Apps & Features (Settings) is no replacement for Programs & Features (Control Panel) in Windows 10

When Microsoft announced that it would replace the entire Control Panel with the Settings app in Windows 10, no one thought that it would take the company longer than five years to achieve that goal.

Microsoft migrated some Control Panel applets to the Settings application when it released feature updates for Windows 10, but the death blow never happened. The Control Panel is still there, even in Windows 10 version 2004 and the upcoming Windows 10 20H2.

Recent Insider builds of Windows 10 saw two applets being redirected to the Settings app. The first was the System applet that redirects to the System part of the Settings application now. More recent is the redirection of Programs & Features, the go-to section of the Control Panel when it comes to the uninstallation of software programs and the installation of Windows features.

Users who run the latest Insider builds will notice that the Apps & Features section is now opened when the Programs & Features section of the Control Panel is launched.

windows programs features control panel

New is not always better, and in this particular case, some may criticize the migration as it goes hand in hand with a loss of usability.

When you compare Programs & Features with the Apps & Features section of the Settings application, you will notice differences immediately.

windows 10 apps move

The Control Panel applet displays the installed programs in a compact format in a table. Each row displays the program name, publisher, installation date, size (if provided), and version by default. An option to add more data columns, e.g. « readme », which points to the readme file of the application, is available.

A click on a column header sorts the data accordingly, e.g. by installation date or size. The Apps & Features section of the Settings application lists programs, the installation size and installation date as well, but not in a table but in a list.

The design uses a lot of spacing and that reduces the number of programs and apps that are listed on the screen on a single page. Sorting options are provided, but a menu at the top needs to be used for that. You need to scroll all the way up to change the sorting, while the headers are always visible under Programs & Features. The Settings app provides no option to display more data, even if it is provided by the developer of the program.

The only feature that is exclusive to the Settings application is the ability to filter by drive; this allows you to display only apps and programs installed on the selected drive. The option to « move » apps is provided, but it works only for a small selection of them.

Apps & Features limits the display of data, and its design makes it harder to work with. It is possible that most users did not use the extra data columns option, but those who did, will surely miss that option once the system is updated to a newer version of Windows 10.

Users who want to retain the options may want to check out third-party program uninstallers, e.g. Revo Uninstaller or Geek Uninstaller as these provide an interface that is similar to the Programs & Features interface.

Now You: how do you uninstall software? What is your take on the redirection?

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