Windows 11 is getting a new System Components hub in order to manage system-related apps and other elements in one place, or at least this is in testing right now.
The System Components hub is located in Settings (in the System menu, unsurprisingly). It provides easy access to all system apps (default applications installed with Windows 11, like Calculator, Photos or Notepad for example), plus it also lists the likes of extensions and codecs that are system-related.
For example, the installed codecs needed to play certain video formats are listed under System Components.
Note that working with everyday (non-system) apps continues as normal (in the Apps & Features panel). What the new hub provides is a way to access anything system-related to see those pieces of the puzzle easily (and related extensions and so forth, as mentioned).
Analysis: A drive to provide more clarity with apps
In other words, this is an extra addition to Windows 11’s interface, rather than replacing anything in Settings to do with app management.
It’s also worth noting that in the pursuit of greater clarity for default apps and system components in Windows 11, they will be clearly labeled as such in the Start menu (and Microsoft Store).
That’s another change currently in test builds, so any system app will have a ‘system component’ slapped next to it, to make it crystal clear which entries in the Start menu are system-related.
All this is just in testing, and there’s never any guarantee that what’s in preview will make the cut for release – but this seems a good bet to get through to the finished version of Windows 11. Especially as the 23H2 update is expected to begin rolling out soon (though it won’t have much in the way of major changes, seeing as the recent Moment 4 update brought much of the big stuff in, such as the Copilot AI most notably).
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Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).