Action Center won’t open on Windows 10 [Fix]

By: Milan Stanojevic
13 minute read

Action Center allows you to see important notifications in Windows 10. In addition, this feature lets you see notifications from various Universal apps as well. Action Center is quite a useful feature, but some Windows 10 users reported that Action Center won’t open on their PC.

Action Center won’t open on Windows 10, how to fix it?

Fix – Windows 10 Action Center won’t open

Solution 1 – Use ShellExView

According to users, sometimes this issue can be caused by context menu items. To fix this problem you need to use ShellExView or any other similar application that can edit context menu items. To fix the problem, do the following:

  1. Download and run ShellExView.
  2. When the application starts, locate Security & Maintenance.cpl and Windows Management Instrumentation.cpl. Disable these options. Wait for a few seconds and enable them again. Save changes and close ShellExView. If you can’t find these options, uncheck Hide all Microsoft services checkbox.
  3. Now restart your PC.

After your PC restarts, Action Center should start working again without any issues.

Solution 2 – Turn off your computer

According to users, you can fix this problem simply by turning off your PC. By default Windows 10 uses Fast Startup option that doesn’t fully turn off your PC. Therefore you need to turn off your PC by holding the power button for several seconds. Turn your PC back on again and check if Action Center issues are resolved.

Some users are also suggesting to simply log off and log back in to fix this problem. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Click the user icon and choose the Sign Out option from the menu.
  3. Now log back again to Windows 10.

After doing that, check if the problem is resolved.

Solution 3 – Delete Arial Narrow font

Several users reported that the issue was caused by Arial Narrow font. The font file can become corrupted and that can cause certain Windows components, such as Action Center, to stop working. To fix the problem you need to remove Arial Narrow font. You can do that by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter fonts. Choose Fonts from the menu.
  2. Fonts window will now appear with the list of all installed fonts. Navigate to Arial.
  3. Locate Arial Narrow, right click it and choose Delete from the menu.

After deleting the font Action Center should start working again without issues. If you need the font, you might have to get it from a working PC and install it again.

Solution 4 – Use PowerShell

According to a few users, they managed to fix the issue simply by running PowerShell. This is a powerful and advanced command line tool, therefore we strongly advise that you create a System Restore point and backup in case anything goes wrong. Keep in mind that this solution is potentially dangerous, so you’re using it at your own risk. To fix the problem using PowerShell, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter powershell. Locate Windows PowerShell, right click it and choose Run as administrator.
  2. Paste the following line into PowerShell:
    • Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers |Where-Object {$_.InstallLocation -like “*SystemApps*”} | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml”}

  3. Now press Enter to run the command.

After the command is executed, close PowerShell and check if the problem is resolved. If you encounter any problems after running this command, be sure to use System Restore to restore your PC.

Solution 5 – Download the latest Windows update

Several users reported that installing the latest Windows updates fixed the problem for them. In order to improve stability and fix certain issues, Microsoft is frequently releasing new updates. In most cases Windows 10 will automatically install all updates, but you can also check for updates manually. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Update & security section. Navigate to Windows Update tab and click on Check for updates button. If any updates are available, Windows 10 will download and install them automatically.

After installing the latest updates, check if the problem is resolved. Keep in mind that installing the latest updates isn’t the universal solution, and the problem might remain even after updating Windows.

Solution 6 – Disable Outlook 2016 notifications

According to users, the issue with Action Center is caused by Outlook 2016. It seems that Outlook notifications are responsible for this problem. According to users, Outlook notifications will stop appearing after a while, and eventually they’ll prevent Action Center from opening. To fix the issue, you need to disable Outlook 2016 notifications. After doing that, Action Center will start working again.

Solution 7 – Scan your C drive

Sometimes Action Center might stop working if your files are corrupted. If that’s the case, the best choice of action would be to scan your C drive. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Choose Command Prompt (Admin) from the list.
  2. When Command Prompt starts, enter chkdsk C: /f and press Enter. You’ll be asked to restart your PC in order to perform the scan, so be sure to do that.
  3. Wait for the scan to complete.

After the scan is completed, check if the problem is resolved.

Solution 8 – Start Windows 10 in Safe Mode

Few users reported that they managed to fix the problem simply by starting Windows 10 in Safe Mode. To start Windows 10 in Safe Mode, do the following:

  1. Open the Start Menu and click the Power button. Hold Shift key on your keyboard and choose Restart from the menu.
  2. After your PC restarts, choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings. Now click the Restart button.
  3. After your PC restarts, choose any version of the Safe Mode by pressing the appropriate key.
  4. When Safe Mode starts, check if Action Center is working. If Action Center is working, restart your PC and start Windows 10 normally.

