Se­cret Tips For…

PC no­ti­fi­ca­tions

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Make room for more no­ti­fi­ca­tions

Click the speech-bub­ble icon at the far right of the taskbar to open the Ac­tion Cen­ter and you’ll see a grid of ‘Quick ac­tions’ tiles that takes up around a third of the no­ti­fi­ca­tions col­umn. If you don’t use all these then re­mov­ing a few will free up space for more no­ti­fi­ca­tions.

Click Start, the set­tings cog, Sys­tem, then ‘No­ti­fi­ca­tions & ac­tions’. Un­der ‘Quick ac­tions’ click the ‘Add or re­move quick ac­tions’ link, then switch off those you don’t need (see screen­shot below).

Block per­sonal mes­sages when your PC is locked

It’s handy hav­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tions ap­pear on the Win­dows 10 lock screen, but you might want to keep more per­sonal no­ti­fi­ca­tions away from pry­ing eyes. There’s a way you can get some level of con­trol over what is dis­played.

First, open the ‘No­ti­fi­ca­tions & ac­tions’ page (see first tip). Then, to dis­able all lock-screen alerts, switch the ‘Show no­ti­fi­ca­tions on the lock screen’ slider to Off. To re-en­able no­ti­fi­ca­tions on the lock screen for cer­tain apps (Skype is a good ex­am­ple), scroll down to find the ‘Get no­ti­fi­ca­tions from these senders’ list, click the rel­e­vant app, then switch the ‘Keep no­ti­fi­ca­tions pri­vate on the lock screen’ slider to On (see screen­shot above right).

Set no­ti­fi­ca­tion pri­or­ity level

As­sign­ing the pri­or­ity lev­els of cer­tain no­ti­fi­ca­tions will en­sure that the alerts that are most im­por­tant to you are al­ways on top. Re­fer to the pre­vi­ous tip to ac­cess the ‘Get no­ti­fi­ca­tions from these senders’ list, click an app and then scroll to the bot­tom. Only one app can be as­signed Top pri­or­ity, as this dic­tates which no­ti­fi­ca­tion will ap­pear in the Ac­tion Cen­ter (ac­ces­si­ble by click­ing the speech-bub­ble icon to the right of the clock on the taskbar). Mul­ti­ple apps can be marked as High pri­or­ity, which means their re­spec­tive no­ti­fi­ca­tions will ap­pear above those set as Nor­mal.

Cus­tomise sys­tem no­ti­fi­ca­tions

Win­dows’ sys­tem no­ti­fi­ca­tions – such as power, lo­ca­tion and the Ac­tion Cen­ter it­self – are man­aged in a dif­fer­ent place to app no­ti­fi­ca­tions. In Win­dows 10, click Set­tings, Per­son­al­i­sa­tion, Taskbar, then scroll down to ‘No­ti­fi­ca­tion area’ and click ‘Turn sys­tem icons on or off’. In Win­dows 7, launch Con­trol Panel and click ‘Ap­pear­ance and Per­son­al­iza­tion’. Next, un­der ‘Taskbar and Start Menu’, click ‘Cus­tomize icons on the Taskbar’, then click ‘Turn sys­tem icons on or off’.

Man­age no­ti­fi­ca­tion ban­ners and sounds

You won’t nec­es­sar­ily want ev­ery no­ti­fi­ca­tion to make a sound or dis­play a pop-up ban­ner, so cus­tomise them to work the way you want. On the ‘No­ti­fi­ca­tions & ac­tions’ page (see first tip) scroll down to ‘Get no­ti­fi­ca­tions from these senders’, then click a pro­gram or app. Switch the ‘Show no­ti­fi­ca­tion ban­ners’ and ‘Play a sound when a no­ti­fi­ca­tion ar­rives’ slid­ers to their On or Off po­si­tions, as ap­pro­pri­ate.

Dis­able un­used ‘Quick ac­tions’ tiles to free up space for no­ti­fi­ca­tions you want to see

Con­trol which no­ti­fi­ca­tions pop up when your PC is locked by chang­ing these set­tings

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