Enable balloon notifications in Windows 10 using a Registry tweak

In one of our previous articles, we covered how you can enable balloon notifications in Windows 10 and disable toasts for apps which already used balloons. That method involved using Group Policy which is not included in home editions of Windows 10. In this article, we will see how it can be done in editions of Windows 10 without the Group Policy editor. We will do it with a simple Registry tweak.

Windows 10 comes with a new feature - it shows all app and system notifications as toasts. Gone are the balloon notifications which were there since Windows 2000. You will not see a single balloon tooltip notification from the programs you use! Instead, you will see a toast notification in Windows 8 style.

The problem with toast notifications is that they don't fade out gradually like balloons did, so if you were still reading the notification, it can disappear suddenly once the timeout is reached. For balloon notifications, you could hover over them with the mouse when they started fading away to prevent them from disappearing until you had read them. The gradual fading out gave visual feedback to the user that the notification was disappearing so he could take the mouse pointer over it to continue reading it.

Another issue is that some toast notifications which were originally balloon notifications do not appear at all for me in Windows 10.

If you liked balloon notifications for this reason and are not happy with toasts, you can restore balloon notifications back in Windows 10 with a simple Registry tweak.

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key:

    Tip: You can access any desired Registry key with one click.
    If you have no such Registry key, then just create it.

  3. Create a new 32-bit DWORD value named EnableLegacyBalloonNotifications. Note: If you are running 64-bit Windows 10, you still need to create a 32-bit DWORD value. Set its value data to 1.
  4. Restart your PC.

The same can be done using Winaero Tweaker. Go to Appearance -> Balloon Tooltips:

Use this option to avoid Registry editing.

That's it. After rebooting, balloon tooltips will work for you again. To test them, try inserting a USB flash drive and safely remove it to see the good old balloon tip! There is a bug in Windows 10 that causes balloon tips to show at the top of the screen sometimes even though the taskbar is at the bottom! Nothing can be done about this bug. Microsoft has to fix it themselves.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

11 thoughts on “Enable balloon notifications in Windows 10 using a Registry tweak”

  1. I know this is off-topic but..

    Is there any way to ONLY CHECK for updates in Windows 10, i.e NOT install them as well.

    I’m asking because after using the tool by microsoft to hide an update, the update still shows in the list until the next update search, so if I try to update myself, that update that is supposed to be hidden will be installed.. So I actually have to wait until Windows Update has checked for updates again and then hidden that one update.. .. So it would be very helpful if there was a way at all to only check for updates rather than check for an install updates..

    Any ideas?

    1. Well, see this article:

      Refer to the “Method 2” part.
      It should help you to get notifications only. Note it does not work in Core/Home editions of Windows 10.

      “How to hide or block Windows or driver updates in Windows 10” is another article you might be interested in. See it here: https://winaero.com/blog/how-to-hide-or-block-windows-or-driver-updates-in-windows-10/

  2. I use Windows 10 Home Edition. I had edited Registry according to the above method and rebooted it, but neither balloons nor toasts appeared. If I change the 32-bit DWORD value back to 0, toasts will appear. Does it mean balloons are impossible at my end?

  3. I tried this and it appeared to work fine that is until I attempted to open a PDF (any), you can’t either in Edge or Adobe, no idea why.

    This is Windows 10 “Creators Update” version, using VB.NET 2017. Another can of worms opens up.

    Any ideas?


  4. It would be useful to have images of the before and after applied the tweak… in all tweaks indeed.

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