Settings (Windows)

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A component of
Windows 10 settings app.png
Settings app on Windows 10 Version 1709, displayed with light theme enabled
Other names PC Settings
Type Control panel
Included with Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows RT, Windows 10, Windows 10 Mobile
Related components
Control Panel (Windows)

Settings (formerly PC settings) is a component of Windows 8 and later with which the user can customize and configure the operating system. Microsoft intends it to eventually replace Control Panel (the traditional component traditionally in charge of the same function) but As of October 2017, such is not achieved.

Windows 8.x

On Windows 8, PC settings was designed as a simplified settings area optimized for use on touchscreen devices. It exposed a small portion of Control Panel functionality on a two-paned full-screen interface; additionally, adding accounts and changing user pictures could only be done from PC settings.[1]

Windows 8.1 improved upon this component to include more options that were previously exclusive to Control Panel,[2] as well as providing more organization and a redesign. It also added a small "Control Panel" link at the bottom of the left pane to allow users to open the Control Panel and access further options.

The categories listed are:

  • PC and devices
  • Accounts
  • OneDrive
  • Search and apps
  • Privacy
  • Network
  • Time and language
  • Ease of Access
  • Update and recovery

Windows 10

On Windows 10, the app was renamed to "Settings". It includes more options that were previously exclusive to the desktop Control Panel.[3][4] Windows Update, which belonged to the Control Panel prior to Windows 10, now exclusively belong to Settings. As it is also a Universal Windows app, this version of Settings is also used on Windows 10 Mobile for smartphones and tablet computers.[5][6] On 4 October 2015, Brandon LeBlanc from Microsoft said Settings would eventually replace the Control Panel.[7]

In the Windows 10 Settings app, the following categories are listed:

  • System
  • Devices
  • Phone
  • Network & Internet
  • Personalization
  • Apps
  • Accounts
  • Time & Language
  • Gaming
  • Ease of Access
  • Privacy
  • Update & Security
  • Cortana
  • Mixed Reality (appears only if a device meeting minimum HoloLens requirements is connected to the PC.)[8]


  1. ^ "Adding and Managing Users in Windows 8". PC World. IDG. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Bright, Peter (March 25, 2013). "Windows Blue leaks: More Metro, more multitasking". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Windows 10 review: Technical Preview (January 2015)". PC Pro. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Windows 10 Settings Menu: The System tab". CNET. Retrieved 7 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "Microsoft previews universal apps for Windows 10 PCs, tablets, and phones". The Verge. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Leaked images of Windows 10 for phones show us what to expect". Ars Technica. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Microsoft will fully replace Control Panel with "Settings" in future Windows 10 builds". On MSFT. 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2017-03-29. 
  8. ^ "Add or Remove Mixed Reality from Settings in Windows 10 - Winaero". Winaero. 2017-02-16. Retrieved 2017-04-24. 

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