Windows 11’s Action Center not opening? Here’s how to fix it

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things surrounding it. He is passionate about... Read more
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  • When the Windows 11 Action Center is not opening, that feature could be disabled on your PC or there might be corrupted system files.
  • Some users have confirmed that adjusting certain Group Policy settings can fix this issue.
  • Restarting the file manager in Windows is another widely confirmed resolution for the Action Center not opening.
  • Built-in system file scanning and restoration tools can also come in handy.
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The Action Center is an important part of Windows 11. It displays notifications to users and includes some handy settings as well. So, they often try to open the Action Center in Windows 11.

However, some of you need to fix a few Action Center issues in Windows 11. For example, the Action Center not opening is one such problem.

When users can’t open the Action Center, they can’t access its settings or check notifications. Sure, they can probably still make do without it. However, there are a few potential resolutions that can correct the problem in Windows 11.

Why is my Action Center not opening?

The same Action Center not opening issue is found in Windows 10. The Action Center might be disabled in Windows 11 when this happens.

Even more, it can be disabled in Windows 11 Pro because of certain Group Policy settings. Some users have confirmed they’ve needed to change GPE policies to solve the problem.

Or the issue could arise due to corrupted or missing system files. In which case, system file scanning might do the trick. System restoration is another option.

The File Explorer process is also known to cause Action Center issues when something is up with it. Restarting that process is a simple potential resolution that can often fix the problem for good.

As for those times when the Action Center shortcut is missing, rest assured that there are a few solutions to apply as well. Even if this guide is for Windows 10, the users of the new OS can take advantage of it as well.

What can I do if Windows 11’s Action Center is not opening?

1. Scan system files

  1. To bring up the search tool in Windows 11, click its magnifying glass taskbar icon.
    The search utility's button windows 11 action center not opening
  2. Type the keyword cmd within the search tool’s text.
  3. Click the Run as administrator option for the Command Prompt search result.
  4. Input this Deployment Image Servicing scan command and press Enter: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
  5. When the first scan is done, type this command in the Prompt’s window and press Return: sfc /scannow
    sfc /scannow windows 11 action center not opening
  6. Wait for the system file scan to reach 100 percent complete. It will display a scan outcome when it’s done.

2. Restart File Explorer

  1. First, open the search box in Windows 11.
  2. Type the keyword Task Manager in the search tool’s text box.
  3. Click Task Manager to open it.
  4. Select the Processes tab.
  5. Look for and select Windows Explorer listed under Windows Processes.
    Restart button windows 11 action center not opening
  6. Then click the Restart button for Windows Explorer.

3. Enable the Action Center with Group Policy Editor

  1. Right-click the Start taskbar icon and select the Run shortcut on the menu.
    Run shortcut windows 11 action center not opening
  2. Input this command in the Open text box within Run’s window: gpedit.msc
  3. Press the OK button on Run’s window.
  4. Then select User Configuration followed by Administrative Templates on the left of the Group Policy Editor.
    The Local Group Policy Editor window windows 11 action center not opening
  5. Click Start menu and Taskbar on the left side of Group Policy Editor.
  6. Then double-click the Remove Notifications and Action Center policy setting.
    Remove Notifications and Action Center windows 11 action center not opening
  7. Select the Disabled option.
    Disabled radio button windows 11 action center not opening
  8. Click Apply to save the new settings.
  9. Then select OK to exit the Remove Notifications and Action Center window.
  10. Finally, restart Windows after closing Group Policy Editor.
Note icon
NOTE
Group Policy Editor comes with the Pro and Enterprise editions, but it isn’t included with Windows 11 Home. However, you can enable Group Policy Editor in the Home edition of the platform as outlined within our guide on how to enable Gpedit.exe in Windows 11.

4. Reregister the Action Center

  1. Press the Windows key + S hotkey for the search tool.
  2. Then input PowerShell in the search box to find that command-line utility
  3. Double-click Windows PowerShell to open it.
  4. Type this command in PowerShell’s window: Get-AppxPackage | % { Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppxManifest.xml" -verbose }
  5. Press the Enter key to reregister the Action Center.
    The reregister command windows 11 action center not opening
  6. Open the Start menu after reregistering the Action Center. Click the Power and Restart options there to reboot Windows.

5. Enable Action Center by editing the registry

  1. Bring up Windows 11’s search utility.
  2. To find the Registry Editor, type regedit in the search box.
  3. Click the Registry Editor search result.
  4. Then you’ll need to open this registry key: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
  5. Look for and select an Explorer key within the Windows one. If you can’t find it, right-click the Windows key within the left pane and select the New and Key options on the menu that opens.
    Key option windows 11 action center not opening
  6. Then you’ll need to enter Explorer for the new key’s title.
  7. Right-click the Explorer key you just added to open a context menu for it. Select the New and DWORD (32-bit) options.
    The DWORD 32-bit option windows 11 action center not opening
  8. Enter DisableNotificationCenter to be the new DWORD’s title.
  9. Now double-click the DisableNotificationCenter DWORD to open a Value data text box.
    The Edit DWOD Value window windows 11 action center not opening
  10. Make sure 0 is the value set for the new DWORD, and click OK to exit the window.
  11. When you’ve done that, restart your PC.

6. Restore Windows 11 to a previous date

Note icon
NOTE
Rolling Windows 11 back will remove software installed after your chosen restore point’s date. To see what software you’ll need to reinstall for a restore point, click Scan for affected programs within the System Restore window.

  1. Press the Windows key + X at the same time, and select the shortcut for Run.
  2. To launch System Restore, type in the following text and click OK: rstrui
  3. Select the Choose a different restore point option if it’s available.
    The Choose a different restore point option windows 11 action center not opening
  4. Click Next to proceed to the list of restore points.
  5. If there’s a Show more restore point checkbox available, select that option.
  6. Then choose a restore point that will roll Windows 11 back to a time you could open the Action Center. If you’re not sure, select the date that goes the furthest back.
    System Restore window windows 11 action center not opening
  7. Press the Next button to continue to the confirmation step.
  8. Select Finish to start system restoration for the chosen date.

How has the Action Center changed in Windows 11?

Microsoft has split the Windows 11 Action Center into two parts. Now it consists of two separate Quick Settings and Notification panels you can (usually) open from the system tray.

Windows 10’s Action Center had just one panel that included both settings and notifications. However, the Action Center is still the same thing on both platforms and you have the chance to customize the Action Center in Windows 11.

It comes as no surprise that Windows 11 users complain about the fact that the Notification panel is not opening or the Action Center itself is missing or not opening.

If none of the above potential resolutions fix these issues, consider resetting Windows 11 as a last resort. This will restore the platform to its original default factory settings. Check out our guide on how to reset Windows 11 for further details.

However, that’s only suggested as a very last resort resolution because you’ll need to reinstall all software that didn’t come pre-installed on your PC. Resetting the platform is much the same as reinstalling it. Don’t do it unless you must do so.

So, give all the potential resolutions above for fixing the Action Center a try first. Do you happen to know other solutions? Tell us about them in the comments area below.

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