Toast content

Adaptive and interactive toast notifications let you create flexible notifications with text, images, and buttons/inputs.

Important APIs: UWP Community Toolkit Notifications nuget package

Note

To see the legacy templates from Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1, see the legacy toast template catalog.

Getting started

Install Notifications library. If you'd like to use C# instead of XML to generate notifications, install the NuGet package named Microsoft.Toolkit.Uwp.Notifications (search for "notifications uwp"). The C# samples provided in this article use version 1.0.0 of the NuGet package.

Install Notifications Visualizer. This free UWP app helps you design interactive toast notifications by providing an instant visual preview of your toast as you edit it, similar to Visual Studio's XAML editor/design view. See Notifications Visualizer for more information, or download Notifications Visualizer from the Store.

Sending a toast notification

To learn how to send a notification, see Send local toast. This documentation only covers creating the toast content.

Toast notification structure

Toast notifications are a combination of some data properties like Tag/Group (which let you identify the notification) and the toast content.

The core components of toast content are...

  • launch: This defines what arguments will be passed back to your app when the user clicks your toast, allowing you to deep link into the correct content that the toast was displaying. To learn more, see Send local toast.
  • visual: The visual portion of the toast, including the generic binding that contains text and images.
  • actions: The interactive portion of the toast, including inputs and actions.
  • audio: Controls the audio played when the toast is shown to the user.

The toast content is defined in raw XML, but you can use our NuGet library to get a C# (or C++) object model for constructing the toast content. This article documents everything that goes within the toast content.

ToastContent content = new ToastContent()
{
    Launch = "app-defined-string",

    Visual = new ToastVisual()
    {
        BindingGeneric = new ToastBindingGeneric() { ... }
    },

    Actions = new ToastActionsCustom() { ... },

    Audio = new ToastAudio() { ... }
};
<toast launch="app-defined-string">

  <visual>
    <binding template="ToastGeneric">
      ...
    </binding>
  </visual>

  <actions>
    ...
  </actions>

  <audio src="ms-winsoundevent:Notification.Reminder"/>

</toast>

Here is a visual representation of the toast's content:

toast notification structure

Visual

Each toast must specify a visual, where you must provide a generic toast binding, which can contain text, images, and more. These elements will be rendered on various Windows devices, including desktop, phones, tablets, and Xbox.

For all attributes supported in the visual section and its child elements, see the schema documentation.

Your app's identity on the toast notification is conveyed via your app icon. However, if you use the app logo override, we will display your app name beneath your lines of text.

App identity for normal toast App identity with appLogoOverride
notification without appLogoOverride notification with appLogoOverride

Text elements

Each toast must have at least one text element, and can contain two additional text elements, all of type AdaptiveText.

Toast with title and description

Since the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, you can control how many lines of text are displayed by using the HintMaxLines property on the text. The default (and maximum) is up to 2 lines of text for the title, and up to 4 lines (combined) for the two additional description elements (the second and third AdaptiveText).

new ToastBindingGeneric()
{
    Children =
    {
        new AdaptiveText()
        {
            Text = "Adaptive Tiles Meeting",
            HintMaxLines = 1
        },

        new AdaptiveText()
        {
            Text = "Conf Room 2001 / Building 135"
        },

        new AdaptiveText()
        {
            Text = "10:00 AM - 10:30 AM"
        }
    }
}
<binding template="ToastGeneric">
    <text hint-maxLines="1">Adaptive Tiles Meeting</text>
    <text>Conf Room 2001 / Building 135</text>
    <text>10:00 AM - 10:30 AM</text>
</binding>

App logo override

By default, your toast will display your app's logo. However, you can override this logo with your own ToastGenericAppLogo image. For example, if this is a notification from a person, we recommend overriding the app logo with a picture of that person.

Toast with app logo override

You can use the HintCrop property to change the cropping of the image. For example, Circle results in a circle-cropped image. Otherwise, the image is square. Image dimensions are 48x48 pixels at 100% scaling.

new ToastBindingGeneric()
{
    ...

