In Windows 10, there is a new icon called Action Center in the notification area on the taskbar, which mainly solves problems with notifications in Windows 8. The Action Center stores all notifications from the operating system and installed applications. P>
It also has action buttons that allow you to quickly perform certain tasks like switching to tablet mode, taking a note, connecting to a VPN, etc. In this article, I will show you how you can customize the taskbar, notification area and actions. center in Windows 10. If you are only interested in one section, just go to the appropriate heading.
Windows 10 taskbar
So what’s new in the Windows 10 taskbar? Quite a few things actually. First, we again have a working Start button with links to apps, settings, and so on, which made a lot of people happy.
The Start menu is a completely different matter, so I’ll write a separate article on how to customize it. It’s basically a combination of the Windows 7 Start menu and the Windows 8 Start screen. It’s actually quite useful, and I like it better than the standard Windows 7 Start menu.
Cortana and Search
Cortana and search
Next to the Start button is a new search box that also integrates Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant software. You will see the inscription “I am Cortana”. Ask about anything. message if Cortana is enabled.
When you click on the search box, you are asked if you want to enable Cortana or not. If you click Not Interesting, Cortana is disabled, but you can still search your computer and the Internet.
If you would like to use Cortana, click Next and follow the instructions. Please note that when you turn on Cortana, you lose most of your privacy. Before you click the Use Cortana button, you’ll see a list of items that are sent to Microsoft from your computer, including location, search history, calendar data, voice input, browsing history from Edge, and more. A lot of people have complained about too much information being sent to Microsoft, and this is probably true.
To use Cortana, you also need to sign in with a Microsoft account. If you want to change your Cortana settings, just click the gear icon on the left and you can turn it off or on, turn Bing search on or off, etc.
If you don’t like how much space Cortana’s search box takes up, just right-click on the taskbar, go to Cortana and select Hidden or Show Cortana Icon.
The first option will remove it entirely, while the second will simply use the search icon.
The next new item on the Windows 10 taskbar is the Task View button. Basically, it’s similar to Mission Control in OS X if you’ve ever used a Mac. If you click on it, it will show you all open applications on the current desktop, as well as any other desktops.
In Windows 10, multiple desktops are finally a built-in feature. You can hide or show the task viewer button by right-clicking on the taskbar and choosing the “Show task viewer button” option.
You can also enter the task view using the Windows Key + TAB hotkey. I already wrote a detailed post on how to switch between programs and desktops in Windows 10, so be sure to check it out. Overall, this is a great feature and works very well.
If you right-click on the taskbar and select Properties, you can configure a few more options related to the taskbar.
This screen is very similar to older versions of Windows: you can lock the taskbar, set it to hide automatically, and use the little taskbar icons. You can also adjust the position of the taskbar to the left, right, or top. Finally, you can choose how you want to combine the icons on the taskbar. By default, multiple windows from one application will be merged.
At the very bottom, you can also enable Peek to quickly preview your desktop when you hover your mouse over the Show Desktop button. The Show Desktop button is still at the far-right corner of the taskbar and is now a tiny piece that you can barely see.
Windows 10 notification area
Now let’s talk about the notification area in Windows 10. It is very similar to the notification area in Windows 7, but it also has an Action Center icon, which is an icon in the far-right corner that looks like a piece of paper with text on it.
To customize the notification area, you can either right-click on the taskbar, select Properties and click the Customize button next to the notification area, or you can click Start, go to Settings, click System. and then â€œNotifications and Actionsâ€.
On this screen, you can customize both the notification area and Action Center. First, let’s talk about the taskbar and icons.
Click Select Icons to Display on the Taskbar to select all of the various application icons to appear in the main area of ??the taskbar.
Note that if this option is set to Off, the Icon will appear in the More Icons section that appears when you click the small up arrow. If you set it to On, the Icon will move from the Additional Icons section to the main taskbar.
It’s worth noting that you can also move the icons yourself by simply clicking and dragging the icon between the taskbar and the additional icons section. It’s actually easier than setting it up.
If you click Turn System Icons On or Off, you can choose which system icons are displayed on the taskbar. You can select Clock, Volume, Network, Power, Input Indicator, Location, and Action Center.
So from here you can even turn off Action Center if you don’t need it. If you go back to the main notifications and actions page, you will see the Notifications section. This section determines which notifications you receive, from which apps, and where they appear.
If you disable the first two options (Show Windows tips and Show application notifications), you will almost stop receiving any notifications from Windows other than system ones. App notifications are the most common notifications you see on Windows.
You can also choose if you want to receive notifications on the lock screen. For privacy reasons, some users may want to turn off lock screen notifications. Finally, you can turn on hiding notifications during a presentation.
Directly below this section are individual notification settings for each application. If you receive a lot of notifications from a particular app, you can only turn off that app, but still receive notifications from other apps.
Windows 10 Action Center
Finally, we have an Action Center. If you click on this little icon in the taskbar, you will see windows appear on the right side of the screen.
Here you will see a scrolling list of all system and app notifications. At the bottom of the screen are the quick steps that I talked about earlier in this article. You can change which icons appear here by clicking the icons at the top in settings and choosing a different icon.
On desktops, you’ll pretty much see all of the possible actions listed, but on laptops, you can only see one row of four icons. Currently, you can select All Settings, Connect, Project, VPN, Note, Quiet Hours, Location, and Tablet Mode. Some of them really only apply to laptops or tablets and don’t make much sense for desktops.
So that’s pretty much all it takes to customize the taskbar, notification area, and action center in Windows 10. It’s a big improvement over Windows 8, and it has enough new features to make the transition from Windows 7 feel like a smart move. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask. Enjoy!