How to Turn off Windows 10’s Built-in Advertising

If you have a computer running Windows 10, you’ve probably noticed the influx of built-in advertising. These pesky ads can be incredibly frustrating – the good news is, the majority can be disabled.

In this article, we’ll walk you through how to turn off Windows 10 ads embedded throughout your operating system. Let’s get started.

Turn off ads on your lock screen

When your computer is locked, you might notice a few ads alongside striking wallpapers and photographs. These are delivered by Windows Spotlight and are pretty easy to turn off. Here’s how:

  1. Head to Settings > Personalisation > Lock Screen.
  2. Set your background to ‘Picture’ or ‘Slideshow,’ not ‘Windows Spotlight.’
  3. Disable ‘Get fun facts, tips, and more from Windows and Cortana on your lock screen’ too.

Disable taskbar pop-ups

Microsoft calls these ‘tips, tricks, and suggestions.’ And while some can be helpful, the constant nagging can get annoying. To disable these pop-ups:

  1. Head to Settings > System > Notifications & Actions.
  2. Turn off the ‘Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows’ option.

Stop notification ads

Microsoft ‘suggests’ updates, trick, tips, and applications as notifications. Again, these can become annoying if you don’t want or need this information.

  1. Navigate to Settings > System > Notifications.
  2. Turn off the ‘Show me the Windows welcome experience after updates and occasionally when I sign in to highlight what’s new and suggested’ option.

Prevent advertisements from appearing in File Explorer

Ads promoting OneDrive and Office 365 pop up in File Explorer. You can prevent these by following these instructions:

  1. Open File Explorer’s options menu by clicking the ‘View’ tab at the top of the window. Then click the ‘Options’ button.
  2. Click the ‘View’ tab, and scroll down the list of advanced settings.
  3. Uncheck ‘Show sync provider notifications.’

Remove all ‘Get Office’ notifications

You’ve probably come across the ‘Get Office’ notifications prompting you to try a 1-month trial. Remove these by:

  1. Head to Settings > System > Notifications & Actions.
  2. Set the notification for the ‘Get Office’ app to ‘Off.’

Delete Candy Crush Saga and other installed apps

Windows 10 downloads a number of apps, including Candy Crush Saga, Twitter, and Minecraft: Windows 10 edition automatically. To uninstall the apps you don’t use, run through the following instructions:

  1. Open you Start menu, and locate the apps you want to remove.
  2. Right-click the app, and select ‘Uninstall.’

Some apps appear as tiles, but are not yet downloaded. Here’s how to remove these:

  1. Right-click on the tile.
  2. Select the ‘Unpin from Start’ option.

Stop Cortana bouncing

Have you noticed Cortana bouncing on your taskbar, begging you to start talking? To make this stop, try the following:

  1. Click the Cortana search bar. Then, select ‘Settings.’
  2. Scroll down, and disable the ‘Taskbar Tidbits’ option underneath ‘Let Cortana pipe up from time to time with thoughts, greetings, and notifications in the Search box.’

Hide app suggestions in the Share pane

A recent Windows 10 Creators Update added a new Share pane to the File Explorer. To hide app suggestion, follow these instructions:

  1. Click the ‘Share’ tab, and then the ‘Share’ button as if you were sharing a file to an installed app.
  2. Here, you will see suggested apps. Right-click, and uncheck ‘Show app suggestions.’

Stay away from video ads in Solitaire

The Solitaire app built-in to Windows 10 doesn’t contain banner ads. Instead, it shows 30-second video advertisements. You can remove these by paying $10/year – there’s no free way to get around this.

Instead, you can play ad-free Solitaire by Google. Simply search ‘solitaire,’ and start playing.

Turn off live tiles

Windows 10 includes a few apps that deliver advertisements that you cannot delete, such as the Store and Xbox. To turn off ‘live tiles’ created by these apps that contain ads, take these steps:

  1. Right-click the tile.
  2. Select More > Turn live tile off.
  3. You may also like to remove the tile completely by, again, right-clicking and selecting ‘Unpin from start.’

Banish ads from the Windows Ink Workspace

The Windows Ink Workspace has its own ‘suggested apps’ section. Banish these by:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Devices > Pen & Windows Ink.
  2. Turn the ‘Show recommended app suggestions’ option off.

Get help with Windows 10

As you can tell, Windows 10 is plagued with frustrating, in-built advertisements that can diminish your user experience. If you would like professional help setting up your Windows 10 computer, get in contact with our team of Windows 10 experts. Call on 1300 553 166 or fill put the form on this page.