In Part 7 of the “What’s New in Windows 11 Version 22H2” series, we take a look at changes to Control Panel and Settings.
Microsoft began replacing the classic Windows Control Panel management tool with the Settings app in Windows 10. Some controls moved to the Settings app, but the Control Panel remained an important tool.
Microsoft has migrated some tools from Control Panel to the Settings app over the years, but Control Panel remained an essential tool when Windows 11 was released last year.
In Windows 11, Microsoft moved a few sections of the Control Panel to the Settings app, continuing its slow Control Panel replacement.
Now, with the upcoming release of Windows 11 2022 Update, there will be additional changes to the Control Panel and Settings app. The two main changes are a new Advanced Sharing Settings page in Network Settings and the ability to uninstall Windows Updates in the Settings app.
Press? Here are the main changes:
- Updates are now uninstalled in the Settings app.
- New Advanced Sharing Settings option in Network & Internet.
Uninstall Windows Updates
The Windows Update section of the Windows 11 Settings app controls updating on most OS-powered home systems.
Updates are installed automatically on most Windows devices, but Windows 11 users get some controls directly in Settings. Besides running manual checks for updates or pausing the update for a short time, the Settings app offers advanced options and update history.
The Update History section lists successful and failed update installations on the device; these are sorted into groups, such as quality updates, driver updates, or definition updates. The usefulness of the list was diminished by the fact that it lacked uninstall options.
Users are redirected to the Control Panel app in the final version of Windows 11 when they enable the “uninstall updates” option in Settings.
With the release of Windows 11 version 22H2 comes the integration of update uninstalls.
- Open Start > Settings or use the keyboard shortcut Windows-I to open it.
- Open Windows Update.
- Select Update History on the page that opens.
- Enable the “uninstall updates” option.
- Locate the update you want to remove from the system and activate the uninstall link next to it.
There you will find a list of some of the installed updates, but not all of them. Cumulative updates are displayed, but you won’t find driver updates or “other updates” listed in the section. Most admins might want to uninstall Windows Updates from the command line, as it’s faster and gives them access to all installed updates.
The Settings app’s list of installed updates lacks the functionality offered by the Control Panel applet section. The Installed Updates section of the Control Panel displayed data in a table. Users can click on a column to sort the list of updates accordingly. Options to add more data points to the table or remove unnecessary ones have also been supported. These options are missing in the Settings app.
The same issue affects the list of apps in the Settings app, which does not offer the sorting option or the option to add more data points as well.
Networking: advanced sharing settings
Advanced Sharing Settings is a new section under Network.
- Open the Settings app.
- Select Network and Internet.
- Enable advanced network settings.
- Select Advanced sharing settings.
The settings page divides the options into three groups private networks, public networks, and all networks.
Here are the available options and what they do:
- Private Networks: Network Discovery — enabled by default. The PC and other devices can be on the same network.
- Private networks: automatically configure devices connected to the network — enabled by default.
- Private networks: file and printer sharing — disabled by default. Allows other devices on the network to access shared files and printers on the device.
- Public Networks: Network Discovery — disabled by default.
- Public networks: file and printer sharing — disabled by default.
- All Networks: Public Folder Sharing — disabled by default. Other devices on the network can read and write files to public folders.
- All Networks: File Share Connections — Set encryption to 128-bit for devices that support it. Can be reduced to “40 or 56 bit encryption”.
- All networks: password-protected sharing — enabled by default. Only people with a user account and password can access shared files, printers, and public folders on the PC.
Network and Internet are still available in Control Panel, but some of the applet’s tools are tied to the Network section of the Settings app. Enabling “change advanced sharing settings” in the Network and Sharing Center opens the advanced sharing settings of the Settings app in the new version.
Changes that may not be included in Windows 11 Version 22H2
Some changes announced by Microsoft will probably not be included in the next feature update. They may be introduced as part of a Moments update. Moments are smaller updates that drop new features into the operating system. The first Moments update is already scheduled for October, but there will be more.
Considering that Microsoft will likely move to a 3-year release cycle for major Windows updates, it’s clear that most of the improvements will arrive via Moments updates.
One of the major upcoming changes improves the Apps section of the Settings app. The section is limited in the final version of Windows 11 and Microsoft plans to change this.
Application management includes support for repairing and modifying Win32 applications, as well as interdependent programs, for example applications or games installed via Steam and other stores. It seems likely that Microsoft will remove the “uninstall a program” section from Control Panel during the process, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Microsoft continues its slow migration from the Control Panel to the Settings app. With every Windows 10 and 11 feature update, one or two options have moved from the Control Panel to the Settings app. It seems unlikely that migration will accelerate in the coming years.
Now you: what is your opinion on the Settings app?