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The Control Panels folder is a folder in the root level of the System Folder of a Macintosh running versions of classic Mac OS since System 7. It contains control panels that are loaded upon startup.



The Control Panels folder from Mac OS 8.

If a user drags a control panel (CDEV) onto the System Folder, the system will present a dialog box offering to place it automatically in the Control Panels folder.

Control panels in the Control Panels folder will normally load in alphanumerical order upon system startup. A user may elect to place them loose in the System Folder so that they load before the contents of the Extensions folder, if so needed.

Some system settings set by control panels are kept regardless of whether it was loaded upon startup. Such settings can be stored in parameter RAM (PRAM); other settings are stored in the Preferences folder.


The Control panels folder was introduced in May 1991 as part of System 7.0, replacing the Control Panel desk accessory used in earlier versions of classic Mac OS.[1]

As of System 7.5, an additional folder, the Control Panels (disabled) folder, appears. Its sole purpose is to store control panels that the user has elected to deactivate, either by means of the Extensions Manager, or by manually dragging a control panel into this folder.

In Mac OS X, the Control Panels folder was superseded by System Preferences.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Road to Mac OS X Leopard: System Preferences by Prince McLean, AppleInsider. 2007-10-24.

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