The Action Center in Windows 10
Different options for managing the Action Center
THE NOTIFICATION AREA
The Action Center is the system’s main notification system. You will receive all alerts from Microsoft and the third party apps via this program, unless you modified these apps’ settings to limit or stop the receipt of notifications. At times, you may receive a message from Windows and non-Windows apps requesting for feedback or suggestions.
Modifying Alerts and Notifications
The Action Center features notification options, which you can turn on and off by following these steps:
- Click the Action Center icon > Go to All Settings > select System (Display, notifications, apps, power) > Click on the Notifications & actions found in the left pane of screen > options under the Notifications heading appear on the right, each with an on and off button.
These are the following (in no particular order):
Notifications while the screen is locked
When the desktop, laptop or tablet screen is locked, notifications would still display on your screen if Show app notifications option is on. Turn this off if you are using your computer in public and need to be away from your computer for a moment.
Notifications regarding incoming VOIP (voice-over-Internet-protocol) calls, reminders and alarms
Apps you’ve manually set up to trigger alerts like calendar and reminders, as well as calls you receive via the Internet, would appear on the screen even if it is locked. This is very helpful, especially if these are urgent reminders or business calls. Otherwise, you may want to leave this option off.
Tips about Windows
On occasion, the Action Center provides valuable tips and tricks on how to use the different tools found in your Windows 10 computer. If you are a beginner, turn this option on. On the other hand, an intermediate or advanced user may forego turning this notification on.
General notifications from apps
When this is on, you allow apps installed in your computer to send alerts via the Action Center. These alerts include interface updates, subscription end date, installation progress, etc.
Notifications while a presentation tool is active
If you are presenting slides using PowerPoint, you might want to hide alerts while doing so. This will prevent distracting your viewers and putting you in an embarrassing situation.
You can also micro-manage notifications coming from the various apps installed in your computer. At the lower half of the window, you will find each app with an on/off button. Click on the name of the app you want to manage, then the screen will change to the apps’ notification management screen where you can do the following:
Switch on/off notifications from the app.
Allow or stop notification banners from the app.
Allow or do not allow a sound to be played when a notification from the app arrives.
Include/exclude the app from appearing in the Action Center
Allow or stop notifications to appear while the screen is locked.
Note: some apps, like Twitter for Windows, provide more options in managing their notifications
MANAGING ACTION CENTER ALERTS
After sometime, notifications would accumulate in the Action Center. There are notifications you may want to keep for the meantime and alerts you want to immediately get rid of. There will also come a time when you would need to delete all notifications found in the Action Center.
If you need to delete some of the notifications:
- Open Action Center > hover your mouse pointer over the notification > click the X button when it appears.
- If you need to delete all notifications, select Clear all, located in the upper right of the Action Center window.
QUICK ACTION FEATURE
Here you see the four Quick Action icons. If you click “Expand”, other action buttons will appear such as “VPN”, “Bluetooth” and “Battery Saver”.
The Action Center features up to four Quick Action tiles/icons. By default, these are:
- Tablet mode – sets the laptop or PC to be used as a tablet.
- Connect – allows your computer to connect to a wireless audio or display device. When connecting a device, make sure it is on and discoverable. Also, check if wireless, Bluetooth or WiGig are on.
- Note – selecting this tile will open Microsoft Office’s OneNote.
- All Settings – opens the Settings window.
ACTION CENTER TOOLS/TILES
Other apps in the Action Center are:
- Battery Saver – activates the battery saver app, which allows you to save battery energy by notifying you when the battery life falls below twenty percent (default). When this app is active, it also limits background activity.
- VPN – selecting this tile brings you to the VPN (Virtual Private Network) settings under Network and Internet.
- Bluetooth – activates the Bluetooth of the PC.
- Brightness – adjusts the screen’s brightness by 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%
- Wi-Fi – connects the computer to the default Wi-Fi connection. When you are connected, this tile will show the name of the Wi-Fi network to which you are connected. It would display the word Wi- Fi if you are offline.
- Quiet Hours – allows you to deactivate the notification and alerts feature of the Action Center. You can also right-click on the Action Center icon in the taskbar and select Turn on quiet hours to temporarily stop notifications and alerts from coming through.
- Location – sets your location.
- Airplane Mode – disables other features like Wi-Fi and apps, which are not allowed to be active while on board.
PLEASE NOTE: The availability of other apps in the Action Center will depend on the capabilities of your computer. For example, if you are not using a laptop the app “Airplane Mode” won’t be available.
MODIFYING QUICK ACTIONS
If you want to change your Quick Actions:
- Click the Action Center icon > Go to All Settings > Go to System > select Notifications & actions on the left panel menu of the Settings window > click on each icon under Quick Actions > select what app you would like to replace each default Quick Action tile with.
Changing Display Color
If you want to change the color or the appearance of the Action Center, follow these steps:
- Click the Action Center icon > Go to All Settings > Go to System > select Personalization (Background, lock screen, colors) from the Settings window > select Colors found on the left panel of the Personalization screen > select your preferred color from the palette displayed under the text Choose your accent color > apply changes by switching the button to On under Show color on Start, task bar and action center.
This is also where you can make the action center’s background solid instead of transparent by switching the button under the text Make Start, taskbar and action center transparent off.
If you want the system to select the color for you, simply switch the button under the text Automatically pick an accent color from my background on.