With the amount of information passed back to Microsoft in Windows 10, such as the ‘Advertising ID’ feature, many people expected that they would use that data at some point – after all Windows 10 was given away free for a whole year. It now seems that the data has begun to be cashed in.
The latest Windows 10 ‘Creators Update’ will bring various changes as described in our previous Blog article here but it seems that the Update will also be pushing more adverts toward users, through the Edge browser, Internet Explorer and even File Explorer.
When opening Edge, “Where to next” is displayed and now there will be so-called “Sponsored” adverts too. When opening both Edge and IE you will also see a ‘Top Sites & News Feed’ tab with these ads – not just for Microsoft products but for third party products too.
File Explorer (previously known as Windows Explorer) has already displayed some adverts for Microsoft Office and similar products from Microsoft, but people are now also seeing third party adverts in this too – in an essential and basic Windows tool that everyone uses and where you wouldn’t normally expect it.
Of course, it’s no surprise that any company would want to make money from advertising, but this is essentially the start of Windows becoming a monetising product for its makers, when previously it was an Operating System only. It may also be Microsoft just testing the water.
You may not be bothered about the level of adverts or suggestions/nags, but if you are, what can you do if you don’t want ads popping up all over the place?
Stopping Ads in File Explorer
Open File Explorer > View > Options. Go to the View tab and look in Advanced Settings section – uncheck ‘Show sync provider notifications’, then click OK.
Stopping Advertisement App Suggestions
If you don’t want ‘suggested’ apps appearing in your Start Menu, go to Settings > Personalisation > Start and switch off ‘Occasionally show suggestions in Start’.
Stopping Ads on the Lock Screen
Yes, even before you log in! Go to Settings > Personalisation > Lock Screen and set the background as ‘Slideshow’ or ‘Picture’ instead of ‘Windows Spotlight’.
Also, go to the bottom of the window and disable ‘Get fun facts, tips, and more from Windows and Cortana on your lock screen’.
Stopping Cortana Nagging You
Cortana the personal assistant tries to help users – sometimes a little too much – with constant popups making suggestions that sometimes end up just getting more annoying than useful.
Click Cortana bar > Settings icon and go to ‘Let Cortana pipe up from time to time with thoughts, greetings, and notifications in the Search box’. Disable ‘Taskbar Tidbits’.
Stopping the ‘Get Office’ Nags
A ‘Get Office’ app is automatically installed and which regularly makes a suggestion that you try Office 365 free for a month – but you may not want it to keep on asking.
Go to Settings > System > Notifications & Actions, scroll down a bit and switch off notifications for the “Get Office” app. Alternatively, you could also right-click the app on your Start Menu and select ‘Uninstall’.
Windows still has the built-in Solitaire game, but you also get a 30-second advert unless you pay Microsoft $10 a year. If you don’t want to pay, you will have to get an alternative via a search engine – but be careful where you download from.
These are just a few ways to reduce the advert clutter from your Windows 10 Creators Update computer. No doubt things will change in the future and there may even be more adverts as well as more premium content along the lines of the Solitaire game, but only time will tell.
If you would like help in de-cluttering your computer, give us a call on 01455 209505.