New with Windows 10 seems to be the Notification Area. Now, I've seen a few notifications (in the Action Center). The problem is that I haven't understood any of them (actively using computers for 30 years now), and once I click them they are gone. Is there any way to view these past user notifications so I can try and make some sense out of them?

  • Once you click them something related should happen. They shouldn't just dissappear, they cause some action. – gronostaj Jul 30 '15 at 22:49
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    Yes, that they do. And I get for instance a bunch of startup applications. But I cannot remember for the life of it what I should do with those. Some kind of optimization or something. But after I clicked the darn message that didn't make any sense in the first place, it's gone. – Maarten Bodewes Jul 30 '15 at 23:05
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    Just noticed this behavior in Server 2016 (preview 5). The message said something about removing some apps at startup to improve performance - you click on it and Task Manager opens. Not very helpful at all. – gchq Oct 15 '16 at 22:39
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    Thanks for the question. Disappointed in the answer, but without the question I would not have confirmation of what I feared. – Michael Felt Dec 20 '18 at 7:39

tldr; No there's not.

The action center is the same as found on the Microsoft Phones running Windows 10 Mobile. These actions (notifications) are meant to be displayed to the user until they take action. There are two ways a user can interact with an action:

  1. Dismiss the notification (clears the action)
  2. Select the notification (respond to the action)

Once one of these interactions takes place, the notification and therefore the action is no longer displayed. No history is maintained of these notifications and cannot be retrieved. This is done on purpose as that history could (and most likely would) become very large.

If you are worried that the notification has system-wide consequences it could be worth looking into the System logs instead; here separate messages about system events are stored.

Update: It appears that some applications will additionally add events into the event viewer. This can be done by:

  1. Open Event Viewer
  2. Expand Applications and Services Logs
  3. Drill down to the app or service you are interested in, e.g. for Windows Defender you might go to: Microsoft -> Windows -> Windows Defender -> Operational log.
  4. Review the log and look for the notification you were interested in.

This is NOT the notification history, but additional information provided by the application and as such, there's no guarantee that the notification was logged. It also requires that a user knows which application whose notification they're looking for.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Journeyman Geek Jan 4 '18 at 13:09
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    Another brain-dead design decision by Microsoft. If the concern is that history could become very large, the simple situation is to just keep the most recent notifications, i.e. within the last week or month or year - perhaps, make it configurable, too, while you're at it. Duh!! – Ajoy Bhatia Sep 24 '18 at 17:21
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    It doesn't make this nonsense any better if others do the same. But really, of all the systems I have used, including the ones mentioned, and of course my phone, I never had this issue. Notifications don't just disappear with no trace without me making them disappear. Only on Win10 they do. – Ralf Oct 17 '18 at 19:51
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    @Ralf that's not the behavior that we're talking about here. That indeed is something that shouldn't happen and if you encounter should be reported as an error to Microsoft. However, this situation is one were the user intentionally dismissed the action and then wants to get it back. – James Mertz Oct 19 '18 at 3:27
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    Notifications, in my experience, do disappear after a time. For W10 that time seems to be 0 seconds, rather than, e.g., one week, and the option to delete them earlier. – Michael Felt Dec 20 '18 at 7:42

You can use a paid Notification Logger app from the Microsoft Store to view past notifications history. I'm the author of this app.

  • Nice, I'll sure check it out (when I upgrade my laptop which is out of space or convert my Linux PC). – Maarten Bodewes May 5 '20 at 22:11
  • Bought it, thanks. Looks like it will work great! I needed this because Microsoft doesn't allow an infinite timeout for notifications and I'm using the Visual Ping plugin for Chrome. When I'm not at my PC the notifications disappear, making it useless. – glenviewjeff May 14 '20 at 1:35

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