OK, it may not look improved, but over the past few years the Action Center has taken on more responsibility offering different features and options. Whether you use Windows 8.1, 8, 7 or Vista, here are some “must knows” about the Action Center.
The purpose of the Action Center is to provide a place where “Security,” “Maintenance” and other important alerts about your computer can be shown, where it will check for solutions to any existing problems and offer remedies when available.
If you look down in the lower-right corner of your desktop, you’ll see the Action Center “flag” icon. It may have a red circle with a white “X” in it indicating your computer has some issues you should look at.
If you hover your mouse cursor over the “flag” icon, it states “Action Center” and then it will indicate how many messages there are and a brief description of each one. You can click each message separately or you can click “Open Action Center” to review all messages.
Go ahead and open your Action Center. You can also open the Action Center by going into the Control Panel and then clicking “Action Center.”
At first glance, you’ll notice a Security section as well as a Maintenance section, and to the right, you can expand each section by clicking the downward arrow. Your system’s information is listed, allowing you to view any maintenance or security issues facing your system. I recommend you read through each part to familiarize yourself with what is being monitored by the Action Center.
If your system does have any issues, they will be shown here allowing you to view the problem in detail and any solutions that may be offered.
To the left, click “Change Action Center settings.” For those alerts that you want to be advised, checkmark the box, and remove the checkmark to stop notification for those you don’t care for. As an example, I don’t need to be reminded to back up my system because I already routinely back it up, so I remove that checkmark.
Below the Security and Maintenance settings sections, click the “Customer Experience Improvement Program settings” link. Here is where you choose to participate in Microsoft’s data collection program. It’s OK to say “No.” Make your choice and click “Save Changes.”
Below, click “Problem reporting settings.” I recommend you select “Automatically check for solutions and send additional report data, if needed.” This way, the user community can get the most current fixes for their computers. Click “OK” at the bottom after you’ve made your decision.
Below, click “Windows Update settings” and verify that your Windows Updates are installed automatically. Click “OK” to save your changes.
After you’ve made your choices on the messages page, click “OK” at the bottom to save your changes. You can close the Control Panel by clicking the “X” at the upper-right.
Scott Lindsay actively promotes learning the computer, regardless of age, to better one’s life and circumstances and has helped thousands of people over the past 13 years to become better computer users. He can be reached at Scott@MicroScottPro.com.