Windows 11 moves to finally kill the Control Panel

Microsoft continues to push users away from the Control Panel on Windows 11 by moving several options into the Settings app.

The latest preview build of Windows 11, version 22523, introduces significant changes as part of the “company’s ongoing effort to transfer settings from the Control Panel to the Settings app.”

White Windows 11 logo in front of blue background.

The first big change sees links to the Programs and Features section in the Control Panel that now opens in the Operating System Settings application. Notably, it has been moved to the Installed Apps section. When the update is eventually rolled out to all Windows 11 users, it will mean that you will no longer be able to remove or change programs on a PC through the Control Panel’s default access point.

Microsoft has also decided to Uninstall updates option from the Control Panel to a new page found within Settings via the Windows Update and Update history sections.

As we’ve seen with certain aspects of Windows undergoing a complete user interface overhaul, such as the taskbar, Microsoft is clearly preparing to phase out the Control Panel, which has been a mainstay for over a decade, in favor of its new Settings app, which was initially introduced through Windows 8. Until now, the Control Panel has been largely immune to major changes, but Microsoft clearly plans to simplify it with the Settings app.

Other segments that were removed from the Control Panel earlier this month with an earlier build include advanced sharing settings. Network discovery, file and printer sharing, and public folder sharing are all now under Advanced Network Settings in the Settings app. And some network and device settings access points in Control Panel are now redirecting to the equivalent pages in Settings.

Aside from the Control Panel changes, the Windows 11 22523 preview build available to users enrolled in the Insider Program also fixes several issues. One such issue that has been fixed is a bug that caused ARM64 PCs to crash due to a memory management error. App icons should also no longer overlap the date and time used on secondary monitors when many apps are opened by the user.

With regard to widgets, Microsoft has fixed an issue that caused links to not open correctly when opening the widget board via hover.

Recently, Microsoft brought a handy Windows 10 feature back to Windows 11 in the form of the weather widget. Voice access has also been added, making it easy for users to control their PC via voice commands only. Another big change unveiled by Microsoft was that the famous Command Prompt was replaced by Windows Terminal.

All of these changes will be available to all Windows 11 users sometime in 2022. As for the upcoming improvements in the pipeline for the operating system, performance will be a major focus for Microsoft next year. So far, Windows 11 has been installed on almost 10% of PCs.

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