll down the list until you reach Windows Tools and click on it. Like Windows 10, this action will open Windows Tools in your File Explorer.

The Windows Tools feature is located under the System and Security category in Windows 11’s version of the Control Panel. Thus, you should be able to access it from there without viewing the Control Panel’s items as either small or large icons.  

Using the Start Menu

You can access each administrative tool from the Windows Administrative Tools Start Menu folder in Windows 10.

  • Open the Start Menu (⊞).
  • Next, scroll down through your apps until you find Windows Administrative Tools.
  • Click on the Windows Administrative Tools

Alternatively, you can use the Windows Start Menu’s search feature as a quick way to find Windows Tools. All you need to do is type Windows Administrative Tools after opening the Start Menu.

You can adapt this method to Windows 11 as well. Instead of Windows Administrative Tools, just type Tools or Windows Tools. The search function will display a shortcut to the folder.

Clicking on it will open the Windows Tools folder in the Control Panel.

Using Windows Run

  • Open the Windows Run Dialog (⊞ + R).
  • Type control admin tools into the Run dialog’s open text field.
  • Hit Enter.

While the above command may work for Windows 10 (and previous versions), it’s unlikely to work for Windows 11 (unless Microsoft updates it). Nevertheless, you can still use Run to open Windows Admin Tools. However, instead of using the control command, you’ll use the address to its start menu shortcut folder:


%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Windows Tools.

Using File Explorer

Since there is a Start Menu shortcut for Windows Administrative Tools, you can access them using File Explorer:

  • Open the Windows File Explorer (⊞ + E).
  • Copy the following address and paste it into the File Explorer’s Address Bar:
    %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Administrative Tools
  • Hit the Enter.

By the same token, you should be able to use this address to open the Windows Administrative Start Menu shortcut using run.

Once again, you can also use these steps for Windows 11. However, you must use the address explained to you in the previous section


%ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Windows Tools.

Windows Administrative Tools

Now that you know how to find them, it is time to explore what each one is used for.

Windows 10 Administrative Tools Breakdown

This section will cover the functionality of each tool for Windows 10 (and older):

Component Services

A Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that is used to configure and manage COM+ applications, components, etc.

Computer Management

A centralized console that is used to manage your local or remote system. It gives you access to other administrative features such as task scheduler, disk management, services, applications, etc.

Defragment and Optimize Drives

As the name suggests, this tool allows you to optimize your Hard Disk Drives by defragmenting them.

Disk Cleanup

Allows you to free up space on your local drives.

Event Viewer

Enables you to observe system occurrences. Windows keeps a set of logs. You can use the event viewer to access these logs and troubleshoot errors.

iSCSI Initiator

Allows you to configure and manage communications between iSCSI storage devices. Administrators typically use this tool for Microsoft Windows Server, as iSCSI storage devices are commonly used in enterprise environments.

Local Security Policy

Allows you to administer your local system’s security settings and policies. You can manage policies such as software restrictions, application control, password length, account lockout, etc.

ODBC Data Source (64-bit and 32-bit)

Allows you to configure and manage your system’s data sources (such as databases). Windows has two separate ODBC Data Source tools that are architecture dependant. ODBC Data Source (32-bit) allows you to manage 32-bit (x86) data sources, while ODBC Data Source (64-bit) allows you to manage 64-bit data sources.

Performance Monitor

Enables you to view the current and past performance data for your machine.

Recovery Drive

Allows you to create a bootup drive/disk so that you can recover or repair Windows in the event of a system-breaking error.

Registry Editor

A tool that you use to add, remove, or modify entries in the Windows Registry.  

Windows Memory Diagnostic

Primarily used to detect any defects in your system’s memory.

Resource Monitor

Allows you to observe the status of your system resources. You can view the CPU, Disk, Network, and Memory usage. This tool is extremely useful and should be utilized by all Windows users.

System Configuration

A tool that is primarily used for troubleshooting. You can use it to configure Windows’ start-up, boot, services, and command settings.

System Information

A console that provides you with all your system’s information.

Task Scheduler

An MMC snap-in that allows you to view and set automatic system tasks.

Windows Firewall with Advanced Security

Allows you to fine-tune your Windows Firewall settings.


Enables you to observe, manage and configure Windows background services.

Windows 11 Administrative Tools Breakdown

The following features are carried over from the previous iteration of Windows Administrative Tools:

  • 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.

In addition to the above tools, Microsoft added the following:

Hyper-V Manager

An MMC snap-in that provides you with tools to help you manage Hyper-V hosts and virtual machines on your local system. It is an enterprise level tool that is primarily intended for Windows Server.

Hyper-V Quick Create

A shortcut to the Hyper-V Manager Quick Create feature. As the name implies, it allows you to quickly create virtual machines and Hyper-V hosts.

Power Automate

Power Automate is a low code solution that allows users to create advanced automated workflows that cannot be created with the Windows Task Scheduler. It’s compatible with a plethora of applications and services.

Thank you for reading What are Windows Administrative Tools and How to Use (Windows 10 / 11).

What are Windows Administrative Tools and How to Use (Windows 10 / 11) Conclusion

In addition to the above changes, Windows 11 also made certain accessories and features accessible from Windows Tools. For instance, you can now access PowerShell, PowerShell ISE, Control Panel, Character Map, WordPad, etc. Microsoft intends it for more than just managing your computer’s high level settings. It is another feature that is evidently inspired by macOS and Linux.

What are Windows Administrative Tools and How to Use. Again, Windows 11 adoption has been sluggish. Mostly due to its system requirements. As such, the majority of users reading this guide will most likely be utilizing Windows 10 and its Administrative Tools. You can leverage these features to improve your system and enhance your experience with the Windows operating system. The above guide shows you how to find these tools and explains how each one works. If you have any queries or corrections, please leave them in the comment section below. As always, thank you for reading.

Avatar for Mduduzi Sibisi
Mduduzi Sibisi

Mdu is an Oracle-certified software developer and IT specialist, primarily focused on Object-Oriented programming for Microsoft and Linux-based operating systems. He has over a decade of experience and endeavors to share what he's learned from his time in the industry. He moonlights as a tech writer and has produced content for a plethora of established websites and publications - including this one. He's always open to learning and growing.

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