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  • Freeware Spotlight — ControlUWP

    Posted on Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody blog Freeware Spotlight — ControlUWP

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      • #2299385 Reply
        Tracey Capen
        AskWoody MVP

        BEST UTILITIES By Deanna McElveen Microsoft is slowly moving tools and controls out of Windows 10’s classic Control Panel and placing them (somewhere)
        [See the full post at: Freeware Spotlight — ControlUWP]

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2299432 Reply
        rc primak
        AskWoody_MVP

        Edited Reply:

        Once I got Cortana and Bing out of the Search Box, it became just a local search box for my local accounts in Windows 10. O&O ShutUp 10 got rid of most of the annoying and privacy-violating behaviors in Windows 10.

        Windows 10 Pro Group Policies offer safe and effective controls over the updating experience (except the new Chredge push-ad which happens if you haven’t yet voluntarily upgraded from the old Edge Classic).

        All else I ever need can be invoked by typing something close to the desired setting into the local search box. No need for a third-party tool which may or may not mess up your Windows Services and Windows Registry.

        You do need to have Pro to make these things most effective.

        The tool reviewed seems to be just one step more organized than the old GodMode Control Panel trick from Vista (still works under Windows 10).

        Generally I avoid Windows tweaking tools, as their results can severely mess up future Feature Updates. But WinAero Tweak is relatively safe and does most of the customizing I want. I really don’t need more Windows tweaking tools.

        By the way, difficulty aggregating third-party software offerings is a shortcoming unique to Windows. Linux, Android, Chrome OS, iOS and MacOS all have repositories which are so comprehensive you should rarely need to go around searching for software outside of the Repositories for your distro or OS. Only Windows makes you search the Web for useful software and utilities.

        But hey, sites like Older Geeks exist and thrive precisely because of this major shortcoming of Windows!

        -- rc primak

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2299456 Reply
          Microfix
          AskWoody MVP

          Generally I avoid Windows tweaking tools, as their results can severely mess up future Feature Updates. But WinAero Tweak is relatively safe and does most of the customizing I want. I really don’t need more Windows tweaking tools.

          Couldn’t agree more! nice post.
          As for highlighting an Alpha stage utility to mess up with W10 settings..good luck!
          Prediction: feature update failures (FUF)
          https://github.com/builtbybel/control-uwp/releases

          Win8.1 Pro | Linux Hybrids | Win7 Pro O/L | WinXP O/L
          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2299439 Reply
        ScotchJohn
        AskWoody Plus

        I have been a bit leery about using what I shall lump together as a class of “tweakers”.  Long ago, I used one, and took my system so far from where it had started that I could only undo by doing a complete reset.  And none of us is as rigorous as we should be in documenting our changes, are we?

        A feature that I do appreciate in Classic Shell is that all changes from the base case are highlighted in bold to show which tweaks you have made.  I couldn’t see whether ControlUWP offered the same feature.

        Dell E5570 Latitude, Intel Core i5 6440@2.60 GHz, 8.00 GB - Win 10 Pro

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2299455 Reply
        Thompson_DK
        AskWoody Plus

        I Just downloaded controluwp from OlderGeeks. During the install process, WIN 10 said I need to download and install windowsdesktop-runtime-3.1.8-win-x64.exe, which I did. My system is WIN 10 Pro, 64 bit, Version 2004 OS Build 19041.508 installed on 09/21/2020.  The initial and subsequent screens are totally different from the ones shown in Deanna’s article. Don’t know if that is because of the runtime file or my OS version. Could Deanna or some one post / point me to the resulting controluwp screens and options for  Version 2004 OS Build 19041.508. Thanks

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2299465 Reply
          JohnHob
          AskWoody Plus

          I have the same problem so hope you get a reply from Deanna

        • #2299484 Reply
          OlderGeeks.com
          AskWoody_MVP

          The most recent version was just released and the author changed the program to be based on .Net Core instead of previously based on .Net at the time the article was written. The install is Microsoft’s .Net Core which is completely safe.

          -Deanna

          OlderGeeks.com

          4 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2299743 Reply
            anonymous
            Guest

            Thanks, this answered the query I had re the prompt to download .NET Core on my x64 Win10Pro v1909 machine.
            Can anyone offer or point me to a rundown on the differences btw Framework and Core?

          • #2299913 Reply
            JohnHob
            AskWoody Plus

            thanks but this doesn’t explain the difference in the menus you describe in your article to what I’m seeing

            • #2299917 Reply
              OlderGeeks
              Guest

              John,

              The menus are different now because the new Alpha version came out right after the article was written. There were many changes. Sorry about that. I will have to better review the new version and maybe map menu items that have moved. Will post here.

              1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2299925 Reply
                anonymous
                Guest

                So it was still “experimental” when you recommended it?

                How many of its functions have you tested?

        • #2300494 Reply
          rc primak
          AskWoody_MVP

          Don’t know if that is because of the runtime file or my OS version.

          Or both.

