How to turn off the ads in the Windows 11 Start menu

  • As of Tuesday’s update, Windows 11 will now show adverts in the Recommended section of the Start menu.
  • This comes just a few weeks after the “feature” was tested with those in the Insider Beta programme.
  • Thankfully this advertising can be turned off rather easily.

The latest update for Windows 11 – KB5036980 – began rolling out this week and users are starting their PCs to find adverts in the Start menu.

This isn’t a mistake and advertising for applications will now appear in the Recommended section of the Start menu.

“These apps come from a small set of curated developers. This will help you to discover some of the great apps that are available,” Microsoft wrote on a support page for the update.

This “feature” was first trialed in an Insider Beta and it only appeared a few weeks ago showcasing how Microsoft can work fast to implement features when it wants to. Thankfully, for those who don’t want to see advertising on their PCs, there is a way to turn them off.

If you’re not seeing advertising yet, it’s likely that the update hasn’t been installed on your PC just yet.

Head to Settings, then select Personalization and then Start. Find the Show recommendations for tips, app promotions and more option and toggle it to off. The fact that this is on by default suggests that you may be toggling this option off more than once in future, possibly after major updates.

As you might imagine, users aren’t pleased with this development. Many have decried the fact that they paid a premium for the operating system only to be fed advertising as if they’d been given the platform for free.

It’s just the latest faux pas from Microsoft though.

Windows 11 itself is a problem as it demands PC owners upgrade their hardware to meet the operating system’s requirements. This isn’t problematic in and of itself, but the fact that Windows 10’s end of life is set for October next year is. This essentially means that any company or individual that wants to continue receiving important security and OS updates, needs to upgrade to Windows 11.

The operating system was also sold with the promise of being able to natively run Android apps. That feature was culled last month after years of failed testing.

Unfortunately, Windows has most ordinary PC users by the short and curlies because what else are you going to do? Use Linux? Good luck with that.


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