Make Your Laptop Easier to Use with Windows Mobility Center


Did you know that Windows 7 and 8.x have a special feature just for laptops and other portable platforms? It provides quick access to settings for brightness, volume, power, and other useful features. Here is how to use it

How to open Mobility Center in Windows 7

  1. Use the keyboard shortcut: Winkey+X
  2. A window similar to the one shown below will open. Some PC manufacturers may include additional proprietary features but the basic ones are shown.

Mobility Center Windows 7

As can be seen, slider settings for screen brightness and volume, battery status and power settings, turning wireless on or off, and other features are collected in one convenient place. If you give lectures as I do, the connections to presentations is also a useful feature. However, the presentation settings are missing in Windows Home Premium.

How to open Mobility Center in Windows 8.x

There is an extra step in Windows 8.x. The procedure is:

  1. Press the keyboard shortcut: Winkey+X . Alternatively, in Windows 8.1 right-click the desktop Start button.
  2. A menu will open
  3. Select the menu entry "Mobility Center"
  4. The graphic below shows the generic window that opens

Mobility Center in Windows 8

In Windows 8.x, the ability to turn wireless on and off has been removed from the Mobility Center. If you have a tablet, a new setting for changing screen orientation is present. 

Adding the Mobility Center to desktop PCs

Normally, there is no access to the Mobility Center in a desktop computer. If you would like to have the Mobility Center available, a Registry edit can be made. The method is described for Windows 8.1 at this link. I tried this Registry edit in Windows 7 Professional but only a few settings were made available.

And there you have it – an easy way to access useful settimgs

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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My daughter bought me a acer with windows 8. I don't often use the word hate but I hate windows 8 now 8.1! If this is progress I am sorry but I don't get it. As you said above WINDOWS 8 TAKES ONE MORE STEP. EVERYTHING IN WINDOWS 8 TAKES MORE STEPS! I have wasted more precious hours of my life on this windows 8. I am sorry but micro soft should be investigated for this scam.


I scrolled down to "comments" intending to say what nett said about Microsoft's worst-ever operating system. I don't know of any commercial software company that provides minimally acceptable support and on the hardware side it is, in my experience, even worse.

For windows support I use Google which often finds things on Microsoft's web site that I was never able to find using their relentlessly useless web page and help file search engines. Through Google I discovered the win-x key which has proven handy in trying to make win8.1 somewhat usable.

Windows 8.x is not my favorite operating system either but a better place for this type of discussion is in our forum at If anyone else wants to express an opinion about Windows 8.x, please post it there.

I've already dedicated Winkey+X to ComfortKeys to start my Excel program. What other way can I access the Mobility Center? On second thought, if there's no other shortcut I can always change ComfortKeys to use Ctrl+X.

On my Win 7 SP1 system, I can run Windows Mobility Center by hitting the Windows key, then typing "Mobility", then hitting enter.

Or, I can use a shortcut (on the desktop or anyplace) pointing to "%windir%\system32\mblctr.exe /open"

I would like to update your reference regarding mobility center not being available on desktops.
I have three desktop computers and all have the center in the control panel.
The versions of 7 are from different eras, and one is a retail version.
However, they are all Ultimate, perhaps the higher range of the OS does make it available.
I'm not finding fault with your statement, just thought it worth a mention for those not technically minded enough, and so worry about diving into the registry, and to let them know; look in the control panel first. Select large or small icons from the drop down menu showing category, to expose the whole control panel if you cannot see mobility listed in Hardware and Sound. It is only listed in one of the three OS I have under category.

I don't doubt most of the members here do not need this advice, but there may be one or two who have yet to explore the innards of MS.

Thanks for your advice to look into Control Panel. All I can say is that it is usually thought that Mobility Center is disabled on desktops. It was missing on my Windows 7 Pro 64-bit system and several other desktops that I took a quick look at. Microsoft says "Windows Mobility Center—included on laptops running the Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions of Windows 7—puts commonly used laptop settings in one spot so you can access them easily on the go." (

Interesting ... I never use Mobility Centre even on my laptop but just out of curiosity I had a look on my desktop PC (W7 Ultimate x86) and it is absent from my own Control Panel.

Thanks for the article though : ) It prompted me to see if there's a way to disable Mobility Centre on my laptop, which there is via the Group Policy manager.

Very useful. Thank you.