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Windows 7 - How to Configure Action Center Notifications

The "Action Center" is a component of Windows 7 which notifies you of important security and maintenance events relating to your computer. Up to a point, these notifications can be useful, especially if you are a novice user concerned with keeping your computer up to date and running securely. However, if you are getting frustrated by the constant notifications it keeps giving you, you can configure it so that you only receive the updates that you want.

When there is an alert from the Action Center which has yet to be dealt with, you'll see the white flag icon in the system tray by the clock on the right-hand side of your taskbar. You can access the Action Center by clicking on this icon and clicking "Open Action Center." Alternatively, you can start it up from the start menu by typing "Action Center" into the start menu search box and pressing Enter.

Here you will be able to review any recent messages or problems. These issues are colour-coded by importance. If you see a red bar to the side of the problem, then it is something particularly important which you should probably deal with promptly. A yellow bar indicates that you are not using Windows' recommended settings for that feature.

To configure the Action Center and its notifications, click on "Change Action Center Settings" in the top-left corner of the window. Here you can deselect any type of notification that you no longer want to receive. Click "OK" when done and close the control panel.

More experienced users may want to get rid of the notification icon altogether. This is not recommended for novice users, however. To make the icon disappear permanently, click on the small upward-pointing arrow at the edge of your system tray and click "Customize." This will bring you to the area of the control panel where you can choose which notification icons to show and which ones to hide. To customize the system-related icons, click on "Turn system icons on or off" at the bottom of the window.

Under the dropdown box to the right of "Action Center," select "Off." Click "OK" and click "OK" again in the next window to close the control panel. The Action Center notification icon will now be absent from your system tray, also freeing up a little space on your taskbar. You can enable it again whenever you want. To access the Action Center from now on, you'll need to use the start menu.


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