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Microsoft accidentally teases new 'Control Center' feature for Windows 10

With the launch of Windows 10 build 16199 for PC, Microsoft unveiled a plethora of new changes and features for Insiders to begin testing. In the announcement post for the build, the Redmond giant included images of some of the new features, including a screenshot from an internal build that appears to reveal an interesting "settings cog" icon in the system tray.

That settings icon doesn't appear to be present in the latest Insider Preview builds, and the Windows Blog has since deleted the image, so I decided to do some digging. According to my sources, Microsoft is testing a new feature called "Control Center", which will house all of the Quick Actions available in the Action Center today, plus a few additional toggles and options such as a brightness slider.

In the screenshot above, you can see that Control Center basically does exactly what it says on the tin, allowing the user to control system actions via one convenient control center. The Control Center is entirely customizable, with the option to change what shows up there, and additional options that allow you to reorganize some of the settings to your liking.

Sources say that moving Quick Actions to the Control Center means they will no longer be present in the Notification Center, as having them in both locations would be confusing. It appears Microsoft will be turning the "Action Center" into a pure notification center with the Fall Creators Update, moving out all the Quick Action stuff into the Control Center instead.

Now, as with all features that haven't been announced, Microsoft may decide to postpone or cancel this feature before it reaches the public for testing. Right now however, it appears to be present in some of the latest internal Windows 10 builds, and continues to be worked on. Let us know what you think in the comments!

