news microsoft taking further steps to put the control panel out to pasture
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Microsoft taking further steps to put the Control Panel out to pasture

The Control Panel first appeared all the way back in Windows 2.0, and has served as the central hub for system information and settings for many years since. However, the Control Panel’s utility and prominence within windows has decreased over time since the introduction of the Settings app in Windows 8. The Settings app was carried over to Windows 10 and refreshed to fit with the operating system’s UI design, while the Control Panel remains as a relic of another era.

Since the introduction of the Settings app, Microsoft has been expanding the app’s capabilities and restructuring Windows 10 to direct users away from the Control Panel and towards the Settings app. Microsoft recently published a blogpost introducing Windows 10 Insider build 20161, which contains a notable change to the Control Panel. Links within Windows 10 to the System page in the Control Panel will now redirect users to the About page in the Settings app, effectively killing the System applet in Control Panel. The About page has subsequently been updated with “streamlined” security information and a button that copies system specs.

According to the blogpost, these changes are part of the ongoing work to bring “capabilities from Control Panel forward into Settings.” The blogpost also states that further similar changes are on the way, and asks the following of its users:

If you rely on settings that only exist in Control Panel today, please file feedback and let us know what those settings are.

In light of this request, it seems Microsoft is looking to eventually do away with the Control Panel once and for all.

4 responses to “Microsoft taking further steps to put the Control Panel out to pasture

  1. File feedback? Really, Microsoft? What the heck do you do with the telemetry data from millions of Windows users? That should show you exactly what features of the control panel your users depend on. And what about porting everything from the control panel to the settings app before killing off the control panel? Seriously, what kind of brains do Microsoft program managers possess?

  2. Bah.
     
    I don’t mind the control panel being replaced, as long as what is replacing it is as good or better. The settings app isn’t. As an IT admin who manages a Windows network, simple things such as changing a computers IP address or changing its domain membership are much harder or impossible to do in the Settings app.
     
    That’s not to say the Control Panel is good but it’s a hell of a lot better than the Settings app at present. Microsoft need to make Settings.appx MUCH better before they kill off the control panel.
     

  3. This is a nightmare direction, i use the control panel for everything. Max cpu setting, maintain system drives, mouse settings, disable windows resize after being dragged to a corner, disable windows firewall, undo all notifications for said firewall etc etc.

  4. I have a Lenovo Miix 310, and the keyboard’s Esc2WSZX keys stop working really at random, and the Fn key randomly locks itself. Because of Airplane Mode being on the Backspace key as an Fn modifier, I often unwittingly disable and reenable my WiFi (as much as several times over I might add). This causes my laptop to not find any wireless networks, regardless of if I turned the WiFi back on.

    If it weren’t for the control panel, I would have an even bigger headache purging the keyboard drivers and targetting my WiFi chip for “diagnosis” which resets the WiFi chip so I can connect again. Yes I can diagnose the “connection” from the Settings app but this really doesn’t fix the problem every time. It seems to only reset the adapter if it _feels like it_, but from the control panel it will reset the adapter every time.

    Yes my situation is incredibly unique and most people would just abandon a PC like mine out of frustration, but I write this both as a complaint about my laptop as well as an argument for why the Control Panel should stick around.

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Nathan Wasson

Inquiring mind, tech journalist, car enthusiast, gamer.