Disable Action Center / Notification Icon On Windows 10

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update (1607) introduced a new annoyance for me, moving the Action Center / Notification to the right of the clock in the system tray. Maybe I’ve just used Windows for too long and am so used to the clock been in the same place, however this minor change really started to annoy me after a couple of days, especially as i’ve never had any use for the action center anyway.

disable-windows-10-action-center-notification-icon-6

Thankfully Windows 10 has some options hidden away that allow users to turn system icons on and off.

So How Can I Disable The Action Center / Notification Icon On Windows 10?

The easiest way to disable the Windows 10 Action Center / Notification Icon is to do the following.

Right click on your desktop and select “Personalise”:

Disable Windows 10 Anniversary Update Notification / Action Center Icon Step 1

Click “Task Bar” then scroll down the list of options until you get to “Notification area”, here you will see a link to “Turn system icons on and off”.

Disable Windows 10 Anniversary Update Notification / Action Center Icon Step 2

Once you click the “Turn system icons on and off” link you will be able to turn the “Action Center” off:

Disable Windows 10 Anniversary Update Notification / Action Center Icon Step 3

The end result been the clock will move back to the far right of the screen where it has always been:

disable-windows-10-action-center-notification-icon-7

This is a useful work around for people who are annoyed by the Action Center changes in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update (1607), however I would personally like to see the option to re arrange the order of system icons added. It’s possible to move some icons such as the sound and network icon, so why not the clock and action center?

Now if only the GPO to disable the lock screen still worked on Windows 10 Pro editions…

Explorer Group Policy: Disable Recent Files / Frequent Folders & Open To This PC

It’s easy to customise Windows explorer to your linking on a single PC, however if you want to make these changes for multiple users using multiple computers on a domain you really need to be making the change though group policy.

Windows 10 gives you the option to open new explorer windows to “This PC” instead of the quick access layout and also gives you the option to disable showing recently used files in Quick access and showing frequently used folders in Quick access, however their is no GPO to easily configure any of these settings.

However you toggle these settings with a registry entry, meaning you can still easily make changes to these settings for the users on your domain with ease, which i’m going to show you how to do:

windows-10-explorer-folder-options

 

How to open file explorer to this PC and hide recently used files / folders on Windows 10 using group policy:

You are going to want to open up Group Policy Management (gpedit.msc) for your domain and either create a new Group Policy Object (GPO) or edit an existing one. I’m going to edit the “Desktop” GPO i’ve already created, this GPO contains all my settings related to the users desktop experience:

open files explorer to this PC and hide recently used files / folders on Windows 10 using group policy

With your GPO open navigate to Users Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Registry

You then want to right click and create a new Registry Item:

open files explorer to this PC and hide recently used files / folders on Windows 10 using group policy

 

To make explorer open to this PC you want to create the following registry item:

Action: Replace
Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Key Path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
Value Name: LaunchTO
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Value Data: 1
Base: Decimal

GPO Open Explorer In This PC

To hide frequently opened folders from quick access in explorer you want to create the following registry item:

Action: Replace
Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Key Path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
Value Name: ShowFrequent
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Value Data: 0
Base: Decimal

GPO Hide Frequent Folders

To hide recently used files from quick access in explorer you want to create the following registry item:

Action: Replace
Hive: HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Key Path: Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
Value Name: ShowRecent
Value Type: REG_DWORD
Value Data: 0
Base: Decimal

GPO Hide Recent Files

 

That’s it, really simple to achive once you know how! I hope this helps somebody else out.

Colored Title Bar On Windows 10 – Remove The White

Update: The Windows 10 1511 Build 10586 released in November 2015 now nativity supports colored title bars. The title bar colours can be configured in Settings > Personalise > Colours.

The white title bar for active Windows on Windows 10 is a bit bland / lifeless and it can often make it quite hard to distinguish between and active window or an inactive window. Plus lets be honest a bit of colour never hurt anyone, especially if you are spending 8+ hours a day using a PC.

Below, the bland white title bars on Windows 10:

Windows 10 Title Bar Colour Change

So how do i get a colored title bar on Windows 10 and add some colour on my desktop?

Unzip then install UxStyle, this consists of a tiny system service and a kernel driver that are loaded into memory which patches Windows on the fly to allow unsigned themes to load, meaning no system files are modified.

Next you need to unzip and copy the Colored Title Bar Theme for Windows 10 to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes as shown below:

Windows 10 Title Bar Colour Change

 

Now you can simply load the Windows 10 “Settings” app, go to Personalisation > Themes then click on Theme settings.

You should now see you have three installed themes – Windows 10 Black, Windows 10 White and Windows 10, as shown below:

Windows 10 Title Bar Colour Change

If you want a Windows 10 black or white theme choose the appropriate one, however to have a colored theme you can control select the “Windows 10” theme with the colored icon as shown above.

You can now go to Settings > Personaliseation > Colours and turn off “Automatically pick an accent colour from my background”, you can then select an accent colour, which will also be the colour of your title bar:

Windows 10 Title Bar Colour Change

Of course if you want a random title bar colour you can let windows automatically choose one based on your current background, this can allow for colours you cant normally choose from.

You should then have a colored title bar, just like in Windows 8. Below you can see I have a nice light blue title bar, much nicer than the default white i’m sure you will agree!

Windows 10 Title Bar Colour Change