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Notifications Pane and Action Center in Windows 10

How to Use the Notifications Pane and Action Center in Windows 10

The Action Center is a hub for all system notifications, such as incoming emails, security and maintenance, tips from Microsoft, and more. Microsoft also alerts you when a Wi-Fi network is near your location.

Open and Close the Action Center

You can find the Action Center icon on the Taskbar, next to your clock.

  1. Click the Action Center icon.

    If you're using a touchscreen, you can also open the Action Center by sliding your finger in from the right side of your screen.

    Press Windows 10+ A to open the Action Center.

  2. Click anywhere outside the Action Center to close it.

    You can also click the Action Center icon to close it. Or, if you're using a touchscreen device, tap anywhere outside the Action Center to close it.

    Action Center

Open and View a Notification

The Action Center icon will light up when you have a new notification. You'll also see a number indicating how many notifications are available for review.

  1. Click the Action Center icon.
  2. Click any notification to open and view it.
    Action Center

The app that triggered the notification opens.

For some types, clicking the notification dismisses it.

Dismiss a Notification

If you're not interested in opening a notification, you can dismiss it without opening and viewing it.

  1. Click the Action Center icon.
  2. Hover your mouse over a notification.
  3. Click the X to close it.

    The notification is gone.

  4. Click Clear all notifications to remove all your notifications at once.
    Action Center

Open a Quick Action

At the bottom of the Action Center, there is a grid full of buttons, called Quick Actions, or Actions. These quick toggles let you do a lot with just a few clicks. Some actions open a settings screen; others will simply toggle a function on or off.

Actions in use appear highlighted. Unavailable actions appear grayed out. For example, when your computer is plugged in, Battery Saver will be grayed out.

  1. Click the Action Center icon on the Taskbar.
  2. Click Expand (if necessary) to view all available actions.

    You can also click Collapse to collapse the actions.

    Action Center
  3. Click the action you want to use.
    Action Center

The associated app opens.

This table lists common actions that appear in the Action Center. Your Action Center may contain different actions based on your computer's configuration.

Action Description
Action Center Airplane Mode. Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Action Center All Settings. Open the Settings app
Action Center Battery Saver. Turn on battery-saving features, which will cause performance issues.
Action Center Bluetooth. Manage your Bluetooth-enabled devices.
Action Center Brightness. Adjust your screen's display brightness.
Action Center Connect. Connect to a Bluetooth-enabled device.
Action Center Location. Toggle your Location Services on and off.
Action Center Network. View your computer's current network connections. Search for nearby wireless networks.
Action Center Note. Create a note using Microsoft OneNote.
Action Center Project. Project your screen to a second monitor.
Action Center Quiet Hours. Temporarily disable notifications, helping you avoid unwanted distractions.
Action Center Rotation Lock. When using a tablet computer, lock your computer display in either portrait or landscape view.
Action Center Tablet Mode. Toggle between tablet and desktop mode.
Action Center VPN. Connect to a Virtual Private Network, or VPN.
Action Center Wi-Fi. Turn Wi-Fi on and off.

Customize Quick Actions

Ideally, you'll want the available actions to be those that you use often. Through your computer's settings, you can determine which actions appear in the Action Center.

  1. Click the Action Center icon.
  2. Choose All settings.
    Action Center
  3. Click System.
    Action Center

    Display, notifications, app, and power settings appear.

  4. Choose Notifications & actions.
    Action Center

    Quick action and notification settings appear.

  5. Click Add or remove quick actions.
  6. Toggle an app on or off.
    Action Center

    When you toggle an app off, it doesn't appear in the Action Center.

Rearrange Quick Actions

The four actions in the top row under the Quick actions heading are the four that will appear on the first row of your Action Center. Through your computer's settings, you can decide which actions appear on the top row of your Action Center. Remember, the top row of actions appears even when actions are collapsed.

  1. Click the Action Center icon.
  2. Choose All settings.
    Action Center
  3. Click System.
    Action Center
  4. Choose Notifications & actions.

    Quick action and notification settings appear.

  5. Click and drag an action to rearrange it under Quick actions.
    Action Center

Set Priorities for Notifications

You can customize your notification preferences, including notification priority for those appearing in your Action Center. Set priorities for which apps are more important to you than others and have their notifications appear at the top of your notification list.

  1. Click the Action Center icon.
  2. Choose All settings.
    Action Center
  3. Click System.
    Action Center
  4. Choose Notifications & actions.
  5. Click an app from Get notifications from these senders.
    Action Center
  6. Select a priority of notification in the action center:
    • Top: Notification appears at the top of your Action Center.
    • High: Notification appears above normal priority notifications in your Action Center.
    • Normal: Notification appears below high priority notifications in your Action Center.
    Action Center

Configure the Amount of Visible Notifications

You can customize your notification preferences even further by adjusting how many notifications are visible in your Action Center at any time for an installed app.

  1. Click the Action Center icon.
  2. Choose All settings.
    Action Center
  3. Click System.
    Action Center
  4. Choose Notifications & actions.
  5. Click an app from under Get notifications from these senders.
    Action Center
  6. Select a number from the Number of notifications visible in action center list.
    Action Center

    The default number of notifications is 3.