Secret Tips For…
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