Zac Bowden
Zac Bowden

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

112 Comments
  • Good move
  • Windows Mobile... Whatever I see new for W10 always would be great for WM..
    They could used swipe right on the start screen for this feature.. Add volume controls, track change controls, and all the other onscreen controls FANS have been asking for for years.
  • Maybe this is for "mobile," if you know what I mean. ;)
  • In that instance, EVERYTHING is for mobile, right?
  • username checks out
  • What about swipe from down like iOS?
  • Swiping from down hides/reveals the navbar on Windows Mobile.
  • Correction: Swiping up from the bottom hides/reveals the navbar. Swiping down from the top of the screen reveals the quick action shortcuts plus notifications that could continue being displayed below the control center. The quick action shortcuts can be expanded from 4 buttons to 12 buttons, and I think this would be a good location for this control center.
  • That's needed for the navigation bar on the newer phones. But i don't think swiping from the home screen would work that well, you'd have to unlock the phone, or go out of the app you're using to toggle the brightness which would stop a video that's playing for instance
  • I've been asking for this since anniversary update but there were no upvotes
  • Same... :)
  • Agree would be nice to have in WM Not sure about swipe right as it will be difficult to use/integrate whilst in an app. Swiping up from the bottom is used to hide/unhide the nav bar and think it's used quite alot. But I think best way would be a long press on the windows button, it would remove the down panning but I don't think this feature has never been intentionally used much by anyone.
  • im afraid i use this feature all the time on 950XL. Dont even have small hands. Can't tell you how good it makes me feel using a huge phone one-handed. Much cleaner implementation than moving the entire screen to one corner imo.
  • Yeah, that would work as well... Let's not forget other gesture control options, like seen with "McLaren"... And, let's not forget about "Mixed View"... We should pray to see these things in a rebooted WM in the future.
  • Swipe right would be an awesome addition to mobile
  • Pocket PC my friend. Pocket PC. Windows on ARM.
  • Yes, that's what we're talking about.. WM, Windows on ARM, WP, WinMo, WOA/CS, whatever version it is, or will be. It's all "Windows on a mobile device".. Fact is that we will always have some form of Windows on a mobile device. It'll always be there. Always... That's why the saying "WM is dead, is stupid".. What does it matter? MS will always evolve it into something else, and for the most part just what lies beneath the skin... Whatever version MS uses next I'm pretty sure will still use our current WM UI on top, just as we saw coming from 7.5 to 8.0.. If WC never told us it was underlined different, we would never know.... So, WP will NEVER DIE, it will just evolve.... Stupid haters who are from sister sites could never understand this concept because iDroid has always been the same OLD mobile OS since inception... One day that's gonna bite iDroid in the ass, and MS will reap the benefits of having EVOLVED, not killed, "WP", or whatever the **** you want to call it... Windows 10.
  • Damn. We really need a delete button on this app.😬
  • Indeed a good move, let notifications be done by Cortana, as I have suggested ;-)
  • Cortana is not in every country
  • Didn't think about that, but I would say that the origine of Cortana is a nice voice front end to Bing and to customize that does take some effort. However, there are plenty of things Cortana can do without language and culture customization. One of them is being the digital assistant serving up notifications.
  • I don't like it... I prefer them all in one place. Each build seems to clutter up the taskbar more and more.
  • Yup. I like how it's improved, but it's place is in the action center.
  • Ditto
  • I don't see why both couldn't be in one, with more customisable controls. For example, whatever happened to slide-to-adjust brightness? Just add that to the current notification/control flyout, and it would be massively improved already.
  • The state of the task bar is a concern, especially on portrait displays and tablets. I thought we were moving away from reliance on the system tray, which I've never liked. I am also nervous to see how this will work on mobile. I like the extra space for quick actions, but having two fly-outs from the right feels conceptually awkward. Wouldn't a double width action centre be better? With two columns?
  • I also don't like it, especially for tablet used in portrait mode
  • Agreed, I wish they worked on real features instead of gimmicks
  • I completely agree omg. I am sick and tired of having 100000 things in my taskbar. It needs a cleaning.
  • First thing I thought was "Icon Hell continues" lol. I know you can hide them under the expand arrow but for quick actions and notifications you really want them to hand
  • Agreed.
  • I'm unsure yet. They split up the action center to control and info center. If they put volume and network and other icons in there, I think it will clean up the system tray somehow and puts everything that is meant to control something into one icon. On the other side, there is this info center which will be empty most of the time. But I can't imagine if this would fit into the full packed control center...
  • I think this is a great idea. I hope it sticks.
  • Doesn't seem very convenient and "more useful" for me. On this screenshot I see only slider which is different from current actions center, but current 5 state toggle button is pretty fine.
    Important question - how it can be called? If not with swipe from right side of screen than it will be disaster. Sniping icon in tray isn't very user friendly.
    At this time I'm strongly against this feature in state that I see on screenshot and my (may be wrong) assumptions. Moreover on W10 Mobile Quick actions and Notifications are awesome and looks almost same as current desktop version.
  • They need to bring the damn charms bar back is how
  • It's interesting that the Xbox has the notifications and a charms bar
  • The explains why my action center is glitching to that size in the previous insider build
  • Learning from iPhone, that's really bad one.
