More evidence emerges that Windows 10 is killing off one of its most useful features

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 10 is redirecting one of the more commonly used functions on the Control Panel – the section where you can uninstall programs – across to the main Settings app, as work continues to focus users on the latter in the preview version of Microsoft’s OS.

As you’re probably aware, Windows 10 remains quite an untidy operating system in some respects, with some functionality duplicated in places, or tucked away in more obscure corners of the UI.

The Control Panel, which was central to previous versions of Windows – and has been so from the very early days of the desktop OS – is now on the periphery of the interface, and Microsoft is slowly moving bits across to Settings as mentioned, with the latest piece of the puzzle being the Programs and Features panel.

As Windows Latest reports, in a freshly released preview version of Windows (build 20211), Microsoft is now testing a flag that redirects users opening Programs and Features under Control Panel, so that they are sent to Apps & Features in Settings instead.

Dealing with duplication

Note that Apps & Features already has the functions provided by Programs and Features to uninstall apps (or modify/change them), so really, this is a case of removing duplication, rather than actually transferring functionality as such.

Still, it may prove a disappointment to those who would rather dip into the Control Panel for these tasks, or are simply just used to its more compact layout, and array of advanced functions compared to the Settings app. And of course it’s another sign in a broader sense that the Control Panel’s days may be numbered.

You may recall that earlier this year we saw the System section of the Control Panel stripped away, and moreover there were hints that the Control Panel may be buried and hidden deep in the OS, and that in itself is a sign that Microsoft could be looking to drop it completely in the longer run.

The danger here is that the Control Panel offers a number of advanced functions and useful bits of info, whereas Settings is a simpler more streamlined affair – so if the plan is to ditch the Control Panel completely, Microsoft needs to ensure that it incorporates all the advanced options (or at least the important ones) of the former into the latter. 

In short, if done right, this could all work out well; but if done wrong, more tech-savvy Windows 10 users could be left seriously unhappy.

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).