    AppLogoOverride = new ToastGenericAppLogo()
    {
        Source = "https://picsum.photos/48?image=883",
        HintCrop = ToastGenericAppLogoCrop.Circle
    }
}
<binding template="ToastGeneric">
    ...
    <image placement="appLogoOverride" hint-crop="circle" src="https://picsum.photos/48?image=883"/>
</binding>

Hero image

New in Anniversary Update: Toasts can display a hero image, which is a featured ToastGenericHeroImage displayed prominently within the toast banner and while inside Action Center. Image dimensions are 364x180 pixels at 100% scaling.

Toast with hero image

new ToastBindingGeneric()
{
    ...

    HeroImage = new ToastGenericHeroImage()
    {
        Source = "https://picsum.photos/364/180?image=1043"
    }
}
<binding template="ToastGeneric">
    ...
    <image placement="hero" src="https://picsum.photos/364/180?image=1043"/>
</binding>

Inline image

You can provide a full-width inline-image that appears when you expand the toast.

Toast with additional image

new ToastBindingGeneric()
{
    Children =
    {
        ...

        new AdaptiveImage()
        {
            Source = "https://picsum.photos/360/202?image=1043"
        }
    }
}
<binding template="ToastGeneric">
    ...
    <image src="https://picsum.photos/360/202?image=1043" />
</binding>

Image size restrictions

The images you use in your toast notification can be sourced from...

  • http://
  • ms-appx:///
  • ms-appdata:///

For http and https remote web images, there are limits on the file size of each individual image. In the Fall Creators Update (16299), we increased the limit to be 3 MB on normal connections and 1 MB on metered connections. Before that, images were always limited to 200 KB.

Normal connection Metered connection Before Fall Creators Update
3 MB 1 MB 200 KB

If an image exceeds the file size, or fails to download, or times out, the image will be dropped and the rest of the notification will be displayed.

Attribution text

New in Anniversary Update: If you need to reference the source of your content, you can use attribution text. This text is always displayed at the bottom of your notification, along with your app's identity or the notification's timestamp.

On older versions of Windows that don't support attribution text, the text will simply be displayed as another text element (assuming you don't already have the maximum of three text elements).

Toast with attribution text

new ToastBindingGeneric()
{
    ...

    Attribution = new ToastGenericAttributionText()
    {
        Text = "Via SMS"
    }
}
<binding template="ToastGeneric">
    ...
    <text placement="attribution">Via SMS</text>
</binding>

Custom timestamp

New in Creators Update: You can now override the system-provided timestamp with your own timestamp that accurately represents when the message/information/content was generated. This timestamp is visible within Action Center.

Toast with custom timestamp

To learn more about using a custom timestamp, please see custom timestamps on toasts.

ToastContent toastContent = new ToastContent()
{
    DisplayTimestamp = new DateTime(2017, 04, 15, 19, 45, 00, DateTimeKind.Utc),
    ...
};
<toast displayTimestamp="2017-04-15T19:45:00Z">
  ...
</toast>

Progress bar

New in Creators Update: You can provide a progress bar on your toast notification to keep the user informed of the progress of operations, like downloads and more.

Toast with progress bar

To learn more about using a progress bar, please see Toast progress bar.

Headers

New in Creators Update: You can group notifications under headers within Action Center. For example, you can group messages from a group chat under a header, or group notifications of a common theme under a header, or more.

Toasts with header

To learn more about using headers, please see Toast headers.

Adaptive content

New in Anniversary Update: In addition to the content specified above, you can also display additional adaptive content that is visible when the toast is expanded.

This additional content is specified using Adaptive, which you can learn more about by reading the Adaptive Tiles documentation.

Note that any adaptive content must be contained within an AdaptiveGroup. Otherwise it will not be rendered using adaptive.

Columns and text elements

Here's an example where columns and some advanced adaptive text elements are used. Since the text elements are within an AdaptiveGroup, they support all the rich adaptive styling properties.

