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Microsoft is bringing Fluent Design to the Settings app in Windows 10 Redstone 4

Windows 10 Redstone 4 is shaping up to be the update for die-hard user interface crazies like myself. We're already seeing improvements to apps like Mail and Calendar, and more Fluent Design elements are finally showing up throughout the OS like Start and the Action Center in the latest Insider builds.

Adding to that bucket of goodness, the Settings app will also be getting some Fluent Design love in Redstone 4, as newly leaked screenshots suggest Microsoft is currently working on an slight redesign that brings Acrylic, Reveal, and an updated home layout that looks better on PCs.

The addition of Fluent Design in the Settings app is something that I am personally very excited about. I'm all for plastering the entire OS in Fluent Design goodness, and the Settings app is an important area in the OS where I think Fluent Design should be.

What to expect in Windows 10 Redstone 4

We're expecting Microsoft to continue adding its new design language to many more parts of the OS over the course of Redstone 4 development. Expect to see it in the taskbar, and in fly-outs, as well as within more first and third-party apps!

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.

51 Comments
  • What I want to know is when they're going to get rid of the damn control panel. It's ludicrous that we STILL have two settings apps in Windows
  • It's happening. It's been happening slowly ever since Windows 10 hit the market back in 2015. Something like that doesn't just happen over night.
  • I understand that but Windows 10 has been on the market for well over 2 years now let alone the fact that Windows 8 also had the same issue. Just sayin, I think they could ramp up the effort at least by a little.
  • I guess it may have to do with the fact that the control panel has been a thing in windows for donkey years and might also take close to donkey years to migrate. Remember the Windows 10 settings are picking up where W8 left off. They'll get there eventually
  • It's an app for a bunch of settings! The app does absolutely nothing itself. All it does is provide a hierarchical UI for user input that is then relayed to the OS. It's the OS that is responsible for remembering the settings and behaving accordingly, not the settings app. This really should happen overnight. iSandAndrows is right. It's ludicrous. I really wish MS would stop changing things just a little bit every few months. A single big change once, would be a lot easier to deal with. There's nothing wrong with giving the modern settings app a new layer of paint, but it's peanuts compared to the much bigger settings issues they must deal with, preferably before Windows eleventynine hits the market.
  • While I agree, personally, Windows 8 proved that massive changes overnight is the absolute wrong approach. Not because it doesn't yield nice results, but because users are dumb as f**k and can't adapt without whining endlessly like a bunch of children.
  • Seriously? It's a different version if the control panel. Anyone who can use one can use the other. This is not even remotely comparable to the disruptive UI and configurational changes MS made in W8. I don't think the lessons you took from the W8 fiasco are the correct ones, but that's a different topic.
  • Yeah, seriously. That's reality whether you like it or not: end users throw a fit when you make big changes that affect whether they can find the things they're looking for in the places they're used to looking for them. Windows 8 is, again whether you like it or not, a prime example of this. In many ways it was superior to even the 10 of today, and yet people flipped their **** because it was a dramatic departure. That wasn't helped by Microsoft, who included no inbuilt training mechanism to handhold people from the old to the new, or the fact that the touch centered UI was most widely available on PC's without touch features. Buy any way you slice it, major changes caused end user upheaval and we're ultimately a catastrophy. Not because they weren't useful or good designs, but because Microsoft went too far and did too little too bridge the old world with the new. Ever since, they've been moving in baby steps, and it's hard to blame them.
  • Um, no, it's been happening slowly ever since Windows 8 hit the market in 2012. So they've been trying to do this over 5 years. Sure, it gained speed with Windows 10, but by then, it's been long overdue.  And yes, by now  half of the Panel is basically duplicates, left there for old-fashioned people, or something. But advanced power settings, administrative settings and firewall are all stuck in there, despite having some parts firmly established in Settings. Just ugh.
  • Would be great to see some list from Microsoft to be able to comprehend what has already been removed/replaced.
    Also in order to give better feedback.
  • The settings app is not completed to this point. That's why the control panel is still available. And btw just don't use it.
  • exactly. you don't HAVE to use it at all anymore...everything else can be done in the new setting GS or even tell Cortana to someone even but I don't open my old settings CP at all and haven't for a few months at least...don't see why it's such a big deal here for this person....just quit using it....done...  +1
  • Control Panel and file explorer
  • They can’t completely get rid of it, there are still applications that use the old style control panel applets. Remove it, and people can’t configure their old apps.
  • But the functionality is not there yet. Try doing some advanced performance settings. You'll still need to go to Control Panel. They need to move everything over, before closing it out. I hear you, but I don't want it go away till the actual need for it disappears first.
