Closer look at Windows 10’s new replacements for Control Panel features

Windows 10 Control Panel app

Microsoft has decided to conceal some applets (pages) of the
traditional Control Panel in the future releases of Windows 10.

With Windows 8, Microsoft introduced a beginner friendlier and
modern Settings app. The new Settings app is good enough for
personalization of Windows 10 as it gives you access to
background photos, themes, accents, fonts, audio, etc.

In general, this new interface is not adequate for advanced
configurations. Control Panel has always offered more options
than the modern replacements, including the Settings app. This
is mainly due to two reasons: limited UWP APIs and Microsoft’s
inability to migrate the legacy components.

With upcoming updates, Microsoft is taking another step to kill
off some pages in the Control Panel.

System Applet

In Windows 10 October 2020 Update,
Microsoft is removing the ‘System’ applet of Control Panel,
which gives you an overview of your system specs, such as the
processor and amount of RAM you have installed.

System applet in Control Panel

The System page of the Control Panel now redirects you to the
Settings app and you cannot access the above screen in future
versions of Windows.

The good news, at least, is that Microsoft has improved the
Settings app. In fact, the ‘System’ page replacement is a lot
more useful.

About page in Settings

The ‘About’ page, which is going to replace the ‘System’ page,
comes with all the information available in the Control Panel.
It also includes a new button to copy your system specs,
including the OS build number.

Program & Features

Microsoft is also
killing off the section in the Control Panel where you can
uninstall programs.

In a Windows 10 update, which is expected to arrive next year,
Microsoft will begin redirecting users opening Programs and
Features under Control Panel to “Apps & Features” in Settings
instead.

Apps and Features

While the Apps & Features page has all the features provided by
Control Panel, some users may not like user interface.

Settings app offers a list-based layout and items sit below one
another. On the other hand, the Control Panel offers a
table-based layout where items sit vertically with additional
information in each column and rows.

In the above case, the Control Panel’s modern replacement uses
a lot of spacing and also reduces the number of apps that are
listed on a single page.

Program and Features

Likewise, Apps & Features page also doesn’t come with a sticky
header for the sorting options. That means you need to scroll
to the top to access the Filter options provided by the modern
Settings app.

Disk Management

Windows 10’s preview build also comes with a
new modern tool that lets you manage the disk management
area within the operating system. You can access the new
“Manage Disks and Volumes” screen under Settings > System
> Storage.

This new tool is Microsoft’s modern alternative to Disk
Management (Microsoft Management Console) snap-in.

Modern Disk Manager

It currently comes with a very basic user interface and better
integration with Windows 10’s Storage Settings, but multiple
key features are missing in the modern version when compared to
the current Disk Management snap-in.

For example, the new disk tool is unable to display a graphical
representation of the physical drives installed.

Likewise, if you open a volume or partition, you cannot browse
the information of other volumes/partitions. The navigation is
limited to a particular storage volume/partition only.

Manage volumes partitions

On the other hand, the legacy Disk Management tool comes with
two sections: Top Section and the bottom section. The top
section contains a list of all the partitions that Windows
recognizes and bottom section comes with a graphical storage
representation of the drives.

Legacy Disk Management

At least for now, Microsoft has confirmed that the legacy Disk
Management utility won’t be redirected to the modern version.

Storage Spaces

In freshly released preview builds, Microsoft is testing a flag
that will enable access to a modern version of the Storage
Spaces feature.

For those unaware, Storage Spaces is a feature that lets you
create a ‘Pool’ where the multiple disks of different sizes and
interfaces are grouped together. Windows 10 sees Pool (Storage
Spaces) as one large disk.

The feature is currently available in the Control Panel only,
but it’s also coming to the Settings app in a future release of
Windows 10.

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