HomeUncategorizedTurn off most Windows 10 ads with a double click or manually

Turn off most Windows 10 ads with a double click or manually

The following guide provides instructions on how to disable all ads in Windows 10, and most of them with a simple double click.

Not all Windows 10 users have yet seen advertising on devices running the operating system, but the number is certainly growing.

The main reason it’s growing is that Microsoft is pushing what it calls hints or tips to more and more places in the operating system.

What started as pre-installed third-party apps and suggestions in the Start menu has turned into ads in other locations, such as the lock screen, File Explorer, and taskbar.

Microsoft does not distinguish between systems that upgraded to Windows 10 for free and purchased Windows 10 licenses.

The good news is that you can disable most ads in Windows 10.

Turn off most Windows 10 ads with a double click

disable windows 10 ads

The following two registry files allow you to turn ads on or off on Windows 10 devices. Note that the files allow you to turn off most ads, but not all. The reason is that some features cannot be disabled using the Registry Editor.

The second part of this guide lists all the placements and also provides you with instructions on how to disable ads for these placements.

First, the download link: disable-windows10-ads.zip

This is what disable-ads-windows-10.reg file does:

  1. Turn off File Explorer ads.
  2. Turn off Start menu suggestions.
  3. Disable “Get tips, tricks, and suggestions while using Windows.”
  4. Turn off game bar suggestions.
  5. Optional: disable the lock screen
  6. Optional: turn off Cortana

Note: I suggest you create a backup of the Windows Registry. before executing the files or the Windows system as a whole.

To use the file, just double click on it. Accept the UAC prompt in the next step of the process and also acknowledge the Registry Editor warning message.

You can open the file in any text editor to view it before running it.

Disable Windows 10 ads: manually

As I mentioned earlier, it is not possible to disable Windows 10 from displaying ads in some locations as you cannot control the functionality using Registry Editor.

The following instructions offer manual ways to disable Windows 10 ads. This includes instructions for ads that you can’t disable using the Registry.

Disable start menu suggestions

occasionally show suggestions at startup

We talked about disabling start menu ads before here on Ghacks. These suggestions list apps for the most part near the top of the start menu. This included in the past free apps or games, but also commercial apps or games.

One problem you may have with the list is that it’s near the top. This means you use up valuable space there that your show listings could fill instead if you weren’t there.

Microsoft recently started showing suggestions for using Microsoft Edge in the same location (for example, indicating that you can stream videos longer with Edge).

To turn them off, do the following:

  1. Use Windows-I to open the Settings app.
  2. To go Personalization > Beginning.
  3. Look for “Show suggestions from time to time on Start” and toggle the option to turn it off.

Disable lock screen ads

windows lock screen ads

The Windows 10 lock screen can feature two different types of ads. First, you can see wallpaper ads. Microsoft showed off a Tomb Raider wallpaper, for example, there at one point. It looked great, but it was still an advertisement. Microsoft may also display hints and tips there.

You have two options here. First, disable the lock screen completely. Or, and it’s probably better, switch to a local wallpaper image.

  • Use Windows-I to open the Settings app.
  • To go Personalization > lock screen.
  • Select Picture or Slideshow as Background (not Windows Spotlight).
  • Also, disable “Get fun facts, tips, tricks and more on your lock screen”. Note: The setting is called “Get fun facts, tips, and more from Windows and Cortana on your lock screen” in newer versions of Windows 10.

Get Office and get Skype

get office

Get Office and Get Skype are two applications that may be installed on your device. The first announces Microsoft Office 365, the second the Skype application.

If you don’t use Office 365 or Skype, or already use it, you may want to uninstall those apps as they are useless. In addition, they can interfere with the system critically. Get Office app Blocked system restore from working properly eg some time ago.

If you’re using a version of Windows prior to the Creators Update:

  1. Use Windows-I to open the Settings app.
  2. Select System > Apps and features if you’re running Windows 10 version 1607 or earlier.
  3. Select Applications > Apps and features if you’re running Windows 10 version 1703 or later.
  4. Search for “Get” using the search form.
  5. Click Get Office or Get Skype and select Uninstall to remove the app from your device.

Disable annoyances, welcome experience and signature suggestions

windows welcome tips

Windows 10 can display hints, tips, or tricks right on the taskbar. Microsoft has done it in the past to advertise Microsoft Edge, for example, proving that it is more secure than Firefox or has better battery life than Google Chrome.

We talk about the annoying taskbar in Windows 10 here already.

Windows 10 can also display a welcome screen at startup after updates and display what’s new or tips when you sign in.

  1. Use Windows-I to open the Settings app.
  2. To go System > Notifications and actions.
  3. To locate Get tips, tricks, and suggestions while using Windowsand disable the feature.
  4. To locate Show me the Windows welcome experience after updates and occasionally when I sign in to highlight what’s new and helpfuland also disable the function.

Windows Ink workspace tips

windows ink tips

If you use Ink Workspace from Windows 10, you may have already seen app suggestions there. These work similarly to the Start menu tips, only they appear when you open the workspace, and they work with different settings.

  1. Use Windows-I to open the Settings app.
  2. Switch to Devices > Windows Pen and Ink.
  3. To locate display recommended app suggestionsand disable the feature.

Disable File Explorer Ads

sync provider notifications

The most recent location where ads appeared in Windows 10 is File Explorer. The built-in file explorer showed an Office 365 banner to some users right in the center of File Explorer.

Worse yet, there was no option to disable the ad entirely, as you could only select “not now” when it was displayed. This suggests that it will be generated again at a later time.

We talked about File Explorer ads here before. Do the following to turn them off:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Select File, Archive > Change folder and search options.
  3. change to View tab.
  4. Scroll down until you find show sync provider notifications.
  5. Uncheck the option to disable File Explorer ads.

Disable ad sharing

windows 10 sharing tips

Windows 10 can display tips in the Share menu that highlight apps that aren’t installed on your system.

You can disable them as follows:

  1. Open File Explorer and select a file with a left click.
  2. Select the Share tab on the menu bar and click the Share button when the menu is displayed.
  3. Right-click on any item displayed in the Share window that opens and uncheck the “show app suggestions” option.

See disable sharing suggestions in Windows 10 for details.

Other things you might want to consider

There are a couple more things I’d like to mention. First, that the operating system’s live tile functionality for app icons on Start can display ads. You can turn off live tiles by right-clicking on the tile and selecting more > turn off live tiles. Some apps can also be uninstalled if you prefer.

You can also uninstall apps that shipped with Windows 10 by default to get rid of them.

Or, and that’s also an option, install an app like Classic Shell to replace the entire start menu (and get rid of ads this way).

closing words

Microsoft slowly but gradually increased the locations where it displays what it calls hints or tips. It seems likely that we will see even more announcements later. I will update the guide whenever new ad locations become known.

If you know of another location, please let me know and I will review and update the article as soon as possible.

Now you: What’s your take on the whole Windows 10 announcement situation?

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