If you’ve been keeping up on your Windows updates, odds are good that you installed Microsoft’s October 2020 series of tweaks and fixes — assuming you weren’t blocked from doing so. One big change that power users likely noticed is the removal of the old-school System window from your Control Panel.
The link previously took you to a screen that looked like this:
Now you get shoveled to Windows 10’s “About” Settings page, which looks like this:
I don’t mind the change, since you can still find most of the same information as before, just reorganised. However, I am a little annoyed that you can’t adjust a setting to default to the old-school window, if you prefer it. But thanks to three little workarounds, you can still access the older System Control Panel we all know and love — for now.
To get started, pull up the Control Panel in Windows 10. Don’t click on System, which will launch the About window in the Settings app. Instead, drag the System link to your taskbar. This should pin the icon to your taskbar, which is exactly what you want. Right-click on it, which should look like this:
Click on System and, like magic, the old-school System window will appear once again:
All the links function as they normally would, since it’s the same ol’ classic System window you’ve been using in Windows for years. Isn’t it lovely?
If you don’t want to deal with pinning the System shortcut to your taskbar — how often do you really need to visit this screen? — there’s a second workaround you can use to summon it whenever you want. I confess, it’s the easy method, but I want to save the best for last.
Go back to the regular Control Panel screen, which should look a little something like this (if you, like me, prefer tiny icons):
Right-click on System and then left-click on Open. You have to use Open; you can’t click on Open in New Window, or you’ll go right back to the Settings-based About screen. Otherwise, clicking Open is the fun, hopefully-not-temporary shortcut to get back to the old-school System screen once again.
For your third workaround, open up File Explorer, click on “This PC” in the left-most sidebar, and then right-click anywhere in the main window that isn’t overtop an icon, like so:
Left-click on Properties, and you’ll launch the old-school System screen.
I’m not sure how long all of these little tricks will work, which is why I gave you three. Here’s hoping Microsoft takes its time patching out all of them (or just leaves them alone) for those of us who enjoy the “normal” System Control Panel from time to time.