Toast with additional text

new ToastBindingGeneric()
{
    Children =
    {
        ...

        new AdaptiveGroup()
        {
            Children =
            {
                new AdaptiveSubgroup()
                {
                    Children =
                    {
                        new AdaptiveText()
                        {
                            Text = "52 attendees",
                            HintStyle = AdaptiveTextStyle.Base
                        },
                        new AdaptiveText()
                        {
                            Text = "23 minute drive",
                            HintStyle = AdaptiveTextStyle.CaptionSubtle
                        }
                    }
                },
                new AdaptiveSubgroup()
                {
                    Children =
                    {
                        new AdaptiveText()
                        {
                            Text = "1 Microsoft Way",
                            HintStyle = AdaptiveTextStyle.CaptionSubtle,
                            HintAlign = AdaptiveTextAlign.Right
                        },
                        new AdaptiveText()
                        {
                            Text = "Bellevue, WA 98008",
                            HintStyle = AdaptiveTextStyle.CaptionSubtle,
                            HintAlign = AdaptiveTextAlign.Right
                        }
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    }
}
<binding template="ToastGeneric">
    ...
    <group>
        <subgroup>
            <text hint-style="base">52 attendees</text>
            <text hint-style="captionSubtle">23 minute drive</text>
        </subgroup>
        <subgroup>
            <text hint-style="captionSubtle" hint-align="right">1 Microsoft Way</text>
            <text hint-style="captionSubtle" hint-align="right">Bellevue, WA 98008</text>
        </subgroup>
    </group>
</binding>

Buttons

Buttons make your toast interactive, letting the user take quick actions on your toast notification without interrupting their current workflow. For example, users can reply to a message directly from within a toast, or delete an email without even opening the email app. Buttons appear in the expanded portion of your notification.

To learn more about implementing buttons end-to-end, see Send local toast.

Buttons can perform the following different actions...

  • Activating the app in the foreground, with an argument that can be used to navigate to a specific page/context.
  • Activating the app's background task, for a quick-reply or similar scenario.
  • Activating another app via protocol launch.
  • Performing a system action, like snoozing or dismissing the notification.

Note

You can only have up to 5 buttons (including context menu items which we discuss later).

notification with actions, example 1

ToastContent content = new ToastContent()
{
    ...

    Actions = new ToastActionsCustom()
    {
        Buttons =
        {
            new ToastButton("See more details", "action=viewdetails&contentId=351")
            {
                ActivationType = ToastActivationType.Foreground
            },

            new ToastButton("Remind me later", "action=remindlater&contentId=351")
            {
                ActivationType = ToastActivationType.Background
            }
        }
    }
};
<toast launch="app-defined-string">

    ...

    <actions>

        <action
            content="See more details"
            arguments="action=viewdetails&amp;contentId=351"
            activationType="foreground"/>

        <action
            content="Remind me later"
            arguments="action=remindlater&amp;contentId=351"
            activationType="background"/>

    </actions>

</toast>

Buttons with icons

You can add icons to your buttons. These icons are white transparent 16x16 pixel images at 100% scaling, and should have no padding included in the image itself. If you choose to provide icons on a toast notification, you must provide icons for ALL of your buttons in the notification, as it transforms the style of your buttons into icon buttons.

Note

For accessibility, be sure to include a contrast-white version of the icon (a black icon for white backgrounds), so that when the user turns on High Contrast White mode, your icon is visible. Learn more on the toast accessiblity page.

Toast that has buttons with icons

new ToastButton("Dismiss", "dismiss")
{
    ActivationType = ToastActivationType.Background,
    ImageUri = "Assets/ToastButtonIcons/Dismiss.png"
}
<action
    content="Dismiss"
    imageUri="Assets/ToastButtonIcons/Dismiss.png"
    arguments="dismiss"
    activationType="background"/>

Buttons with pending update activation

New in Fall Creators Update: On background activation buttons, you can use an after activation behavior of PendingUpdate to create multi-step interactions in your toast notifications. When the user clicks your button, your background task is activated, and the toast gets placed in a "pending update" state, where it stays on screen till your background task replaces the toast with a new toast.

To learn how to implement this, see Toast pending update.

Toast with pending update

Context menu actions

New in Anniversary Update: You can add additional context menu actions to the existing context menu that appears when the user right clicks your toast from within Action Center. Note that this menu only appears when right clicked from Action Center. It does not appear when right clicking a toast popup banner.

Note

On older devices, these additional context menu actions will simply appear as normal buttons on your toast.

