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The move is part of a years-long trend to modernize the Windows interface.

Microsoft is continuing to move toward replacing the old Windows Control Panel with a more modern version in Settings. After all, the Control Panel is over 20 years old, and updates could well be needed.

Windows 10 now redirects users who click on links in the Control Panel to the corresponding Settings page. The OS is also making it impossible to show the old Control Panel module.

Earlier this year, some users spotted references to ‘Hide_System_Control_Panel’ in the preview builds. In fact, in the Windows 10 October 2020 Update or newer, users cannot access 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.

Insiders report frustration with the new moves

In the latest preview builds, Microsoft has removed all shortcuts that allowed users to access the retired pages of the Control Panel. For example, 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 Panel.

Now, when a user tries to open the retired Control Panel page, the system brings them to the About page instead.

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

Sources familiar with the development believe that a future Windows 10 update will also drop support for other pages of the Control Panel. Microsoft says the Settings app already has functions provided by these ‘retired’ Control Panel applets. So it may be that they are just trying to streamline the Settings experience by removing duplication.

Tip: ‘Microsoft wants to roll out new Windows 10X OS in 2021’