How Does the Taskbar's Action Center Work in Windows 10 - dummies

How Does the Taskbar’s Action Center Work in Windows 10

By Andy Rathbone

The Windows 10 taskbar’s right edge is often stuffed with icons. These icons can be pretty mysterious. Well, just click the Action Center icon, and then the Action Center pane appears, as shown here, and demystifies that area by giving you more details about both your computer and your personal information.

Click the Action Center icon to see the Action Center pane, which displays current information abou
Click the Action Center icon to see the Action Center pane, which displays current information about your computer.

The Action Center lists information about your latest e-mails, for example, as well times of upcoming appointments, and other notifications. It also provides a list of four handy buttons along the bottom:

  • Tablet mode: Click or tap this button to toggle Tablet mode. (When it’s colored, you’re in Tablet mode, which works well only on touchscreens.)

  • Media Connect: This tells Windows to start searching for something you’ve connected, often wirelessly. Choose this after you turn on a wireless monitor or Bluetooth speakers, for example.

    Note: Click here to fetch OneNote, an app for taking notes in text, pictures, sound, and video.

  • All Settings: This brings up the new Windows 10 Settings app, a huge panel of organized switches, which replaces most of the Control Panel found in older Windows versions. (You can also reach the Settings app by clicking the Start button and clicking the word Settings.)

Although the Action Center’s bottom usually shows only four buttons, click the word Expand over the right-most button to reveal hidden buttons. The available buttons vary according to your particular model of computer or tablet.

Keep these things in mind to reap the most benefits from the Action Center:

  • The Action Center sometimes goes overboard, reminding you about an appointment from yesterday. To remove an item, point at it and then click the X that appears in its upper-right corner.


  • To clear everything listed in the Action Center, click the words Clear All in its top-right corner.

  • Tablet owners can quickly fetch the Action Center by sliding their finger inward from the screen’s right edge.

  • To customize the Action Center’s bottom buttons, click the All Settings button in the pane’s bottom-right corner. When the Settings window appears, click the System section and click that section’s Notifications & Actions link. When the Notifications & Actions window appears, you see your four current buttons listed along its top; click or tap any button to choose its replacement from the pop-up menu.