How to Use and Customize the Windows 10 Action Center

For a long time notifications in windows have been somewhat of a farce but Windows 10 has fixed this with Action Centre (a slide out pane that groups and displays notifications, and also provides access to quick actions like Wi-Fi, Quiet Hours, and Night Light.)

The Action Center is unambiguous to use, and also fairly customizable.

View Notifications in the Action Center

If you don’t dismiss a notification yourself, it will disappear automatically about 6 seconds later. When, you have new notifications, the Action Centre icon in the notification area turns white and displays a badge showing the amount of new notifications available (on the left) but if there are no new notifications, the icon will look empty and have no badge (on the right).

Click the icon (empty or looking white) to open the Action Center, a pane will slide out from the right edge of your display. The Action Center shows all your recent notifications, as grouped by app.

When you click a notification in the Action Center, the next thing that happens rests on the app that notified you. Most of the time, clicking a notification achieves something pertinent. For instance, clicking that OneDrive screenshot notification in the example above opens the OneDrive in folder in question and highlights the particular file you were notified about.

Sometimes, the results of clicking a notification are explained in the notification. In our illustration, clicking the notification from Razer Synapse about an available update goes ahead to start the update.

Clear Notifications from the Action Center

Click the clear button (the X) in the upper right corner of any notification to clear it. Note that when you clear a notification, there’s no way to retrieve it.

You can also clear all notifications for an app group by hovering your mouse over the name of the app, and then clicking the “Clear” button that appears there.

And finally, you can clear all notifications by clicking the “Clear All” text near the bottom right corner of the Action Center (just above the Quick Action buttons).

Customize Notifications

  1. Press Windows + I on your keyboard to go to settings.

2. On the “System” settings page, switch to the “Notifications & Actions” tab.

3. In the right pane, scroll down to the “Notifications” section and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Below are the primary settings:

  • Get notifications from apps and other senders: Turn this setting off to disable notifications entirely.
  • Show notifications on the lock screen: Turn this off to prevent any notifications from showing up when your computer is locked.
  • Show reminders and incoming VoIP calls on the lock screen: Turning off notifications on the lock screen still allows reminders and incoming calls to display. Turn this setting off to disable those types of notifications on the lock screen, as well.
  • Hide notifications when I’m duplicating my screen: People often duplicate their display when giving presentations, and it can be annoying to have notifications appear. Turn this setting off to disable them during screen duplication.
  • Show me the Windows welcome experience and Get tips, tricks, and suggestions: Turn these two settings off if you’re not interested in seeing tips, suggestions or ads.

If you scroll down, you’ll see notification settings for individual apps and other sources of notifications.

Note, you necessarily won’t see every app you have installed on the list. Some apps have their own notification settings which you’ll have to configure from within the app.


  • Turn off the toggle next to any listed app to completely disable notifications for that app.

  • Click the name of an app to open another page that lets you customize settings for that app in greater detail.

On the settings page for an app, you can disable notifications for the app, choose between showing banners or sounds played, prevent notifications from being added to the Action Center, and even control the number of notifications the app can show in the Action Center.

At the bottom of the page, you’ll find controls for app notifications regarding priority in the Action Center. It lets you control (to some degree) where in the Action Center list those notifications appear.

One more tip: If for some reason you just don’t like it at all, you can totally disable the Action Centre.

Customize Quick Action Buttons

At the bottom of the Action Center, there are four Quick Action buttons. By default, these include buttons for Quiet Hours, Network, Night Light and All Settings. Click a button to take the associated action (i.e turning Night Light on and off).

And if you click the “Expand” text right above those buttons…

…you’ll reveal all the available Quick Action buttons.

You can actually customize these Quick Action buttons. Although, you can’t add your own custom Quick Action buttons, you can control which buttons appear in the Action Center, and in what order.

  • Press Windows+I to open the Settings app, and then click the “System” option.

  • On the “System” settings page, switch to the “Notifications & Actions” tab.

  • In the right pane, right at the top, you’ll see the “Quick Actions” section and all the available Quick Action buttons.

  • Drag any of those buttons around to adjust the order in which they appear in the Action Center.

  • If there are buttons you don’t want appearing in the Action Center, click the “Add or remove quick actions” link.

  • Use the toggles on the resulting page to turn specific buttons on or off.

  • And before you know it, you’ll have your Action Center looking just the way you want.

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