Windows Control Panel has been around for a while and it was
the default app to manage settings in Windows 7 or earlier.
Since the release of Windows 8, Microsoft started focusing on a
modern alternative to Control Panel and it is determined to
migrate legacy features to the settings app in a future release
of Windows 11.
For the past few years, the company has been moving parts of
the Control Panel to the modern Settings, with the transition
getting slow after the release of Windows 10 May 2020 Update.
Since Windows 11, however, migration seems to be happening at a
rather fast pace.
Microsoft’s approach with Control Panel migration is pretty
straightforward. The company wants to remove Control Panel
pages only when the alternative to that page is ready in the
Settings app. Starting with Windows 11 version 22H2, trying to
click into the “Programs & Features” page of the Control Panel
will automatically redirect users to Settings.
The links to Programs & Features in Control Panel will open the
Windows Settings app in
Build 22523 or later. While there’s no ETA for the full
demise, Control Panel is likely to remain part of the next big
Windows 11 feature update and it will only lose some features.
The experimental flag to disable the “Programs & Features”
Control Panel page was first spotted by us way back in
September 2020. Microsoft has been testing this particular
change for more than a year so that users are sent to
appropriate pages in Windows Settings instead.
Programs and Features page that lets you manage installed apps
has been moved to “Apps & Features” in Settings which already
has all the functions provided by Control Panel.
Windows Settings is getting better
Additionally, Control Panel’s Windows Updates page has now been
moved to a new section called “Uninstall updates” in the
Settings app. As you can see in the above screenshot, Windows
Settings finally lets you uninstall Windows Updates without
navigating to Control Panel.
Note that the Settings app has all the functionality offered in
these Control Panel pages, but this change could be a
disappointment to those who would rather use legacy features
like Control Panel for these tasks or are simply just used to
the old layout of the operating system.
In fact, Settings app has more advanced features compared
to the Control Panel app.
Control Panel days are numbered
This change is another sign that the Control Panel’s days may
be numbered. Programs & Features page is one of the most used
features of Control Panel and it has been finally migrated to
Windows 11 Settings.
Killing off the classic Control Panel entirely would still take
some time, but it could happen in a few years.