Consolidate Your Windows Tweaking With Microsoft's Management Console

Regular Windows users often find themselves peeking in the Disk Management tool, or fiddling with group policies to fine-tune their desktop experience. While we don't load these programs up often enough to justify having shortcuts on-hand, it is possible to consolidate many of Windows' configuration panels into a single, customisable shortcut.

The trick rests with the Windows Management Console, which is the framework for a lot of the configuration "programs" you interact with in the operating system. You can call it up directly by typing "mmc" into the Start Menu's Run dialog, or directly into the search box.

You'll be presented with the following screen. To start customising the window, go to "File" > "Add/Remove Snap-in...".

This dialog box will pop-up. On the left are all the available snap-ins for the management console. You'll recognise a few, like Disk Management and Task Scheduler, so feel free to add those to the right-hand box. Once you're happy with your choices, hit OK and they'll be added to the main window. From there, they can be expanded and tweaked.

The best bit is you can save your selection of snap-ins by going to "File" > "Save As...". Save the file (it'll have the extension ".msc") to your desktop. Now, whenever you need to access these settings again, you can just double-click on this file, and it'll restore your snap-ins in the management console.

It's a lot more convenient than tracking down the tools in Control Panel or placing a bunch of shortcuts on your desktop and it's nice to have all your most-used Windows settings in one place.


    Group Policies are only used in a domain're probably making reference to "Local Security Policies" which are the locally configured (i.e. non-group) equivalent.

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