  • This looks pretty much like an iPhone-import. I don't dislike the design but it makes the Action Centre far less useful...why scatter everything if it could be all neatly put into just ONE place?
  • Because a) they can't expand quick actions without cutting down the space for notifications proper, and b) they get more room in the Action Center to do richer notifications like Zac previewed months ago.
  • If you're going to expand quick actions, you're not focusing on notifications to begin with, so, complaining about temporarily cutting down the space for notifications is just silly. Regardless, you gain those at the cost of: - Losing convenient and quick access to both Notifications and quick toggles in one swipe of the screen or 1 gesture on the trackpad - Cluttering the taskbar - Wasting time closing/opening different panels to do what was all easily achieved in 1 panel before I don't like this scattered implementation on my Surface Pro. At the very least, it should be totally optional if they're going to implement it.
  • Only the slider is better
  • iOS cloning. On Mobile it will be Notifications from the top, settings from the bottom.
  • If it has to be that way, it better be notifications from the bottom and settings from the top.
  • I agree. Also if it gets to mobile. Otherwise leave pc alone and make action center on mobile bottom up
  • Yea but how about navigation bar? Right now when we swipe from bottom we hide/appear nav bar, so I'm guessing it won't come to mobile
  • Bring back Metro.
  • This is great for people using a tablet, but kind of useless for people on desktops and some laptop users.
  • It's actually the other way around. Its easier on PC, but harder on a tablet.
  • Could they just make it work instead of the constant fiddling?
  • I don't think this is a good idea. Why make a separate control center and notification center? I think they're pretty fine as they are now, together in the action center. And if this won't have a swipe gesture, it will be way less useful on touchscreens than the current design. I'd much rather see the quick actions improved where they are now, and maybe even with two separate tabs for notifications and other stuff, but at the same place. And other than that, the volume controls on the taskbar could use some love. Now, that Store apps are finally in the volume mixer, they should implement something like what EarTrumpet does now.
  • Okay, so here's how i think it should work. You open the notification center and there's a single line of tiles at the bottom like now (for things like brightness, wifi, more settings) But when you expand the tiles, the notifications should disappear upwards, and detailed and clean settings like this should be presented. Then you can just press the button again to shrink the settings back to tiles and your notifications come back down again. Also, I totally agree with you on that the volume slider should be included in this.
  • That would be nice similar to how mobile is.
  • I dont know but isn't that brightness control only works on notebook and tablets?
  • No, thank you. Just give us that brightness slider in the current notification center.
  • Do you really need slider if current implementation allows to switch between five states - 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% (or Darkest Darker Suggested Brighter Brightest)? Do you need to waste full row height or more?
  • Nothing stops them from implementing the slider just like they did on Windows 8.1 instead of it permananently taking up space...
  • Actually, I prefer finer control over the brightness using a slider than having preset brightness toggles.
  • So I guess we're never going to get rid of that single pixel border around windows.
  • I like borders.
  • I love how it's helping to clean up the task bar by absorbing wifi settings, but it should include volume settings and be placed where it was previously in the notification center. The cleaner the taskbar, the better
  • Okay, so here's how it should work. You open the notification center and there's a single line of times at the bottom like now (for things like brightness, wifi, more settings) But when you expland the tiles, the notifications should disappear upwards and detailed and clean settings like this should be presented. Then you can just press the button again to shrink the settings and see your notifications again. A very small, but great improvement.
  • It seems to me that they are trying to remove the glitter from the Action Center to allow more room for notifications. This is a big deal as screens get smaller, and Windows on ARM gains momentum. While I agree it doesn't seem to have a place now, Microsoft has been looking at what comes next. If they are looking to implement this, there has to be a quick swipe motion to bring this out.
  •  Surface Phone anyone?  Between the full Windows 10 on ARM at BUILD, this could be UI changes to match phone UI...  (fingers crossed)
  • Surface Phone is the Half-Life 3 of phones. Forget about it.
  • I miss the brightness slider from Windows 8, glad to see it returning.
  • This is trash. I don't like it. They should leave it alone. IMO.
  • Whoa! build 19199? That's quite the jump ;P
  • Will Mobile get Fall Creators Update?
  • Thats not confirmed but It's getting apps that come with it, like the photo remix stuff and OneDrive on Demand stuff. If apps get updated and security and bug fixes keep coming I'm golden
  • I actually like this approach. Never understood why my notifications panel was cluttered up by actions and controls.  I get it on the phone, you slide down to get to all of it, so unless you slid in from the side for one or the other, they are together. Not sure a tablet/laptop has that sort of physical limitation.  I would like to see more things in that control interface. Why isn't the volume slider not in there? Any other system tray icon that may be installed. There are things I do want in the system tray so I can see them, but there are others that are just there to interact with.  Hope this sticks, but also hope it is configurable.   P.S. The fact that it is currently consistent with the way this works on Windows Phone currently probably shouldn't be considered terribly important. As much as it pains me, I don't expect there will be a Windows Phone to be consistent with that much longer.
