Hands on with redesigned Settings app on Windows 11

Windows 11 Settings hands on

It started off as a teaser at the Build conference, and then
Microsoft made things official last week: The next generation
of Windows is Windows 11 and it’s finally rolling out to
Windows Insiders.

During the June 24 event, Microsoft focused on all the flashy
and exciting new features and productivity tools, but a new
Settings app is another reason to be excited about Windows 11.
The new OS, originally code-named Sun Valley, includes a
redesigned Settings app, which is based on design principles of
Control Panel and Windows 10 Settings.

On Windows 11, the Settings app is dramatically different from
the one we’ve on Windows 10. The new redesign addresses the
blank space problem and improves the search experience, and it
has also added a new navigation pane to the left side. The
sidebar is similar to the one we’ve in Control Panel, and all
options have a Fluent icon.

Windows 11 Settings About

The new navigation menu on the left side is visible when you
navigate between different options. This will help users easily
go back to the primary options such as Personalization and
Network when they’re browsing a subpage like Windows Update or
Bluetooth.

Windows 11 Settings System

Microsoft has also added WinUI’s breadcrumbs to help you know
where you are when you navigate deeper into Windows Settings.
Windows 11 also introduces a new header or “hero controls” at
the top that will highlight information like desktop background
and frequently used settings to help you customize the OS as
you need.

This new header design is visible for several category pages:
Windows Update, Personalization, Network & Internet, System and
more.

Windows Update new design

The updated Settings apps will also give users greater control
over Windows Update. For example, you can now see the estimated
time for how long a restart for cumulative or security updates
would take. This new status will appear within the Windows
Update page when your device is pending reboot.

As expected, there are new options for customizing Windows 11.
For instance, Microsoft is introducing a new personalization
screen that will allow users to switch between different
Windows 11 themes. Users with a touch keyboard can personalize
the keyboard with a background image. Additionally, you can now
change the size or colours of the keys.

Control Panel and new Settings will co-exist

Windows Settings app was introduced almost a decade ago and it
was originally supposed to replace the Control Panel with
Windows 10.  With Windows 11, the Control Panel is not
going away.

If you use Control Panel, Windows will still try to direct you
to the Settings app whenever possible.

The new Settings app will debut later this year. If you can’t
wait, you can join the Insider program to
download and install Windows 11 preview today.

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