How to Hide the Action Center Taskbar Icon in Windows 10
Microsoft has frequently referred to Windows 10 as the last version of Windows they’ll ever ship, but that’s not necessarily true. While the company currently has no plans to ship a “Windows 11” or any other officially-numbered successor to their well-received OS, Windows 10 frequently receives major updates in addition to the smaller patches rolled out regularly. The first major release was the Anniversary Update, first rolled out in August 2016, and since then, multiple major updates have shipped from Microsoft, including the Creators and Fall Creators Updates, and the recent May 2019 Update.
First shipped with the original version of Windows 10, Action Center is a Windows 10 feature which provides users with quick access to common system settings and app notifications. By default, the Action Center interface remains hidden until the user clicks the Action Center taskbar icon or, for touch screen devices, swipes in from the right side of the display. With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update in August 2016, however, Action Center is now a bit more noticeable. The main interface remains hidden until called upon, but the Action Center taskbar icon is now much more prominent.
The icon has been relocated to the right of the taskbar clock, and it now displays a badge indicating the number of new notifications or alerts. These changes are welcomed by those who frequently use Action Center, but for users who don’t, they merely create a distraction in the taskbar. Thankfully, it’s possible to completely hide Action Center in the taskbar with a quick trip to Settings. Here’s how to do it.
First, it’s important to note that the following instructions and screenshots are based on the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, version 1607, released in early August 2016. This update includes a number of design and functionality changes, so make sure you’re running at least this version if your own Windows interface doesn’t match our screenshots. Also note that the aforementioned Action Center badge is only visible when using the default taskbar size. The badge will not be displayed if the user has enabled the “use small taskbar buttons” option.
Remove the Action Center Taskbar Icon
To remove the Action Center taskbar icon, right-click on an empty space in the taskbar and select Taskbar Settings. This will take you directly to the Taskbar section of the Windows 10 Settings app. Alternatively, you can launch Settings directly from the Start Menu and then navigate to Personalization > Taskbar.
In Taskbar Settings, scroll down in the list of options on the right until you see Turn system icons on or off. Click on this text to view your taskbar icon options.
You’ll see a list of various system icons which can be displayed in your taskbar. The available options will vary based on the capabilities of your device. For example, Windows 10 devices without a battery, such as a traditional desktop PC, won’t be able to display power information.
Find the option for Action Center and click or tap on the corresponding toggle to turn it off. The Action Center icon will immediately disappear from your desktop taskbar. There’s no need to reboot or log off in order to save your change.
If you’re satisfied now that the Action Center icon is gone, you can close Settings. You will still receive notifications and alerts based on your preferences in Settings > System > Notifications & Actions, but you won’t have the Action Center icon cluttering up your taskbar. If you ever wish to re-enable the Action Center icon, just head back to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar > Turn System icons on or off and flip the switch back on.