The additional context menu actions you add (like "Change location") appear above the two default system entries.

Toast with context menu

ToastContent content = new ToastContent()
{
    ...

    Actions = new ToastActionsCustom()
    {
        ContextMenuItems =
        {
            new ToastContextMenuItem("Change location", "action=changeLocation")
        }
    }
};
<toast>

    ...

    <actions>

        <action
            placement="contextMenu"
            content="Change location"
            arguments="action=changeLocation"/>

    </actions>

</toast>

Note

Additional context menu items contribute to the total limit of 5 buttons on a toast.

Activation of additional context menu items is handled identical to toast buttons.

Inputs

Inputs are specified within the Actions region of the toast region of the toast, meaning they are only visible when the toast is expanded.

Quick reply text box

To enable a quick reply text box, like for a messaging scenario, add a text input and a button, and reference the text input's id so that the button is displayed adjacent to the input.

notification with text input and actions

ToastContent content = new ToastContent()
{
    ...

    Actions = new ToastActionsCustom()
    {
        Inputs =
        {
            new ToastTextBox("tbReply")
            {
                PlaceholderContent = "Type a reply"
            }
        },

        Buttons =
        {
            new ToastButton("Reply", "action=reply&convId=9318")
            {
                ActivationType = ToastActivationType.Background,

                // To place the button next to the text box,
                // reference the text box's Id and provide an image
                TextBoxId = "tbReply",
                ImageUri = "Assets/Reply.png"
            }
        }
    }
};
<toast launch="app-defined-string">

    ...

    <actions>

        <input id="textBox" type="text" placeHolderContent="Type a reply"/>

        <action
            content="Send"
            arguments="action=reply&amp;convId=9318"
            activationType="background"
            hint-inputId="textBox"
            imageUri="Assets/Reply.png"/>

    </actions>

</toast>

Inputs with buttons bar

You also can have one (or many) inputs with normal buttons displayed below the inputs.

notification with text and input actions

ToastContent content = new ToastContent()
{
    ...

    Actions = new ToastActionsCustom()
    {
        Inputs =
        {
            new ToastTextBox("tbReply")
            {
                PlaceholderContent = "Type a reply"
            }
        },

        Buttons =
        {
            new ToastButton("Reply", "action=reply&threadId=9218")
            {
                ActivationType = ToastActivationType.Background
            },

            new ToastButton("Video call", "action=videocall&threadId=9218")
            {
                ActivationType = ToastActivationType.Foreground
            }
        }
    }
};
<toast launch="app-defined-string">

    ...

    <actions>

        <input id="textBox" type="text" placeHolderContent="Type a reply"/>

        <action
            content="Reply"
            arguments="action=reply&amp;threadId=9218"
            activationType="background"/>

        <action
            content="Video call"
            arguments="action=videocall&amp;threadId=9218"
            activationType="foreground"/>

    </actions>

</toast>

Selection input

In addition to text boxes, you can also use a selection menu.

notification with selection input and actions

ToastContent content = new ToastContent()
{
    ...

    Actions = new ToastActionsCustom()
    {
        Inputs =
        {
            new ToastSelectionBox("time")
            {
                DefaultSelectionBoxItemId = "lunch",
                Items =
                {
                    new ToastSelectionBoxItem("breakfast", "Breakfast"),
                    new ToastSelectionBoxItem("lunch", "Lunch"),
                    new ToastSelectionBoxItem("dinner", "Dinner")
                }
            }
        },

        Buttons = { ... }
};
<toast launch="app-defined-string">

    ...

    <actions>

        <input id="time" type="selection" defaultInput="lunch">
            <selection id="breakfast" content="Breakfast" />
            <selection id="lunch" content="Lunch" />
            <selection id="dinner" content="Dinner" />
        </input>

        ...

    </actions>

</toast>

Snooze/dismiss

Using a selection menu and two buttons, we can create a reminder notification that utilizes the system snooze and dismiss actions. Make sure to set the scenario to Reminder for the notification to behave like a reminder.

reminder notification

We link the Snooze button to the selection menu input using the SelectionBoxId property on the toast button.

