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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Action Center

One of the biggest annoyances in Windows of old was the nagginess. Windows was constantly bugging you, sending up balloons, popping up “Attention!” boxes, demanding your name and password at every turn. It’s great that Microsoft tightened up security, but come on; it was like living with a needy 5-year-old.

Today, Windows harangues you much less. In fact, 10 categories of not-that-urgent, security-related nags don’t interrupt your work at all; instead, they quietly collect themselves into a central message station called the Action Center. You can poke in there from time to time to have a look.

The only indication you have that Windows is still on the job, in fact, is Action Center’s front man: the tiny icon on your taskbar tray. When there’s an X on it like this: , Windows has something to say to you (Figure 14-2, top). If Windows considers the problem to be urgent, then a message balloon sprouts from the flag, too.

Top: When Windows has a security- or maintenance-related message for you, the little system-tray flag () sprouts an X. Click the icon to open a summary panel (shown here at top right); click one of the messages there to open the Action Center itself.Bottom: If there’s nothing for Windows to report in the Security category, then that section of the dialog box appears collapsed at first; click the to expand it.

Figure 14-2. Top: When Windows has a security- or maintenance-related message for you, the little system-tray flag () sprouts an X. Click the icon to open a summary ...

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