Clear all notifications in Action Center using Keyboard or Shortcut

The Action Center in Windows 10 is a slide-out pane where all system notifications are displayed and it has quick action buttons to various Windows settings. Any notification shown on your taskbar will be added to the Action Center. The unread (new) notifications count is also displayed on the Action Center notification area icon.

The Action Center may accumulate too many messages over time. To clear them simply click on the Clear all notifications link at the bottom of the Action Center slide-out pane. This article tells you how to clear specific notifications using a shortcut.

Clear notifications in Action Center

In the Action Center, you can clear individual notifications by hovering the mouse over the notification and clicking the Clear button.

clear all notifications shortcut action center

Action Centre notifications are grouped under different categories based- eg., application-based, Windows Security alerts, Mail, Dell SupportAssist, etc. There may be multiple notifications under a particular head. To close all notifications from a particular category — eg., SupportAssist, hover the mouse pointer above the category label and click the Clear button.

clear all notifications shortcut action center

To clear all notifications, click on the Clear all notifications link (not visible in the above screenshot) at the bottom of the Action Center.

Tip: You can hide the new notifications count by right-clicking on the Action Center and selecting Don’t show number of new notifications. That way, it can be less obtrusive and at the same time, the notifications can be read whenever you need by opening the Action Center.

Clear all notifications using Keyboard or desktop shortcut

To clear the Action Center notifications using the keyboard, here is the key sequence needed:

  • WinKey + A (to open Action Center)
  • Shift + Tab + Tab (to set focus on “clear all”)
  • Space (to press “Clear all” link)
  • Esc (to dismiss Action Center pane)

The above keystrokes are impractical for manual usage, but they can be automated using scripting or automation tools like NirCmd or AutoHotkey easily!

Using NirCmd

  1. Download NirCmd from NirSoft and copy NirCmd.exe to your Windows folder.
  2. Copy the following commands, open Notepad, and paste it:
    nircmd sendkeypress lwin+a
    nircmd cmdwait 500 sendkeypress leftshift+tab leftshift+tab spc esc
  3. Save the file as clear_notifications.bat and run the file.
  4. If required, create a shortcut to the batch file, and assign a keyboard hotkey — e.g., Ctrl + Alt + C to launch it quickly.

Using AutoHotkey

  1. Download and install the AutoHotkey utility.
  2. Right-click the desktop → NewAutoHotkey Script. This creates a new AutoHotkey script on the desktop.
  3. Right-click on the newly created .ahk file and click Edit Script
  4. Replace its contents with the following code, and save the file:
    Send #a
    Sleep, 500
    if WinActive("ahk_exe Shellexperiencehost.exe")
    Send +{Tab}+{Tab} {Space} {Esc}

    clear all notifications shortcut action center - autohotkey

  5. Double-click the .ahk script file to clear the Action Center notifications automatically.
If the Action Center is already empty (no notifications), the Clear all notifications link will not show up. In that case, running the NirCmd batch file or AutoHotkey script will toggle the Expand / Collapse setting as it will be the only available link/option in an empty Action Center window. However, it doesn’t cause any issues.

Tip: You can configure the batch file to run minimized or in invisible mode using a script.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

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