This is a simple solution, and since it doesn’t require any additional actions, be sure to try it.

Solution 9 – Restart Windows Explorer

According to users, you can fix this problem simply by restarting Windows Explorer. This is relatively simple, and in order to do it follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to start Task Manager.
  2. When Task Manager starts, locate Windows Explorer process. Right click it and choose Restart from the menu.

Alternatively, you can close Windows Explorer and restart it manually. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Task Manager.
  2. Locate Windows Explorer process and right click it. Choose End Task from the menu.
  3. After closing Windows Explorer in Task Manager click on File > Run new task.
  4. Enter explorer and click OK or press Enter to start Windows Explorer again.

After Windows Explorer restarts, be sure to check if the problem is resolved. This might not be the permanent solution, so you’ll have to repeat it every time the issue occurs.

Solution 10 – Use Group Policy Editor

According to few users, you can fix this issue simply by changing the few options in Group Policy Editor. To do that you need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter gpedit.msc. Press Enter or click OK.
  2. In the left pane navigate to Local Computer Policy > User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar.
  3. In the right pane, double click on Remove Notifications and Action Center option.
  4. Select Not Configured or Disabled option and click Apply and OK to save changes.

After doing that, be sure to check if Action Center is working properly.

There’s also another solution that involves Group Policy Editor. This solution requires to change two values, and you can perform it by following these steps:

  1. Open Group Policy Editor.
  2. In the left pane navigate to Local Computer Policy > User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar.
  3. In the right pane locate and double click Force classic Start Menu.
  4. Select Enabled option and click on OK.
  5. Now locate Start Layout option and double click it.
  6. Select Disabled and click Apply and OK to save changes.
  7. After doing that, close everything and restart your PC.

After your PC restarts, check if the problem is resolved.

Solution 11 – Edit your registry

If you can’t open Action Center on Windows 10, you might have to make a few changes in your registry. Modifying the registry can lead to stability issues, therefore we advise you to create a backup of your registry, just in case anything goes wrong. To alter the registry, do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter regedit.

  2. After Registry Editor opens, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows key in the left pane.
  3. Expand the Windows key and look for Explorer key. If you don’t have this key available, you need to create it. To do that, right click Windows key and choose New > Key. Enter Explorer as the name of the new key.
  4. Now navigate to the newly created Explorer key. Right click the empty space in the right pane and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Enter DisableNotificationCenter as the name of the new DWORD.
  5. Double click DisableNotificationCenter DWORD and make sure that DisableNotificationCenter Value data is set to 0. Click OK to save changes.
  6. Close Registry Editor and restart your PC.

After your PC restarts, check if Action Center is working properly.

There’s also another registry edit that might help you with this problem. According to users, you need to disable new Action Center from Registry Editor: To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. In the left pane navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionImmersiveShell key.
  3. Create a new DWORD and name it UseActionCenterExperience.
  4. Open the new DWORD and set Value data to 0. Click OK to save changes.
  5. Close Registry Editor and restart your PC.

After making the changes, Action Center should start working again. Users reported that this issue was caused by Outlook notifications, so be sure to remove them from Action Center. After doing that, disable Outlook notifications and remove UseActionCenterExperience DWORD from registry.

Solution 12 – Run Disk Cleanup

Sometimes temporary or leftover files can cause issues with Windows 10. Few users reported that they solved the issue by removing old and temporary files. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter cleanup. Select Disk Cleanup from the menu.
  2. Select your System drive, by default it should be C:, and click the OK button.
  3. Disk Cleanup will now analyze your drive. Wait for the process to finish.
  4. Select the files that you want to remove. In most cases you can select all files. Now click OK button.
  5. Wait while Disk Cleanup removes the selected files.

After the process is finished, try to open Action Center and check if the problem is resolved.

Solution 13 – Use Advanced SystemCare tool

According to users, they managed to fix the problem with Action Center simply by using Advanced SystemCare tool. This application has a small tool called Smart Defrag that can optimize applications. Few users reported that using Smart Defrag feature in Advanced SystemCare tool fixed the problem for them, so you might want to try using this application.

Solution 14 – Remove problematic applications

Sometimes third-party applications can cause problems with Action Center. Users reported that Akami NetSession caused this problem on their PC. If you have this application installed, we strongly suggest that you remove it. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app.
  2. Once the Settings app opens, go to the System section. Select Apps & features tab.
  3. List of all installed applications will now appear. Locate Akami NetSession, select it and click the Uninstall button.

After removing the software, check if the problem is resolved. Keep in mind that other applications can also cause this problem to occur. This means that you might have to remove additional applications in order to fix this problem. Several users reported that removing Dropbox and Apple applications fixed the issue for them, so be sure to try that as well.

