When Microsoft first introduced desktop notifications into its Windows PC ecosystem, they weren’t exactly held in high regard. The small, rectangular boxes popping up in Windows 8 were generally more of a hindrance than a help, disappearing forever once they unceremoniously exited the screen.
There was no central location to view or manage notifications in Windows 8 and its successor Windows 8.1, meaning that Microsoft had so far failed to make desktop notifications a legitimate value for PC users. In short, desktop notifications in Windows were a good idea, but poorly executed.
Windows 10 changed things for the better, particularly the Anniversary Update, Microsoft’s latest OS makes good on its promise to inject a worthwhile notification system into its Windows ecosystem, via a new notification center — aka the “Action Center” — that provides users with a single and persistent location for all app alerts. All notifications show up in the Action Center and stay there until acted upon, meaning that users don’t have to respond immediately to a notification in order to benefit from it. In addition, Microsoft went a step further, providing quick access to some of the settings that are used most often.
The Action Center is, therefore, a sort of activity hub for Windows 10, augmenting the Start Menu in allowing users to control their PCs and get things done — Microsoft’s productivity mantra in play. Check below for a quick rundown of the Action Center in the latest production build of Windows 10, currently build 14393, along with tutorials for toggling notifications on and off.