Microsoft continues to improve parts of Windows 11 in the run-up to its first major update, with the Settings app gaining new icons, a more colorful look, and the handy Storage Spaces tool moving over to the app.
After the launch of Windows 98, Control Panel became the go-to in finding the right settings for your PC, whether it was for changing the display resolution or checking user accounts. However, Microsoft has recently focused on replacing Control Panel with the Settings app, first introduced in Windows 10.
While Storage Spaces is moving over to Settings, the move from Windows 10 to 11 has seen colorful icons to better showcase which options are available, alongside rows in each section that better explain how you can use the accessibility options for example.
But with more updates coming to the app, it gives the impression that Settings is almost ready for Sun Valley 2, the next major update for Windows 11.
Analysis: Making life easier in Windows 11
Microsoft appears to be aware that parts of Windows are starting to show their age, such as Task Manager and user interface elements in Explorer. There’s been a renewed effort to redesign apps to better fit in with Windows 11’s new look, as well as introducing and improving tools to help you better manage your workflow, thanks to the newly-renamed Focus feature, previously called Focus Assist.
Changing settings on a Windows PC has always been confusing for some people. Back in the days of using Windows XP to Windows 10, you would click on the Control Panel app in My Computer or My PC, and be greeted with loads of icons, not knowing where to go for your query.
But Settings is already a step in the right direction, and the coming improvements in Sun Valley 2 look to go further. This is the first major update to Windows 11, similar to the six-month updates that would appear with Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft is aiming for a big yearly release with Windows 11, showcasing a better Task Manager, better controls for the taskbar, and much more.
Small touches such as splashes of color, refreshed icons for the sidebar, and more prominent descriptions of the settings you’ve selected to manage will be a big help for everyone, and this also gives the app plenty of room for more settings to move over from the Control Panel app in the future.
While we’re also going to see stickers to place on your wallpaper for some reason, all of these refinements are a step in the right direction. With Sun Valley 2 tentatively scheduled for the second half of 2022, we may still see more improvements to existing apps and Settings in the coming weeks and months.
- Our pick of the best tips and tricks for Windows 11
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Daryl had been freelancing for 3 years before joining TechRadar, now reporting on everything software-related. In his spare time he's written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', alongside podcasting and usually found playing games old and new on his PC and MacBook Pro. If you have a story about an updated app, one that's about to launch, or just anything Software-related, drop him a line.