Windows 10 just made it impossible to access retired Control Panel pages

Windows 10 Control Panel applet

Windows Control Panel has been one of the most useful and
iconic features on Windows 10, but Windows 10 is now set to
drop the iconic Control Panel by ditching its features in bits
and pieces.

The Control Panel has been an essential part of Windows 10 and
it’s not being killed off completely, but another evidence
suggests that Control Panel days might be numbered.

Earlier this year, references to ‘Hide_System_Control_Panel’
were spotted in the preview builds and Microsoft officially
confirmed that the Windows 10 October 2020 Update has removed
the System page in the Control Panel.

In Windows 10 October 2020 Update or newer, users are now
prevented from accessing the System page of the Control Panel.
This is because Microsoft has implemented a flag in Windows 10
that redirects users opening ‘System’ under Control Panel
to the ‘About’ page in the System > Settings app instead.

For some reasons,
Microsoft still allows users to ‘bypass’ the redirect to the
modern Settings app and access the System page in the
Control Panel again.

In the latest preview builds, Microsoft has removed all
shortcuts that allowed you to access the retired pages of the
Control Panel. In other words, you can no longer right-click
within the File Explorer and select ‘Properties’ to open the
retired ‘System’ page of the Control Panel.

Likewise, Microsoft has even blocked CLSID-based IDs and
third-party apps. Open Shell and Classic Shell, are also no
longer able to launch the hidden System applet of the Control

Now, when a user tries to open the retired Control Panel page,
they are brought to the About page instead.

In preview builds, Microsoft also appears to be testing a flag
that will redirect “Programs and Features” under Control Panel
to the Apps & Features in Settings instead.

Programs and Features page

Likewise, sources familiar with the development believe that a
future Windows 10 update will also drop support for the ‘Clock
and Region’ page of the Control Panel.

Note that the Settings app already has functions provided by
these ‘retired’ Control Panel applets, so this really appears
to be the case of streamlining the settings experience by
removing duplication, rather than forcing users to use
incomplete functionalities.

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