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June 10, 2016

Four Tips to Get the Most out of Your Action Center

Roberto Bojorquez and Peter Skillman are on the Windows CoreUX team

We in the Windows team believe Action Center is more than simply a place to see all the notifications you’ve missed. We believe it is the place where the most relevant and timely content should show up, making it easy for you to take action on it. It should become your center of action.

As part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update we undertook the challenge to make Action Center more relevant, beautiful, and personal than ever. This resulted in the introduction of several exciting new features – presented at //build – coupled with a visual update that focuses on highlighting more of the content that matters most to you.

Today we’re walking you through the new Action Center, currently available to Windows Insiders in the Fast and Slow rings. We encourage Windows Insiders to explore the new Action Center and give us feedback on your experience in the Feedback Hub under “Start and Action Center”. The new Action Center will become available to everyone with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update coming this summer.

How-To Tips

1. Sign in to Cortana with your Microsoft Account and set up some photo reminders (reminders which you can attach a photo to so that it shows up as part of the content when it triggers). In addition, navigate to Cortana’s notebook to set-up notifications for updates on your favorite news topics as well as final scores of the teams you follow. Do this by adding topics and teams and enabling the notifications check-box.

Cortana for Action Center

2. Download your favorite apps. Many of them already feature rich notifications, a few examples of these are: Flipboard, Skype UWP Preview, Facebook , LINE and many others!

Action Center
Action Center

3. Get web notifications from your favorite websites via Microsoft Edge. Open Microsoft Edge, visit a website that supports web notifications such as or, sign-in, grant permission when prompted (only once), and as long as you don’t close the browser tab (it’s fine if tab is not in focus or not in foreground) you will get notifications directly in your Action Center

4. Get your phone’s notifications on your PC. Just make sure you are signed-in to Cortana on both devices with the same Microsoft Account, and you should start seeing your phone’s notifications mirrored onto your PC. It works for Android too, just download the latest Cortana app.

Action Center

More of what you want, less of what you don’t

Control which apps can forward notifications and which ones you rather keep in your phone

Action Center
You can do this from your phone by going into Cortana Settings > Manage Notifications > Select your device. Alternatively control them directly from Action Center by clicking the settings icon (or tap and hold) on the notification itself and selecting the top option.

Prioritize the notifications that are most important to you

Action Center
From Settings > System > Notifications & actions > Select an app from the list and pick the priority level that you want. The app with the most recent notification will show up at the top of each priority group, so you never miss the latest.

Silent notifications

Action Center
If you don’t want to see notification banners for a particular app you have the option to still get the notifications directly into your Action Center and just see the app logo animate in the taskbar. To do this turn off notification banners under Settings > System > Notifications & actions > Select an app from the list.

Number of notifications

Action Center
Select how may notifications you want to see for each app in Action Center without the need to expand. The default is three, but you can select 1, 3, 5, 10, 20. Go to Settings > System > “Notifications & actions” and select an app from the list. If you really don’t want to see them at all, you can turn notifications off. Note: apps will only appear in the list once they’ve sent at least one notification

Customizable Quick Actions

Action Center
Now you can customize the Quick actions that appear inside Action Center. Add, remove and rearrange them to get exactly what you need at your fingertips. Do this under Settings > System > Notifications & actions.
Action Center

We hope you enjoy these great updates to Action Center and tips from our team and encourage you to share feedback with us on what you think about these new improvements we’ve made. You can reach out to Peter Skillman (GM of Windows Core UX) and Jen Gentleman (Windows Core UX community champion), or submit feedback via Feedback Hub under “Start and Action Center”.

This new Action Center will become available to everyone when the Windows 10 Anniversary Update becomes available this summer.

Finally, if you’re a developer and would be interested in leveraging these improvements check out this post.

That’s all for now!