Microsoft may hide the Control Panel in Windows 10

Microsoft building in California

If you've used any version of Window before Windows 10, you'll definitely be familiar with the Control Panel. It's still present in Windows 10, but with various updates to the operating system Microsoft has been gradually encouraging people to use only the Settings app.

With just about every update to Windows 10, the prominence of the Control Panel has been reduced to the point that it's a bit of a chore to get to. According to references found in Windows 10 insider Build 19587, Microsoft could be on the verge of hiding or removing the Control Panel completely, or at least elements of it.

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Mentions of feature IDs were unearthed by Rafael Rivera, a Microsoft MVP and reverse engineer. Using a self-written tool called Mach2, he found references to HideSystemControlPanel, SystemControlPanelFileExplorerRedirect, and SystemControlPanelHotkeyRedirect.

Rivera tweeted about his discovery recently:

While none of these feature IDs or settings are enabled in build 19587 of Windows 10, their existence strongly suggests that something is on the horizon.

Microsoft has long-wanted people to forget that the Control Panel exists and fully embrace Settings. Five years after the launch of Windows 10, the company appears to be about to turn the thumbscrews a little by hiding the System Control Panel -- and it's possible that others will follow.

But whatever happens, we're unlikely to see any changes to the public release version of Windows 10 until the end of the year or the beginning of 2021.

Image credit: Walter Cicchetti / Shutterstock

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