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How to Turn Off Sneaky Windows Ads

So you might have noticed that, like every other space in your life, your own computer has started to present you with advertising. Honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if some company managed to project advertising into my dreams. Happily Simon has this morning presented me with this detailed article explaining how to stop Windows from doing this to us, and several other annoying things. I’m going to summarise the best bits below:


Lock Screen Ads

The First place you’ll encounter ads is the lock screen (BEFORE YOU EVEN GET IN!!). But don’t worry, you can turn them off. An app called Windows Spotlight is the culprit here. Go to Settings, Personalization, Lockscreen. Then in the drop down menu select something other than Windows Spotlight. You have the option of a slideshow or a single picture. Then scroll down a bit and turn off ‘Get fun facts, tips, tricks and more on your lock screen’; spoiler alert – they’re not fun.


Start Menu Suggestions

Ads may appear in the start menu as well, or at the very least you’re going to find it clogged by a tsunami of unnecessary applications that you don’t want to use. To prevent ads and suggestions from appearing in your start menu, go to Setting, Personalization, Start. Then turn off ‘Show suggestions occasionally in Start’. And now, for the most satisfying thing you will do today, open your start menu and right click on anything that you don’t want in it (anything that you never use), then click ‘unpin from start’. These apps are not really gone of course, they’ve just gloriously left your sight. If you ditch enough of them your start menu will shrink to one column!


TaskBar Notifications

You may get ads in the Taskbar, specifically for Microsoft Edge, which I’ll let you come to your own conclusions about. If you prefer to use Chrome you can stop Windows suggesting you try Edge. Go to Settings, System, Notifications & Action. Then turn off ‘Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows’. While you’re there you might want to scroll down and select which, if any, apps you want to be allowed to send you notifications. Or you could turn that off entirely.


Happy ‘Personalization’ everyone 🙂