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Windows 10 now hides the SYSTEM control panel, how to access it

2020-10-25 14:30

Control Panel being removed

With the release of Windows 10 20H2, Microsoft is now preventing access to the venerable SYSTEM control panel and is instead redirecting users to the newly updated 'About' settings page.

The SYSTEM control panel was first introduced in Windows NT 3.51 and Windows 95 and provides information about the installed version of Windows, the bit-type of the operating system, the computer name, workgroup, CPU, and memory.

As the control panel provides a lot of information about a computer, it is commonly used when troubleshooting a Windows PC or determining a computer's basic information.

The SYSTEM control panel
The SYSTEM control panel

In July, BleepingComputer reported that Microsoft had updated their 'About' settings page to include most, but not all, of the information found in the SYSTEM page. At the time, Microsoft was also testing a hidden feature that would redirect a user to the About page when opening the SYSTEM control panel.

Updated About settings page
Updated About settings page

With Windows 10 20H2, Microsoft drove another nail into the control panel's coffin and is now preventing users from accessing the SYSTEM control panel. Now, when a user tries to open it, they are brought to the About page instead.

With the testing of a modern Disk Management toolrefresh rate option, and a test that redirects the 'Program and Features' control panel to the 'Apps & Features' settings, we can see Microsoft's gradual killing off of the Control Panel.

Ultimately, this is good because Windows 10 is a confusing mess of settings being located in different places. By organizing them under the Settings feature, it will make it easier to find a particular setting.

The good news for those who routinely use the SYSTEM control panel is that there is still a way to access it, which we describe below.

How to access SYSTEM in Windows 10 20H2

While Microsoft is redirecting the SYSTEM control panel, there is a way to access it via a specially crafted Windows shortcut.

To create a shortcut that opens the SYSTEM control panel, please follow these steps:

  1. Minimize all open applications and folders so that you see the Windows Desktop.
  2. Right-click on the Desktop and select New > Shortcut, as shown below.
    Create a new shortcut
    Create a new shortcut
  3. When the Create Shortcut window opens, copy and paste explorer shell:::{BB06C0E4-D293-4f75-8A90-CB05B6477EEE} into the field. Then press the Next button.
    Creating the SYSTEM shortcut
    Creating the SYSTEM shortcut
  4. You will now be at a page asking to name the shortcut. Enter SYSTEM as the name and press the Finish button.
    Naming the SYSTEM shortcut
    Naming the SYSTEM shortcut
  5. A shortcut called SYSTEM will now have been created on your Desktop that can be used to open the SYSTEM control panel again.
    New SYSTEM shortcut
    New SYSTEM shortcut

This SYSTEM shortcut can also be launched directly from the Start Menu by searching for 'SYSTEM' and selecting the icon that appears under the Apps section.

At some point, Microsoft will likely remove the SYSTEM control panel altogether, which will cause this shortcut to no longer work.

Source: ot-woh-lenap-lortnoc-metsys-eht-sedih-won-01-swodniw/tfosorcim/swen/moc.retupmocgnipeelb.www

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