          -- rc primak

      • #2299460 Reply
        BobT
        AskWoody Lounger

        The “Settings” panel is clearly designed to be tablet friendly. Once again, I’M NOT ON A TABLET.

        The organisation is shocking, the information is non-existent. The old settings panel (especially in icon mode) was great! I could get to everything within two seconds.

        Cool it’s still there in 10, but a shame it’s slowly being eroded away to once again, be replaced with something inferior.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2299472 Reply
        LoneWolf
        AskWoody Plus

        Settings remains one of the poorest parts of Windows 10.  There are a few things it does right, but it’s feature incomplete and very much needs an advanced mode toggle for tech-savvy people to use.

        Another thing I still don’t understand is the UWP-ification of things when Microsoft has said UWP is not the future of Windows Apps.

        Microsoft Confirms UWP is Not the Future of Windows Apps

        I myself resist UWP at every turn, not out of being curmudgeonly, but because nearly every time, I find I cannot reverse a change I don’t like, or the features aren’t there because the UWP version has been dumbed down. If UWP truly resulted in better applications, I’d be all for it, but it seems like almost every UWP application I’ve tried has been a step backward rather than forward.

        I’m okay with reinventing the wheel –But only if you get a better, improved wheel.  Settings hasn’t been an improvement, and the lethargic pace of developing it makes me believe it never will be.

         

        We are SysAdmins.
        We walk in the wiring closets no others will enter.
        We stand on the bridge, and no malware may pass.
        We engage in tech support, we do not retreat.
        We live for the LAN.
        We die for the LAN.

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2299486 Reply
        OlderGeeks.com
        AskWoody_MVP

        The most recent version of ControlUWP was just released and the author changed the program to be based on .Net Core instead of previously based on .Net at the time the article was written. The additional install prompt is Microsoft’s .Net Core which is completely safe.

        -Deanna

        OlderGeeks.com

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2299503 Reply
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        I’ve never cared for “tweaker” apps/programs.  I’d much rather learn the set of skills necessary to navigate Windows in its native language.

        UWP apps have their own particular registry settings with which one must become familiar in order to deal with them successfully.

        Even PowerShell runs afoul of those particular registry settings from time to time, and, in my case, is not completely reliable in that regard.  I have found that running a couple of useful (cheap, but not free) powerful tools as TrustedInstaller can deal with UWP successfully.  Plus, these tools automatically keep logs of what I’ve done.

        I don’t need ControlUWP, I’ve learned to navigate All settings fairly well, and as I never do clean installs (other than on bare metal new DIY builds) but update/upgrade in-place, my settings very rarely change.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

      • #2299537 Reply
        Dank
        AskWoody Plus

        I downloaded this both from your link and from the authors github page.  The Debloat, Edge, Package Management and Tweaks page are blank except for ‘Under Development’ notice in both versions.  I hope they come back soon…

      • #2299551 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        I Just downloaded controluwp from OlderGeeks. During the install process

        Note:
        The most recent version of ControlUWP was just released and the author changed the program to be based on .Net Core instead of previously based on .Net. The additional install prompt when you first run the program is Microsoft’s .Net Core which is completely safe.

        -Deanna

        OlderGeeks.com

      • #2299571 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        This article should have emphasized that ControlUWP is an Alpha version released yesterday, and only just “out of the “experimental” status” after an initial release earlier this month.

        I suspect you could count on one hand the number of brave souls who have actually used some of its functions.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2299584 Reply
          Microfix
          AskWoody MVP

          #2299456 some just won’t read or hope it performs miracles 🙂

          Win8.1 Pro | Linux Hybrids | Win7 Pro O/L | WinXP O/L
      • #2299638 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        I already know how to change the settings I want changed.  Using Win 10 Pro with gpedit makes it “easy,” except it takes a long time.  I like ControlUWP in general, it needs polishing but it is an alpha version; dotNET Core install is of no concern to me.

        This author (seems to be leading a small team of dev’s) has been releasing a number of useful utilities, many before they’re ready for prime time, which hasn’t caused issues, surprisingly.  Mostly just a few dead features that are activated in later versions.

        Typically boots revert many Home settings to their adware defaults.  If the changes ControlUWP makes to those settings are script based and run at startup (not sure about this), Home should retain its changes.

        It’s nice to have these people around as Windows gradually becomes more like phone junk with little or just fantasy input from actual users.  Insider access, preview builds, whatever, aren’t typically interesting to an average user; positive feedback from tech geeks, from what I’ve seen amounts to ” I can use it, what’s your problem?” Rather pointless with the tech bubble remaining unburst.

      • #2299907 Reply
        AlexEiffel
        AskWoody_MVP

        I make my own tools to tweak Windows, but it is a long process that turned from frustrating but in the end satisfying to mostly frustrating because once it is done, a lot get undone a few months later with Windows as a disservice. Still, at least I can push back some settings quickly once the config files are done, but the need to constantly review undocumented and not well tested changes in Windows that brings things I don’t want is draining.

