We have known for some time that Microsoft plans to delete the Control Panel and leave only the Settings menu in order to optimize the way Windows 10 works. However, Windows Latest reported that starting with the Windows 10 October 2020 update, the Control Panel will be cleared, introducing a change that members of the Windows 10 Developer Build have already experienced.This step, apparently taken in small steps by Microsoft, is likely to make power users more difficult, as the Control Panel has proven extremely useful over the years. That’s because the venerable Control Panel option is oddly warm and familiar. This is one of the first places someone using WIndows tries to resolve issues such as unrecognized microphones or missing drivers.
There were ways to work around this redirect in previous builds, but it appears Microsoft has eliminated all of them. We heard rumors back in July that Windows 10 Developer Build 20161 was showing this behavior for the first time.
In September, the Programs and Features tab left Control Panel and was again replaced with a redirect to Settings. This happened in build 20211, where users were redirected to the Apps & Features area in Settings when trying to open Programs and Features.
This is just the beginning, as Windows Latest states that “sources familiar with development believe that a future Windows 10 update will end support for other pages of the Control Panel”.
Why should Microsoft do this? Well, the Settings app goes a lot better with the overall Windows 10 design than the Control Panel, with a clean design that’s meant for touch input. There are no major touch targets in the control panel. Text-based links are better suited to using a cursor over a mouse, pointing stick, or trackball.
That being said, the Control Panel has been here since Windows 1.0 released in 1985. It’s pretty much the DNA of Windows for a lot of users that I’d bet they dwarf the changes and find that the settings aren’t complete solution. For example, the more blocked Windows 10 design of the Settings app means you’ll see fewer items at a time.
So I wonder why Microsoft decided to create a new Settings app and not just make the Control Panel so that it is more touch-friendly.
It’s what Windows 10 needed
If you ask me, this change is long overdue. While older users love the Control Panel, both it and the settings in Windows 10 felt redundant at best and confusing at worst.
If all of the functionality of both could be unified in settings, as Microsoft is expected to do at some point, Windows 10 will be easier to manage. That way, you won’t jump back and forth between menus that have been around since 1985 and menus that were released in 2015.
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