By Delia / Last update February 16, 2022

Microsoft has been making continuous improvements to Windows 11, with many applications and user interface updates in previous versions. The Settings app has also been overhauled, introducing a new sidebar interface, more colorful icons, and better navigation. Bing has been integrated to provide more accurate search results, and the dark mode has been moderately optimized.

In the next major update, Sun Valley 2, Microsoft will tweak the Settings panel to improve the experience by addressing the features that users have provided the most feedback on and want to introduce.

windows 11

The evolution of the Settings app

The history of the Windows Settings panel goes back nine years to the "PC Settings" of Windows 8. With the introduction of Windows 10, Microsoft added more options and "PC Settings" was renamed to "Settings". It was supposed to replace the Control Panel in future versions of Windows, and Microsoft promised to gradually migrate all the options in the Control Panel to modern Settings. With the release of Windows 11, we can see the migration strategy picking up pace. It's not clear when the migration will be completed, but the Control Panel will be retained without new changes until the Settings panel finally gains all its functionality and takes its place.

windows 11 settings

What to expect in Settings app of Sun Valley 2

The Settings app has already received an overhaul in Windows 11 version 21H2, and Microsoft is planning to update it with additional improvements to bring it in line with the Control Panel. Here are some of the more major improvements.

Storage Spaces

As part of Sun Valley 2, Storage Spaces has now been migrated to Settings, with a new interface built on top of the company's WinUI. Storage Spaces is a feature that helps protect your data from drive failures by saving copies of files in a second drive to which the user is connected. You can now easily manage this feature directly from the Settings application, and the Control Panel's existing Storage Spaces page will automatically open the aforementioned page.

storage spaces

Sustainability and Eco recommendation

Microsoft is introducing a new section within the Settings application called "Sustainability" which will enable users to optimize the energy consumption of their devices. Based on the results of the optimization scan, Microsoft will provide users with ecological recommendations to help the device save energy. The Settings app will also include a menu to manage advanced eco-suggestions, but it is still unclear how this feature will work.


More info in Settings header

Microsoft will use the top area of the Settings app to display additional information. For example, show the time and time zone in Time & Language settings page.

settings header

Set priority notifications

In the Settings app, the priority notification feature will get its own section. As you can see in the screenshot below, these options will now be displayed separately in Settings, as Microsoft wants to reduce clutter and help users easily discover the features they want.

set priority notifications