The Action Center in Windows 10 is designed to notify you about security updates and maintenance tasks that need immediate attention to keep your PC running smoothly. Although the Action Center has been around for a while, it looks dramatically different and quite attractive in Windows 10.
You can access the Action Center by clicking the icon that looks like a note and that is placed next to the Volume icon. Alternatively, you can use the Windows Key+ A shortcut. When you click the icon, a pane slides in to the right of the screen. At the top of the action center you’ll see a list of notifications. At the bottom of the Action Center, you have a number of small tiles that mostly hold shortcuts to a number of Settings functionalities.
- Tablet Mode: Is useful when you are working on a 2-in-1 PC and want to switch between desktop and tablet modes.
- Connect : Lets you pair a Bluetooth device.
- Note : Takes you straight away to OneNote to jot down your quick notes.
- All Settings : Takes you to the Windows 10 Settings Center where you can access your system, devices, network & Internet, personalization, accounts, time, ease of access center privacy and updates and security settings.
- Battery saver :Takes you to the Power settings where you can set your battery saving settings.
- VPN: Takes you to the Network & Internet settings where you can add a VPN connection.
- Bluetooth : Takes you to the Devices settings where you can manage your Bluetooth devices.
- Brightness: Brightness is a toggle switch that increases or decreases the brightness in percentage values.
- WiFi: This tile quickly lets you connect to an available WiFi connection.
- Quiet hours: Is a toggle switch that lets you turn off all system notifications in one click.
- Location: This tile lets you turn off your location settings.
- Flight Mode: This option lets you toggle the Flight mode on or off.
In a collapsed state, this pane will only display four settings : Tablet mode, Connect, Note and All Settings. If you want to customize which of the 4 settings you want to show up, here’s what you need to do:
How to Customize the Action Center Quick Settings
1. Open the Windows Settings.
2. Click System and then select the Notifications & actions tab.
3. In the right pane, under Quick actions, you will see four icons representing the icons that are on the Action Center.
4. Click Select which icons appear in the taskbar.
5. In the next screen turn off the icons you don’t want to use and turn on the ones you want displayed permanently in the Action Center.
While still on the Notifications & actions tab, you can also turn on or off a few more notification settings such as:
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- Show me tips about Windows: This is turned on by default allowing Windows 10 to occasionally show you tips and tricks in the notifications area. You may find this useful if you are a new Windows user, otherwise this could just be an annoyance. If that’s how you feel you can turn it off.
- Show app notifications: This feature is also turned on by default making it possible for you to receive notifications from apps installed on your PC.
- Show notifications on the lock screen: This is also a feature that’s turned on by default, but you may want to turn it off if you would rather avoid prying eyes from viewing the notifications while you are away from your desk.
- Show alarms, reminders, and incoming VOIP calls on the lock screen: This again may be something you wish to turn off if you have privacy concerns.
- Hide notifications while presenting: This feature is disabled but you might want to turn this on when you are delivering presentations from your PC because you don’t want your notifications popping up when you’re in the middle of a presentation.
The last section in the Notifications & actions tab, the Show notifications from these apps section, lets you turn off the switch to individual apps, which will turn off banners and sound notifications from individual apps.
How to Clear All Notifications from the Action Center
Over a period of time, the Action Center may get stacked with loads of notifications. To clear them all out one by one, you can select the individual item and click the x button to delete it. If you want to delete all of them in one go, just click the Clear All link on the Action Center title bar.
How to Change How Long to Show Notifications in the Action Center
1. Open the Windows Settings.
2. Select Ease of Access.
3. Select the Other options tab.
4. In the right pane, in the Show notifications section, the default time is set to 5 seconds. Click the drop down, and select a time limit of your choice.
As you can see, the improved Action Center in Windows 10 offers a really nice way of keeping you informed of stuff that is happening in the background and an intuitive way of and handling notifications in an easy and quick manner. If you’ve been skeptical about upgrading to Windows 10 thus far, you might want to think again as Microsoft has made many of the features intuitive and user friendly.