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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Windows 10’s Next Update Will Hide Notifications While You Watch Videos

Windows 10’s Focus Assist feature temporarily hides incoming notifications. In Windows 10’s next update, Focus Assist can activate when you’re using any full-screen app, whether that’s YouTube in a browser, Netflix, or a desktop video player like VLC.

This feature will be part of Windows 10’s upcoming update, codenamed 19H1 and expected for release in April 2019. Microsoft just added this feature in Insider build 18277, released on November 7.

“Focus Assist” was added back in the April 2018 Update. Windows 10 can automatically enable it when you’re playing a full-screen game or projecting your display, or even just between certain hours. It’s like a “Do Not Disturb” mode for Windows 10. When you disable Focus Assist—so, when you stop playing a game or watching a video—any notifications you missed will be summarized for you. This is all customizable.

In Windows 10 19H1, Focus Assist is getting a new option that will hide notifications whenever you’re using a full-screen app. It’s named “When I’m using an app in full screen mode,” and is available with the other Focus Assist settings at Settings > System > Focus Assist.

So, whenever you’re using any sort of full-screen app—whether that’s a full-screen YouTube video in Chrome or another browser, a Netflix stream, or even a downloaded video played in VLC, Movies & TV, or another app—Focus Assist can automatically disable incoming notifications to avoid bothering you. If you use your PC as a media center, this could be very useful.

There’s just one catch: Many Windows applications use their own custom type of notifications and will ignore this setting. Focus Assist only affects Windows applications that use standard Windows notifications—the kind that appear in the Action Center.

Maybe you do want to see some notifications while you’re watching a video—that’s fine, too. You can set Focus Assist to “Priority only” mode and configure a list of priority applications. Focus Assist will let notifications from the specific applications you care about through.

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