  • This is off topic but I need help here.
    Today I tried waking up my PC running latest cu Update and it refused to wake up. Had to force shut it down the powering on again, it did power on well but now most of my store apps are missing including photos app, literally my start menu is messed up completely. Can someone have any idea on what's going on?
  • Its not even fully released and you all are complaining. If you think it should be something different then submit in the Feedback hub in Windows 10
  • Agreed. However there's already way too much unneccesary, unreasonble, ********, complaining, whining, and unreasonable requests and demands in the Feedback Hub. I'm willing to bet that half don't even know what a preview build is or what it's for. Much less what to expect and not expect.
  • Not good for touch. Windows 8 had some best interface for touch. Now I can simply swipe n control stuff. With this I have to locate the little icon in the task bar. Esp. If taskbar's hidden n with it being difficult to pop up in touch it will be a NIGHTMARE
  • Agreed. They should just have this as a Action center sub menu like how Edge settings are shown.
  • I wonder how well they'll implement it on Mobile screens (considering they will implement it on Mobile, that is).
  • I think they will do a swipe up, but this is for CShell.
  • Swipe up on phones? Not possible as all modern W10M/WP devices switched to on screen buttons and that hides the navigation bar
  • This actually makes a lot of sense on the PC.
  • Zac,
    Not being picky, but to avoid confusion, isn't it 16199 and not 19199?🤔
  • Yeah, Its 16199.... I was confused too......
  • nice that picture was in: windows 10 creators preview video
  • wow so much work for this wow gj
  • Features look cool, but as on a touchscreen the action centre is easier to get to with that one swipe I'd like to see it remain where it is. Sliders look very good, looking forward to those, and the breaking up of the rows of tiles is actually a welcome change, looks less busy.
  • "With the launch of Windows 10 build 19199 for PC" ??
    What year is this?
  • I like this idea (for PC)
  • good idea but im not a fan of the way it looks i know they could do a lot better 
  • Hmm, I like it on one hand, its nice because I'd rather have toggles and don't care about notifications AT ALL. On the other hand, while this fits fine on a desktop, the taskbar is getting pretty crowded for smaller forms.  They really need to introduce more customization to allow some of the stuff not just the be hidden in the arrow, but condensed. Do I really need for example the year, in my time display? I think not. Having languages preferences on screen all the time, for everyone, seems redundant. The volume slide could be in this new settings menu. If they do this, things need a tidy up.       
  • I am still using windows 8.1
  • Me too.  Win 10 gets more messy with every "update". 
  • I think they need to arrange the top ones in a grid as well but create a default UI style for non-toggable buttons, possibly circles instead of squares and a specific tint of accent colour.
  • Hmm.... Why not make tabs in AC, this way, you can separate notification and actions, right? Like, on the top of action center, there's a tab for either notification, and another for actions, similar to Android. This way, you can still swipe left on PC and swipe bottom on mobile, and still be able to access both, without them sharing a space.
  • Also, with this, you get to shove in volume controls in actions as well.
  • Excellent move. Would be really nice to have that area cleaner and tidier.
  • I'll say it again...Microsoft is a chaotic mess and has no clue what it actually wants to do.  They're like Trump---a cat in a room full of laser pointers.
  • Or, just putting it out there...they had an idea, got feedback and changed it accordingly.  I know right?! They could be usuing user experience to make changes? Mind blown!
  • Once again, Microsoft shows they have no clue where they want to go with their ecosystem. They're like Trump...a cat in a room full of laser pointers.
  • This is just awfull -_-
  • Looks pretty
  • Good move...I prefer the Settings icon in the tray. Currently, I have to pin it to the taskbar for quick access, which just chews up more space.
  • On mobile nothing new! Why?
  • Its position on the desktop seems to clash with Notification Centre. Hopefully, they figure out a way around it. Insiders should post some feedback now so that the devs know about things they may need to change or things you want them to implement.
  • If only my computer could download the Creator update, I would be able to get this in the future  A normal brightness slider is one of my most anticipated features
  • I like the idea of a brightness slider as it is in the image. Cycling through 0-50-100% is a pain. If I want to turn down the brightness in a dark room I have to flash myself with a blidding 100% first.
  • Very cool... love it in Window 10 Mobile ;)
  • I like the looks and sound of this change. It will make it easier to find quick actions and settings in one location and clean up the notifications center.
  • Caused me to notice the brightness button.  Duh.  Thanks
  • omigush a slider for the brightness
  • I think that the "disaggregation" of notifications from controls is a good thing. But I also agree with others that this is a relatively minor UI change that needs to be supported by major improvements in functionality. 10 S seems like this kind of major change. And so I hope it takes off. Other functional improvements to Windows that I can think of off the top of my head are: a universal (SMS, MMS, Skype) messaging solution, so I can finally send and manage texts from my PC, and seamlessly move between voice, text and video messaging on my PC and phone, a major overhaul of file manager, long path names in OneDrive, general improvements to Edge (including) an improved favorites management system and first class support of progressive web apps, to name a few!
  • assuming any of the speculation of an ultra mobile pic/surface phone on the horizon(...far far on the horizon but still). This change would be essential. Using Windows 10 on a 7inch tablet you can see how porting the whole thing to a mobile device is not so ridiculous. But changes like this would carry it that last yard.
  • great