The Control Panel has been an integral – and iconic – part of Windows since the first version of the operating system, released in 1985, but its days are numbered, with Microsoft moving its functionality even further into the latest Settings app in Windows 11. .
However, while an upcoming Windows 11 update seems set to move more from Control Panel to Settings, according to latest windows (opens in new tab)Microsoft hasn’t completely abandoned it.
The biggest feature to move from Control Panel to Settings is the ability to uninstall programs, including older Win32 desktop apps. Settings window was able to uninstall any apps, but not all of them, so this change is certainly a welcome one and means there’s less switching between screens to find what you need.
Analysis: A suspension of execution, but should the Control Panel be put out of its misery?
Despite being released with all versions of Windows, the time has come for Microsoft to ditch the Control Panel entirely. As you might expect from a feature that is approaching its fourth decade, the Control Panel looks pretty archaic.
It’s changed little over the years, and while that’s led to a comfortably familiar presence no matter what version of Windows you use, it’s really started to stand out among the more modern Windows 11 apps.
When Microsoft started seriously overhauling the look and feel of Windows, starting with Windows 8, it messed up the work by keeping older legacy apps like Control Panel while introducing modern apps like Settings that often did the same job.
This meant that Windows 8, like Windows 10 and Windows 11, felt like multiple operating systems joined together, rather than a unified, modern operating system.
Microsoft is trying to fix this with Windows 11 and has modernized many of its iconic apps like Paint.
It also started migrating Control Panel features to Settings, with the aim of ditching the Control Panel altogether at some point. While this is a wise move, it still feels like Microsoft is moving too slowly, as users can visit the Settings app, only to find that they really need to go to the Control Panel for the desired setting.
This was particularly annoying when uninstalling apps as the Settings app would only uninstall some apps and you would have to use Control Panel for the others.
Unsurprisingly, this has caused a lot of confusion and frustration, and while we can understand that Microsoft wants to slowly migrate to Settings, it would be much better for users to rip off the bandage and just move everything into Settings at once and kill Control Panel from once for all.
Of course, we’ll be sad to see the Control Panel disappear, but not only would it make Windows 11 easier to use, it would save the iconic feature from a long, drawn-out death of a thousand cuts.