        Group policy has some good stuff, but it is clearly not enough and there are a lot of useless things that should be cleaned up in this mess.

        In the age of WaaS, a good tweak tool needs:

        -to use Windows official means of changing Windows as much as possible, and even this, I think that less used configurations that are perfectly legit to alter risk having more problems because they are even less tested than standard configuration (i.e. SAS has been awful since the early Windows 10). So, I use lgpo to load local policies files, powershell commands and when nothing else works to do the equivalent of flipping a switch in the UI, I reluctantly resort to undocumented registry changes I found myself and that I hope the switch in the UI is the only thing that it changes. Up to now, I didn’t have major issues with that. But it is not fun to have a few files to load. Everything should be doable in one settings file that Windows could load and uses the legacy things itself to apply settings. There should also be a “force this setting” like in GP and a “push this setting once and let user decide after”. We should also have a solution for the stupid GP tattooing issues and be able to push back a “get this back to default and then unconfigure” easily. The fact that home version don’t support GP is also an issue because I need to send policies registry tweaks to the home version (at least those that works) that the Pro version applies using GP to help people that buy their computers for home… Would that hurt sales of Windows Pro so much to support GP on home version since you need Pro anyway to have a bit more control over updates?

        -a mean to save/load settings so you can easily give them to someone or push your favorite configuration for each type of user as an expert helping others. I have settings for gadget/novelty dude, settings for serious and please don’t feed me any consumer crop/store/bing/onedrive/anything Microsoft not essential feature, etc.

        -the tool needs to be updated to follow Windows development and be able to import past settings and adjust them according to what changed. The tool needs to clearly say which version of Windows it supports and adapt accordingly. What a chore this is vs when Windows was out every 3 years.

        -the tool needs to clearly state what should not cause any issue because it is basically doing what you could do manually yourself by flipping switches in the GUI, using powershell or using gpedit vs the maybe ok stuff that could cause issues if Microsoft uses it in unintended ways that you don’t know about (i.e. disabling services relying on some guy on the Internet that has a snake name and that doesn’t seem to have as much time as before to draw his conclusions based on we don’t know what mysterious science; no offense and I found his stuff useful, just more risky especially in the WaaS age where new services keep popping).

        I used to be so happy tweaking one version of Windows, making it lean and fast for years with as less bloat as I was able to remove as possible. A few years ago when people still took sometimes 2-5 minutes to boot, I had computers start in a few seconds and they were so fast and tuned for productivity, even years later. Now I still tame the beast, but my job is more sloppy and my heart is not into it anymore. Windows has become that loving relationship that you thought was worth it to work on and that became something you reluctantly work on when all your other priorities are taken care of and you do the minimum to avoid a breakup.

         

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2300577 Reply
        Rick Corbett
        AskWoody_MVP

        I used to be so happy tweaking one version of Windows, making it lean and fast for years with as less bloat as I was able to remove as possible.

        That was almost my sole job for so many years whilst working for a local government’s IT section wrestling with the rollout of Windows 7 to 6500+ devices across 52 locations with no end of different connection-speed logistics… with the help of visiting Microsofties (whom we held in awed reverence.. ‘cos they knew just whom to phone).

        The Microsofties were extraordinarily helpful… every single one of them without exception. Whilst never, ever negative about Win 7, they all went over and beyond helping us past innumerable transition ‘issues’ (despite a gruelling two-way commute every single day from Reading to England’s south-west for weeks on end. I couldn’t believe it when I learned that that they weren’t staying overnight locally.).

        I’m glad I retired before the launch of Windows 10… because it appears (to me, at least) to show an ‘about face’ by Microsoft. No longer is Windows infinitely customizable. These days it’s all about obfuscation, putting hurdles in user’s way and removing choice.

        That’s fine… Windows is, after all, Microsoft’s own proprietary operating system. If it wants to undo all the good work and support it once had… then we all have to accept that.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2300636 Reply
        Alex5723
        AskWoody Plus

        New version ControlUWP v0.20.30

        Numerous Improvements & fixes
        Optimized several settings pages

        It is recommended to remove the old “settings” folder and not to replace it within an update

        https://www.oldergeeks.com/downloads/file.php?id=3457

      • #2303286 Reply
        tcc089
        AskWoody Plus

        Hi Deanna – great article and thanks for identifying ControlUWP, a nice tool to bring all the Windows Settings together.

        I downloaded it today (Oct 11).  It is Version 0.21.10 (not 0.21.30 as suggested above – I did a search and there is no such version unless I did something wrong in my search).  And yes, it asks to install .Net Core, which is no issue.  However, this latest version is still the same as a previous poster has identified.  That is, the Edge, Package Management, and Tweaks options are all “under development”, and do not show the options you displayed in your Sep 27 newsletter article.

        I will continue to pop over to oldergeeks and see if there’s an updated version made available over the next few weeks and post back here if I see anything new.

        Thanks again!

        • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by tcc089.
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