One of the new features in Windows 7 is the Action Center, which consolidates system notifications into a single location. It is similar to the Security Center in Windows XP, which alerted you to security related settings. However, in addition to security settings, the Action Center also alerts you to maintenance settings that require your attention.

Typically, you won’t need to interact with the Action Center unless something requires your attention. The Action Center adds an icon to the System Tray and when all is well, appears as a while flag. If there is an issue, the icon changes to a red “x” and notifies you with a pop-up, at which point, its time to visit the Action Center.

There are a few ways to access the Action Center. You can quickly check the Action Center for new messages by placing your mouse over the Action Center icon. You can also open the Action Center through the Control Panel as described below:

  1. Click the Start button and click Control Panel.
  2. Under System and Security, click Review your computer’s status.

The Action Center lists any items requiring your attention. Items are color-coded based on their significance. Red items are important and require your attention; yellow items are recommended tasks that you should consider. In addition, the Action Center includes links for troubleshooting and recovery tools.

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