  • There wouldn't be a need for it if Microsoft just transferred all of those settings already instead of taking half a decade to NOT do it. My point is that Microsoft should swiftly just remove the need for Control Panel and actively promote the fact that there is a new settings app.
  • every release is adding more and more settings to the new...soon......they have to do it slow so people catch on...just don't use it, there are ways to not have to use the win 7 style at all you know.....
  • How about they make their new setnigs work first? I'm still irritated they took it from the right-click on the Start Buttons because he Control Panel is clearly still really impotant for certain tasks, like managing audio channels. They new settings aren't fully functional or reliable, and the Control Panel shouldn't be shoved to the back and made harder to reach. Had to make a Taskbar link to it because MS hit it.
  • Looks nice. I hope they won't change the whole menus again. It's pretty good so far and most is intuitive.
  • True
  • Someone should teach them about spaaaaaaace look at this ugly waste of space in settings 😡😡😡😡😡
  • Great. There goes the beautiful black backgrounds replaced with grey sh*t. Blind frogs have better taste than whomever is in charge of the design of Windows currently.
  • you mean the light theme?
  • No. In the dark theme, whenever Microsoft "adds Fluent Design" that ends up being backgrounds turned from black to grey and some transparencies sprinkled here and there. Look at the disgusting new look of the Store as am example.
  • (duplicate. Please delete. And blame the Android app :P)
  • Action Center needs more Fluid than Fluent design...
  • A pity the design only includes 5 but not all elements of the OS. OS looks patchy with a dash of fluent here and there. 
  • Ha "die-hard user interface crazies like myself". Same here! I wish they'd also pay some attention to alignment in general and icon sizes. Specially on the taskbar. The taskbar icons all have different sizes (start, cortana, task view, my people, battery, ...). These small things may not sound that important, but when you fix them, the whole thing becomes more pleasant to use and look at. Specially the taskbar that's almost always visible there.
  • As I said before, MS neeeds a global design & UI chief!
  • I agree on the alignments. The task bar info popups when hovering over a certain icon differ. Some of them appear above the task bar, others on top of it.
  • Could someone explain to me why the active frontmost window is translucent, but when clicked elsewhere it disappears? - like, as if I didn't know what's behind it.
  • That's how I feel, too. It's counter-intuitive (at least to me). Most design principles make the inactive window transparent/translucent, and the highlighted/active window solid. I'm curious how the general audience will accept this seemingly reversed design principle.
  • I wish they would now bring it to Cortana information tiles and add a dark mode too that is selectable in settings once and saved int he cloud. Would be a nice last mobile feature too.
  • I love MS is trying to improve Windows but sometimes they go too far away.. MS tried to do flat too much for windows 8 but now they will try to do blur too much for windows 10. So I think it is time for MS to think about the goal of design change and is it necessary ?
  • I wish they fire the design team, then Satya. Fluent goals are great but that design is half baked at best. The large unused space, layout with on/off below when you got so much space on the right .. It's just not pleasant to look. They should learn from Google.
  • Personally I love the new fluid design. I get that the designers are just continuing the evolution of what computers and Windows can and will do. I appreciate they are succeeding. Sometimes I'm amazed at the nit picking... No wonder Microsoft and their programmers quit projects that get nothing but criticism from the "fans". Seems MS is doing just fine despite that.
  • Settings is not an app.
  • Are they working on a modern file explorer thing? If yes, please give it a touch of Fluent design from the start.
  • nice
  • Zac, do you have any info about any leaked or internal discussion about rewriting other old components, like Desktop, Task Manager, Windows Explorer?
  • Desktop is already being rewritten, that's the CShell effort I've written about previously. No idea for Task Manager, but File Explorer is something I know Microsoft wants to update at some point. But that's not happening anytime soon.
  • Any chance to see CShell with RS4, in full Windows, not in Windows Core OS?
  • File Explorer is already available as an app but Microsoft isn't actively working on it (you can search Windows Central's archives for the article that tells you how to enable it).
  • I know about that app, but that's just the File Explorer from W10M, nothing serious.
  • Settings app looks pretty sweet.
  • More settings updates, and how often do we go into settings, not often for me.
  • Stupid Microsoft. Killing all good things and focusing only on adding blur .
  • Agreed it looks like 70's bad TV signal, how about completely transparant taskbar
  • Now they need better looking controls elements. Get rid of those ugly pill toggles, square check boxes, drop down box, etc.. Add group boxes, and option for small icons.
  • Can't really notice fluent design on 1366.768 screens for us poor folks
  • Regarding the task bar: I'd like to see information pop-ups to appear above the task bar, not on top of it, overlapping other UI elements.
    It's fine with the clock for example:
    If you hover over the task bar's clock, the popup info is displayed above the task bar itself.
    Now repeat this regarding the volume icon. This time the popup overlaps with other UI elements.
    Windows 7 did that better. I don't know why Microsoft changed this regarding task bar icons (only some of them) at all.