Skip to main content

New Windows 10 'Control Center' may provide instant access to system settings

Windows 10
Microsoft is working to make Windows 10 look better and work more efficiently, and it showed off a host of new features at its Build 2017 developers conference aimed at doing just that. There is an entirely new Fluent Design System on its way that will let developers optimize apps for different devices, and it is coming in the next major update, Fall Creators Update coming later in 2017.

One of the more confusing aspects of Windows 10 that Microsoft has been slow to address is its schizophrenic nature regarding system settings, with the old school Control Panel vying with the new Settings app for users’ attention. Perhaps to help users gain quicker access to various system settings in the meantime, Microsoft seems to be experimenting with a new “Control Center” concept, as Windows Central reports.

The company released Windows Insider preview build 16199 on May 17, which focused on a number of improvements to some new Windows 10 functionality. Buried in the original blog post announcing the new build was a single screenshot that showed off a new highly focused Action Center pane that would bring a number of key settings in a single location.

Windows Central
Windows Central

The new Control Center would be accessed via a settings cog icon in the system tray and would let users quickly access a number of key settings. It would also include a handy slider for setting display brightness. Microsoft deleted the image, suggesting that it did not actually intend to let this particular cat out of the bag. Windows Central’s sources indicated that the feature is present in Microsoft’s internal testing builds.

The creation of the new Control Center could mean that the Action Center itself might be broken into different tasks, with a completely separate Notification Center and the current Quick Actions moved into the Control Center. Microsoft experiments with many features throughout the operating system’s development and this one, like many others, could be canceled and never make its way into Fall Creators Update.

If the Control Center does arrive, however, it could provide for a welcome improvement in accessing Windows 10 settings. Merging the Control Panel and the Settings app remains a much-desired next step in making the operating system easier to configure, but adding a Control Center could certainly ease the way in the meantime.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Coppock
Mark has been a geek since MS-DOS gave way to Windows and the PalmPilot was a thing. He’s translated his love for…
Microsoft warns select Windows 11 beta testers to move back to Windows 10 now
Laptop screen featuring a Windows update screen.

Microsoft is sending a warning out to those who managed to beta test Windows 11 on unsupported hardware. It is now time to go back to Windows 10, as your device is no longer eligible to join the Windows Insider program on Windows 11.

While the message might seem shocking, it is actually a long time in the making. When Microsoft first announced Windows 11 in June, they had allowed all Windows Insiders who were already testing previous Windows 10 builds to beta test the operating system. It was intended as a "limited exception" thank-you gift to the Windows fans, but now that an official October 5 Windows 11 release date has been announced, Microsoft is ready to move on.

Read more
Windows 10’s update screen will soon tell you if your PC supports Windows 11
Laptop sitting on a desk showing Windows 11's built-in Microsoft Teams experience

Microsoft is making it easier to help you determine if you can run the Windows 11 operating system on your existing PC.  Soon, Windows Update in Windows 10 will show a notification prompt about your system's compatibility with the next-generation operating system.

Spotted by Windows Latest, the newest Windows 10 Insider preview build now has some in-app messaging about Windows 11 in Windows Update. This build is a preview of the incoming Windows 10 21H2 Update, so the feature is just in beta for now. Presumably, this messaging will be more permanent and will roll out to everyone later this year once the 21H2 update is finalized this fall.

Read more
Alt+Tab broken by Windows 10 update? Here’s how to fix it
Alt + Tab on Windows 10.

Alt + Tab is a reliable friend to many PC gamers, serving as one of the most useful shortcuts in Windows 10. However, a recent Windows 10 update seems to have broken the shortcut for some users. According to Windows Latest, switching between a game and the desktop will essentially lock some users to the desktop, preventing them from using Alt + Tab to get back into the game.

It seems like the issue applies to two Windows 10 updates. The first rolled out on July 29 (KB5004296), and users started posting about issues on Reddit immediately after its release. "Literally every ful-screen game that I try to play keeps getting minimized. I have done all the steps from various Google searches that have this issue, but I think the issue is this new update," one user wrote.

Read more