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Computers

New Windows 10 notifications will follow you everywhere

Here's what's happening in the Windows 10 action center.

Windows 10 is all about keeping your devices -- and your app and system notifications -- synced up. The main hub for all of this informative activity is the action center, which you can find by clicking on the small taskbar icon located to the right of the clock.

The new action center is basically the Windows 10 version of the action center in Windows Phone 8.1. It's part of Microsoft's "Windows everywhere" dream -- a universal notification hub that pops up app and system notifications across all platforms (including your Android device, if you have the Cortana app installed). Because who doesn't want to be alerted about new Twitter followers on their phone, tablet and PC?

The new action center consists of two parts: the notifications area at the top and the "quick actions" bar at the bottom. In the notifications area you'll see notifications from various apps, including Windows system apps and third-party apps like Twitter, Facebook and your email account.

dismiss-notifications.png
Mouse over notifications and click the 'X' to dismiss them. Screenshot by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

You can dismiss notifications three different ways: You can mouse over the app name (Twitter) and click the X next to it to dismiss all notifications from that app. You can also mouse over each individual notification and click the X next to it to dismiss that specific notification. Or you can click Clear All in the upper right corner of the notifications center to dismiss all notifications from all apps. Because this is a "Windows everywhere" feature, notifications you dismiss in the notifications center will also be dismissed on your other Windows devices, such as your phone.

In the quick actions bar, you'll see four quick-access buttons as well as an Expand link. Click Expand to see all quick actions. Actions include things like a Tablet mode toggle button, a Location toggle button, Network settings and a link to the Settings menu.

Screenshot by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

To choose which quick actions appear in the quick actions menu, go to Settings > System > Notifications & actions > Quick actions > Add or remove quick actions. You can toggle any (or all) quick actions off or on.

Screenshot by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

To choose which quick actions appear above the break in the quick actions menu, go to Settings > System > Notifications & actions > Quick actions and drag the icons around. The top four icons will appear above the break; the rest will only appear when you click the Expand button.

Screenshot by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

Here, you can also choose what types of notifications you want to see in your Action Center, including "tips about Windows" and "app notifications," as well as what types of notifications you want to see when your device is locked (alarms, reminders, etc.). There's also a toggle switch that allows you to hide notifications when you're duplicating your screen, which is a nice touch -- nothing kills a slideshow like a thousand incoming notifications about your Twitter feed.

Under Get notifications from these senders, you can also pick and choose which app notifications you'll see in the notifications bar.

Screenshot by Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

To turn off notifications for a specific app, find the app in the list and click its toggle to Off. Click the app name to open up the settings for that app. Go into these app-specific settings menus to turn off specific notifications -- either banner notifications (pop-ups in the lower right corner of your screen), notifications in the notifications center or notification sounds.

Editors' note: This How To post was originally published on March 23, 2015, and has been updated to reflect new information regarding the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.