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August 3, 2020

Control Panel System Applet Opens Settings in Build 20161

Here’s an interesting UI change in Windows 10 Insider Previews: If you open Control Panel, and click on the System applet there, it opens the Settings → System → About pane on some PCs. That is, if you click on the System entry in the left-hand side of the lead-in graphic on my Lenovo Yoga X380 test machine (running Insider Dev Channel), you’ll get the Settings info shown in the right-hand side of that same image. Interestingly — and despite numerous online reports that claim this effect is universal — when I follow the same sequence on my Lenovo X220 Tablet, I still get the old Control Panel System applet pane, to wit:

Control Panel System Applet Calls Settings in Build 20161.nope

As you can see, on Build 20161 on the X220 Tablet, the old-style System applet still appears. (I show Winver to the left, applet to the right.)
[Click image for full-sized view.]

What’s Going on Here?

Methinks there’s at least a chance that MS is running some kind of A/B test. So I went back to the 20161 announcement post in the Windows Insider Program blog to re-read what it said about Settings and Control Panel. There’s a section therein entitled “Making Settings even better.” Here’s what it says:

We’re continuing to work on bringing capabilities from Control Panel forward into Settings. As part of this ongoing effort, we are migrating information found in Control Panel’s System page into the Settings About page under Settings > System > About. Links that would open the System page in Control Panel will now direct you to About in Settings.

Oops! The other reports about this I’ve read are correct: this should indeed be a universal change in 20161 behavior. So now I get to post a Feedback Hub report to the Insider Team to tell them “Hey! When I click the System applet in Control Panel on my X220 Tablet, the System Applet still opens, even though it’s now supposed to call Settings → System → About. What’s up with that?”

Sometimes, when things work they way they used to, they shouldn’t be working that way. I’ll be very interested to see what kind of response I get from the Team. At least, there’s no adverse effect on capability, performance or reliability involved. It could be worse!

Author: Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.


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