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Windows 8 : Monitoring, optimizing, and troubleshooting system health and performance (part 3) - Using Windows Action Center

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2. Using Windows Action Center

In Figure 7, note the flag with the little red X on it. You might see a similar flag on your own Windows 8 system, with or without the red X. This flag denotes the current status of the machine as viewed by the Windows Action Center.

A Windows Action Center notification

Figure 7. A Windows Action Center notification

Windows Action Center is intended to provide you, at a glance, with real-time insight into the current health of your computer from a security perspective. The Windows Action Center watches a number of critical system elements in an effort to provide you with coherent, actionable information. Among the sources the Windows Action Center uses are:

  • Windows Update

  • Windows Firewall

  • User account control (UAC) settings

  • Virus protection (or lack thereof)

  • File history

These sources continually report their status to Windows Action Center. When something is amiss, Windows Action Center notifies you so that you can decide whether corrective action is warranted.

To view Windows Action Center, complete the following steps:

  1. Tap or click the flag icon in the notification area of the taskbar on the desktop.

  2. From the shortcut menu, choose Open Action Center to open the Action Center window shown in Figure 8.

    Windows 8 Action Center

    Figure 8. Windows 8 Action Center

  3. You can change how the Action Center behaves by clicking or tapping Change Action Center Settings in the navigation area at the left side of the window.

  4. When the screen shown in Figure 9 opens, choose which services should be configured to send messages to the Action Center and then click the OK button.

The Windows 8 Action Center settings

Figure 9. The Windows 8 Action Center settings

From within the Action Center, you can take specific actions to address the issues that are identified as risks. The various actions, such as configuring Windows Update, are described in other sections of this book.

Other  
  •  Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista : Common GPO Troubleshooting Tools (part 3) - GPResult, GPOTool
  •  Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista : Common GPO Troubleshooting Tools (part 2) - GPMC
  •  Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista : Common GPO Troubleshooting Tools (part 1) - GPLogView
  •  Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista : Using Event Logging for Troubleshooting (part 4) - Summary of Group Policy Event IDs
  •  Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista : Using Event Logging for Troubleshooting (part 3) - Divide the Custom View of the Log into Three Phases
  •  Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista : Using Event Logging for Troubleshooting (part 2)
  •  Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista : Using Event Logging for Troubleshooting (part 1) - Group Policy Operational Log
  •  Windows 8 : Managing Windows Update (part 4) - Viewing update history, Rolling back updates
  •  Windows 8 : Managing Windows Update (part 3) - Managing Windows Update in Windows 8 native interface
  •  Windows 8 : Managing Windows Update (part 2) - Configuring update settings
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