How to use the notifications from the Action Center in Windows 10

If you use a smartphone or a tablet, then you are already acquainted with what notifications are and you probably see them regularly. But, for a desktop PC user, this is something completely new, at least if you didn’t use Windows 10 until now. Because Windows 10 has its own notifications system that helps you always be on top of things. Read on, and by the end of this article, you’ll know more about what Windows 10's notifications are, as well as how to open them, view them and clear them so that they get out of your way:

How to open the Action Center in Windows 10

In Windows 10, you are notified about anything new taking place on your device. The first thing that you'll see is a notification briefly displayed on the bottom right corner of your screen.

However, this notification banner is usually gone in a moment, so unless you can also find that notification elsewhere too, after a while, you might not remember what it said.

Fortunately, until they are taken care of, all the notifications are stored for easy access in the Notifications section of the Action Center. There are multiple ways in which you can open the Action Center. If you're using a mouse, the easiest way to open Action Center is to click on the Action Center icon found in your system tray.

If you also use a keyboard, there's even a faster way: simultaneously press the Windows + A keys, and the Action Center will immediately pop into view.

I f you use Windows 10 on a tablet or another kind of touchscreen device, simply swipe inwards from the right side of the screen.

What kind of notifications you get in Windows 10

The Action Center is split into two major sections: Notifications and Quick Actions.

The Quick Actions section is a very important feature of Windows 10, so we believe it deserves its own dedicated tutorial, which you can find and read here: How to access, use and customize quick actions in Windows 10.

To go back to our main subject, in the Notifications section you'll get messages about all kinds of things happening on your Windows 10 device:

  • Security and maintenance : if there's any security setting or maintenance task you should take care of, Windows 10 will promptly notify you about it.
  • Settings : whenever an important change was made on your device from a settings point of view, you will also get notified in here.
  • Apps : each time something happens in an app you use, you get a message in the Action Center Notifications area. For example, each time you receive an email or an event you logged into your Calendar app is due to take place soon. If for some reason, you don’t want to receive notifications from a certain app, follow the steps from this guide to block it.
  • Other Windows 10 events : you will also get notified for other kinds of events, like choosing what happens when you plug in a USB stick or a DVD. If you use Cortana both on your Windows 10 PC and on your Windows 10 Mobile smartphone (or your Android smartphone), you can also get notifications from your smartphone on your computer. However, if you don’t want that, this guide will help you put an end to it : 3 Ways to stop the syncing of notifications between Windows 10 Mobile and Windows 10.

These are the just some examples of notifications we've seen up until now. However, you should note that there may also be other kinds of notifications that you could get.

How to view a notification from the Action Center

Clicking or tapping any notification message from the Action Center will trigger its corresponding task. For example, if you open an email notification, Windows 10 will automatically open the Mail app and take you to that specific message. Or, another example, if you open a settings related notification, Windows 10 will launch the Settings app and take you to where the setting you need to take care of is located.

Sometimes, a notification could contain too much information to fit on only one line. If that's the case, you'll get a small downwards pointing arrow to its right. Click or tap it to see the entire notification content.

How to dismiss a notification from the Action Center

Each time you open a notification, Windows 10 automatically removes it from the Action Center Notifications area.

However, you might not want to actually open and view what some notifications are all about. If you only want to clear a single notification, you can simply dismiss it. To do that, click or tap the small X icon on the notification's top right corner.

Note that, instead of pressing the X (Close) button, there are also other ways to individually close a single notification. You can hover the mouse over a notification and then press the Delete key on your keyboard, or you can simply drag the notification to the right side of the screen. If you're using a touch screen, swipe the notification to the right to dismiss it.

How to clear all the notifications from the Action Center

If you want to clear all the notifications, click or tap the Clear All button from the top right corner of the Action Center.

All the notifications will be dismissed and the Notifications section of the Action Center will simply tell you that there are "No new notifications".


As you can see, the Notifications feature from Windows 10's Action Center is a really nice way of letting you know if there's anything you need to take care of. Accessing and handling notifications is both easy and fast, and it's something that will surely help any Windows 10 user. Do you have any questions or issues on this subject? For any kind of feedback, don't hesitate to use the comments form below.