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Microsoft will fully replace Control Panel with “Settings” in future Windows 10 builds

Windows 10 is as much an exercise in efficiency as anything else. A single operating system that runs on every conceivable device means that Microsoft has much less complexity to manage and support, and they can concentrate on making a single platform as powerful and easy to use as possible. That’s the dream, of course.

And so it should come as no surprise that one of the least efficient aspects of Windows 10 will be addressed at some point. Today, Windows 10 has a much more user-friendly Settings app that provides access to some of the most-used configuration options. At the same time, the old-style Control Panel still exists, in all of its Windows 7-like glory. Control Panel tends to offer a deeper dive into various settings, and the Settings app typically refers to the Control Panel whenever more options are available there, but it remains a disjointed and potentially confusing setup.

Here's an example of how the Settings app calls the Control Panel for a deeper dive.

Here’s an example of how the Settings app calls the Control Panel for a deeper dive.

According to Microsoft Windows Insider guru Gabe Aul and Senior Program Manager Brandon LeBlanc, Control Panel will eventually be going away, deferring to the Settings app. The discussion happened over on Twitter, and here are the pertinent tweets (via Neowin).

Some interesting questions are raised in the Twitter thread, such as how to handle Control Panel applets that are added by applications and hardware drivers. These will need to be addressed, of course, as will the vast number of configuration options that make Control Panel such a powerful and vital tool. But of course, that’s precisely why such a transition to a standalone Settings app is taking such a long time. Regarding @billybobjoe2211’s suggestion that the Control Panel be retained rather than the Settings app, I think the answer is simple–the Control Panel isn’t a Windows 10 app, and of course Windows 10 is the future.

We don’t have an ETA on when Control Panel will officially fade into history, but we’ll be sure to let you know when we do. Until then, keep providing your feedback to Microsoft, because that’s how decisions like this get made.

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Will you miss the Control Panel once it's finally retired?