Control Panel has been a part of Windows since Windows 1.0 and it has a staunch fanbase of older users who prefer it over the modern Settings app, which is still missing key features.
Starting with Windows 10 October 2020 Update, Microsoft has been trying to push more Control Panel users towards the Settings app and it looks like the company is going ahead with its modernization approach.
As spotted in the latest preview builds, Microsoft is now bringing more pages that used to be found in the Control Panel to the modern Settings app.
In the latest preview build, which was released in January 2021, you’ll be able to find Storage Spaces in Settings too. For those unaware, Storage Spaces is a feature that allows you to connect multiple storage devices to your computer and treat them as a single storage device called “storage pool”.
Microsoft has modernized the interface of the legacy Storage Spaces feature and added it to Settings > System > Storage > Manage Storage Spaces. You can click on the Storage Spaces link to create and manage Storage Spaces from within the Settings app.
In a podcast, Microsoft explained that setting pages are created with “accessibility” and “modern experience” in mind. These pages also offer better integration with native Windows features, such as Storage Settings and Storage Sense.
As you can see in the above screenshot, the modern alternative to Storage Spaces currently allows users to create, add, remove and optimize storage pools.
You can also use your keyboard and Windows Narrator to navigate between different pages, and still use multiple storage devices that rely on different interfaces.
Control Panel is not being removed
Control Panel is not being abandoned, but there’s a good chance that pages with modern alternatives would just be removed or disabled at some point in the future to ‘unify’ settings experience across the OS.
When this happens, some pages of Control Panel will redirect users to the Windows 10 Settings app. Microsoft will also block third-party apps that could be used as a workaround to access hidden Control Panel pages.
In addition to Storage Spaces, Microsoft is also modernizing the interface of disk and partition management tool.
These changes are currently live in the preview builds, but they shouldn’t remain in the testing stage for too long, which means improved Settings app could go live for the public later this year.