Windows 8 System and Security – Action Center

Windows regularly checks system components like antivirus, update system, user account control, firewall, backup system, homegroup, network, devices, etc., in order to find any issues.

If any found, Windows uses a notification hub called Action Center to provide you messages and recommended actions to mitigate the issue.

This applet lets you manage the components for which Action Center should bother you.

How to Launch It

  • Open the traditional Control Panel through the Start Screen or using the Run Windows command “control”.
  • Select “Category” view for Control Panel.
  • Select “System and Security” category. This opens a new page containing the subcategories.
  • Select “Action Center”. This will launch the applet on the same control panel page.

See that flag icon in the system tray of your system? It represents the Action Center. The Action Center notifies you through that icon.

The main page of the applet lists all the items that Windows keeps a check on. It is divided into two sections –Security and Maintenance.

Security Section

This part displays the current status of the security components of the system – whether they are enable or disabled. Also, any issue with a component is displayed here, which you can solve by following the provided steps.

The components included are –

  • Windows Update
  • Internet Security Settings
  • Network Firewall
  • Microsoft Account
  • Windows Activation – This component ensures that your Windows system is valid and legal.
  • Windows Defender – Windows’ default antivirus and malware program.
  • User Account Control – This component keeps track of the extent to which Windows should notify you in case of system modifications like application installation, system settings, etc.
  • SmartScreen – If this is on, then Windows will ask for confirmation before executing an unverified or unknown program.

Maintenance Section

You can see the current status of the maintenance components of system in this section.

You can view the following components.

  • Usually in case of a problem, like crashing of an application, Windows checks online for a possible solution. You can view whether this behavior is enabled or disabled.
  • Automatic Maintenance – Windows can schedule automatic maintenance activities like updating Windows, scanning system for viruses, diagnosing the health of system software and hardware, etc.
  • HomeGroup – Current status of your HomeGroup sharing network. If you haven’t joined any, you get an option to create one.
  • File History – This component keeps backup copies of your selected files and folders, thus securing you from data loss.
  • Drive Status – This component keeps statuses of all the internal and external drives.
  • Device Software – This component handles the health of the software drivers.

Settings

By default, the Action Center pokes you if it finds any issue with any of the above mentioned components.

However, you can select specific components for which you want to be kept informed, and discard the rest of the unnecessary, annoying notifications.

Click on “Change Action Center Settings” located on the main page of the applet. It will open the settings on the same page, shown below.

The components are again divided into security and maintenance sections.

Select the components that you want notifications for, and you are done.

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