ToastContent content = new ToastContent()
{
    Scenario = ToastScenario.Reminder,

    ...

    Actions = new ToastActionsCustom()
    {
        Inputs =
        {
            new ToastSelectionBox("snoozeTime")
            {
                DefaultSelectionBoxItemId = "15",
                Items =
                {
                    new ToastSelectionBoxItem("5", "5 minutes"),
                    new ToastSelectionBoxItem("15", "15 minutes"),
                    new ToastSelectionBoxItem("60", "1 hour"),
                    new ToastSelectionBoxItem("240", "4 hours"),
                    new ToastSelectionBoxItem("1440", "1 day")
                }
            }
        },

        Buttons =
        {
            new ToastButtonSnooze()
            {
                SelectionBoxId = "snoozeTime"
            },

            new ToastButtonDismiss()
        }
    }
};
<toast scenario="reminder" launch="action=viewEvent&amp;eventId=1983">

  ...

  <actions>

    <input id="snoozeTime" type="selection" defaultInput="15">
      <selection id="1" content="1 minute"/>
      <selection id="15" content="15 minutes"/>
      <selection id="60" content="1 hour"/>
      <selection id="240" content="4 hours"/>
      <selection id="1440" content="1 day"/>
    </input>

    <action activationType="system" arguments="snooze" hint-inputId="snoozeTime" content="" />

    <action activationType="system" arguments="dismiss" content=""/>

  </actions>

</toast>

To use the system snooze and dismiss actions:

  • Specify a ToastButtonSnooze or ToastButtonDismiss
  • Optionally specify a custom content string:
    • If you don't provide a string, we'll automatically use localized strings for "Snooze" and "Dismiss".
  • Optionally specify the SelectionBoxId:
    • If you don't want the user to select a snooze interval and instead just want your notification to snooze only once for a system-defined time interval (that is consistent across the OS), then don't construct any <input> at all.
    • If you want to provide snooze interval selections:
      • Specify SelectionBoxId in the snooze action
      • Match the id of the input with the SelectionBoxId of the snooze action
      • Specify ToastSelectionBoxItem's value to be a nonNegativeInteger which represents snooze interval in minutes.

Audio

Custom audio has always been supported by Mobile, and is supported in Desktop Version 1511 (build 10586) or newer. Custom audio can be referenced via the following paths:

  • ms-appx:///
  • ms-appdata:///

Alternatively, you can pick from the list of ms-winsoundevents, which have always been supported on both platforms.

ToastContent content = new ToastContent()
{
    ...

    Audio = new ToastAudio()
    {
        Src = new Uri("ms-appx:///Assets/NewMessage.mp3")
    }
}
<toast launch="app-defined-string">

    ...

    <audio src="ms-appx:///Assets/NewMessage.mp3"/>

</toast>

See the audio schema page for information on audio in toast notifications. To learn how to send a toast using custom audio, see custom audio on toasts.

Alarms, reminders, and incoming calls

To create alarms, reminders, and incoming call notifications, you simply use a normal toast notification with a scenario value assigned to it. The scenario adusts a few behaviors to create a consistent and unified user experience.

Important

When using Reminder or Alarm, you must provide at least one button on your toast notification. Otherwise, the toast will be treated as a normal toast.

  • Reminder: The notification will stay on screen until the user dismisses it or takes action. On Windows Mobile, the toast will also show pre-expanded. A reminder sound will be played.
  • Alarm: In addition to the reminder behaviors, alarms will additionally loop audio with a default alarm sound.
  • IncomingCall: Incoming call notifications are displayed full screen on Windows Mobile devices. Otherwise, they have the same behaviors as alarms except they use ringtone audio and their buttons are styled differently.
ToastContent content = new ToastContent()
{
    Scenario = ToastScenario.Reminder,

    ...
}
<toast scenario="reminder" launch="app-defined-string">

    ...

</toast>

Localization and accessibility

Your tiles and toasts can load strings and images tailored for display language, display scale factor, high contrast, and other runtime contexts. For more info, see Tile and toast notification support for language, scale, and high contrast.

Handling activation

To learn how to handle toast activations (the user clicking your toast or buttons on the toast), see Send local toast.