Reducing Windows 10 Notifications

Fed up with un-necessary distractions from programs?

Some people seem to like their computer to be constantly beeping, flashing, and “giving feedback”. Others (grown ups?) loathe such un-necessary distractions. Do you really want your antivirus program, for instance, to pop up a box with a “cheery” jingle, just to tell you “we saved you from Armageddon 32 million times in the last month”. I think not. Some of these things can be turned off by changing a setting in Windows. The place to start is:

  • Click on the “Start” icon at the bottom lefthand corner of the screen (unless you’ve moved your taskbar from the bottom of the screen, in which case your “Start” icon will be in a different corner)
  • Start typing “notifications” (without the quotes), until you see “Notifications and actions settings” offered down the lefthand side of the screen
  • Click on “Notifications and actions settings”
  • To turn off as many notifications as possible at once, look for “Get notifications from apps and other senders” and slide the switch below that text to the left (ie off)
  • Alternatively, scroll down and just turn off the notifications for specific items as desired

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That’s a start, but many programs have settings within the program itself that control the display/suppression of notifications. The existence and whereabouts of the item you are looking for varies depending on the program. As a general rule, the item you are looking to change will probably be in a menu option such as “Tools”, “Preferences”, “Options”, or something similar. These are often to be found as sub-items in a “File” or “Edit” menu option.

If you can’t find it, then try doing a Google search with a search term such as “[program name] turn off notifications” (where [program name] is, rather obviously, the name of the program that is irritating you with its notifications).

If that doesn’t resolve the problem, then the nuclear option is to uninstall the program itself. Only do this if you are confident that the program isn’t needed for the functioning of the computer. Be wary, for instance, of uninstalling programs that relate to your graphics card (eg anything that mentions “Nvidia”, “Radeon”, “Sapphire”, “AMD”, for instance). To uninstall a program:

  • Click on the “Start” icon at the bottom lefthand corner of the screen
  • Start typing “programs and features” (without the quotes), until you see “Programs and features” offered down the lefthand side of the screen
  • Click on “Programs and Features”
  • Highlight the program you wish to uninstall by left-clicking on it once
  • Above the list of programs, click on “Uninstall” and follow any prompts

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Do be aware, before uninstalling a program, that getting it back could be far more difficult than removing it – especially if its removal has broken something important.