Windows 11 is finally getting serious about removing Control Panel. Although Microsoft has been porting features to the modern Settings app experience since Windows 10, it has been a slow transition. However, since the release of the initial release of Windows 11 and starting with the active development of the next feature update, we now see the company more aggressively focusing on ending the legacy Control Panel.
For example, on Windows 11 build 22523, Microsoft removed the “Programs and Features” and “Uninstall updates” pages from Control Panel. Now, when clicking these links, they will open the Settings app equivalent settings in the modern experience. While this might not seem significant, it’s because these are critical features to install and uninstall apps and updates.
Also, starting with build 22523, the Settings app finally adds a page to uninstall updates. And in the recent previews, the “Apps & features” pages have been divided into two separate pages, including the “Installed apps” and “Advanced apps settings,” and both pages received various improvements.
On build 22509, Windows 11 added a new “Advanced sharing settings” page that brings over all the network sharing features from Control Panel to the Settings app, including settings for network discovery and file sharing. Also, many networking entry points from Control Panel now open directly into the Settings app, and the “Printers & Scanners” settings page has been updated to show more information about printers and scanners without the need to open Control Panel.
Of course, these changes are in addition to the improvements that Microsoft introduced with the initial launch of Windows 11. For example, the “Sound” properties page now shows driver information and settings previously only available in Control Panel.
In previous versions, you needed to use Control Panel to configure “Storage Spaces,” but now you can create and manage pools and spaces within the Storage settings section.
In the “Network & internet” section, Windows 11 also added a new “Advanced network settings” page that ports many networking features previously only accessible through Control Panel, such as enabling or disabling network adapters and viewing active network information.
The Settings app also received many other improvements across the experience. For example, the app received a new design overhaul, new features specific to Windows 11 like “Cleanup recommendations,” and even the legacy Disk Management has been ported over the modern experience for managing drives, including formatting, resizing, changing the drive letter, and monitoring drive health and more.
When Microsoft plans to remove the legacy Control Panel completely is still unclear. However, the company is committed to improving and unifying the Settings app to become the central place to manage features and customization settings of Windows 11.