Solution 15 – Use SFC and DISM scan

If Action Center won’t open on your Windows 10 PC, that might be because core Windows components are corrupted or damaged. If that’s the case, you might have to use SFC scan to fix the problem. This is relatively simple, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. When Command Prompt starts, enter sfc /scannow and press Enter.
  3. Wait for the scan to complete.
  4. After that, close Command Prompt and restart your PC.

If the issue still persists, you might need to run DISM scan. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Enter the following commands:
    • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth
    • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
  3. Wait for the commands to finish. DISM process can take 15 or more minutes, so be sure not to interrupt it.

After the process is completed, check if Action Center is working.

Solution 16 – Switch to High Contrast theme

Few users reported that you can fix the problem with Action Center simply by switching to High Contrast theme. This is rather simple, and to do it, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter theme. Select Change the theme option.
  2. Personalization window will now appear. Scroll down and select one of available High Contrast Themes.
  3. After doing that, check if Action Center is working properly. If so, revert back to the original theme.

This is a simple solution, but it might work for some users, so be sure to try it out.

Solution 17 – Rename the Usrclass file

According to few users, you might be able to fix the problem with Action Center simply by renaming Usrclass file. Keep in mind that this solution will remove all tiles from Start Menu. In addition, this solution will change your theme to High Contrast theme, so you’ll have to revert it back to the original. To change Usrclass file, you need to create a new administrator account. To create a new account, do the following:

  1. Go to the Settings app and click on Accounts.
  2. Go to the Family & other people section. In the Other people section click on Add someone else to this PC.
  3. Click on I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
  4. Choose Add a user without a Microsoft account.
  5. Enter the username for your new account and click Next to finish the creation process.
  6. Log out of your current account and switch to the new one.

After switching to a new account, you need to find Usrclass file on your old account. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to C:UsersYour_old_user_account_nameAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindows. If this folder isn’t available, you’ll have to reveal hidden files in order to access it. To do that, click the View menu and check Hidden items.
  2. Rename the file from Usrclass.dat to Usrclass.dat.old.
  3. Sign off of your account and log back into the old account.

After doing that, the issue should be completely resolved and everything should start working again. If that doesn’t work, you might want to move all your files and switch completely to the new account.

Solution 18 – Set Taskbar to the auto-hide mode

If Action Center won’t open, you might be able to fix it simply by enabling auto-hide mode. To do that you need to follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the Taskbar and choose Settings from the menu.
  2. Turn on Automatically hide the taskbar in desktop mode and Automatically hide the taskbar in tablet mode options.
  3. After doing that, check if Action Center is working properly.

If Action Center is working normally, you can disable auto-hide options and check if the Action Center still works.

Solution 19 – Disable and enable Action Center

According to users, disabling and enabling Action Center from Settings app can sometimes fix this problem. To do that, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Personalization section.
  2. Select Taskbar tab and choose Turn system icons on or off.
  3. Locate Action Center on the list and turn it off.
  4. After doing that, restart your PC.
  5. Repeat the same steps and turn on Action Center again.

Solution 20 – Disable certain startup items

According to users, sometimes demanding startup items can prevent Action Center from opening. To fix the problem, you might want to try disabling those items. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open Task Manager.
  2. Navigate to the Startup tab.
  3. List of all startup applications will appear. Look for startup items that have High startup impact. Locate those applications, right click them and choose Disable from the menu.

Check if that solves the problem. If the issue still persists, you might want to disable all startup applications and check if that solves the problem.

Solution 21 – Perform System Restore

According to users, you might be able to fix this problem simply by performing a System Restore. To do that, follow these simple steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter system restore. Select Create a restore point from the menu.
  2. System Properties window will now open. Click System Restore button.
  3. When System Restore window opens, select Choose a different restore point option. Click Next.
  4. Check Show more restore points option. Select the desired restore point and click Next. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the process.

System Restore is a decent tool, but sometimes you might not be able to fix issues with it. Therefore we suggest that you download this tool instead. The application can fix problems with Action Center, but it can also help with hardware failure and malware infections.

Solution 22 – Perform an in-place upgrade

If you still have issues with Action Center, you might have to perform in-place upgrade. To do that, you need to download Windows 10 ISO file from Microsoft’s website. After doing that, mount the ISO file and run setup.exe.

Follow the instructions on the screen to perform an upgrade. Keep in mind that performing in-place upgrade can remove some of your files, therefore we advise you to create a backup. In-place upgrade also allows you to keep your files, so be sure to select this option during the installation.

Action Center is a major part of Windows 10, but if it’s not working on your PC be sure to try some of our solutions.

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