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Exploring the Windows 10 Settings menu

The new Windows 10 Settings menu houses basic PC settings, so users who aren't comfortable digging around in the Control Panel can configure their devices.

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

There's a new permanent link on the Start menu/screen in Windows 10: Settings.

This new Windows 10 Settings menu is a hub for your device's basic settings, including basic setup, network settings, and privacy settings. It has a clean interface, bit, touch-friendly icons and toggles and simple descriptions -- it looks a little like the PC settings menu in Windows 8 (Charms > Settings > Change PC settings), but it's located prominently on the Start menu and offers much more functionality.

The new Settings menu is a modern alternative to the traditional Windows Control Panel. In this menu, you'll find settings that never existed in the Control Panel (such as touchscreen, tablet, and privacy settings geared toward phones and tablets), as well as settings that have migrated over from the Control Panel (Windows Update now lives only in the Settings menu). But don't worry -- the Control Panel is far from completely phased out, and it still houses the Device Manager and many advanced settings.

Here's a deeper look at each of the sections in the new Settings menu:

The System tab

The Devices tab

The Network & Internet tab

The Personalization tab

The Accounts tab

The Time & language tab

The Ease of Access tab

The Privacy tab

The Update & recovery tab

Editors' note:This How To post was originally published on March 5, 2015, and was updated on December 8, 2015, to reflect new information regarding Windows 10 Home Build 10586.