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How to Remove Ads From the Windows 10 Lock Screen

I’ve discovered I have a new passion in life, and you know what it’s all about? Helping people remove as much of the ads and sponsored content from Windows 10 as possible, assuming, of course, that that’s something they want to do to begin with. And so today, a very quick but essential tip… how do you remove the”helpful” facts and/or links that appear on the login page? Here’s an example:

Image shows two links (ads) on the Windows lock screen. One says "Bring on the color" and the other says "Rearrange to your heart's content."

No, Windows 10. Bad. Stop trying to get my attention.

These icons visually pollute the lock screen image, and in many cases, Microsoft uses them to sway consumer behavior – something they’ve clearly grown fond of doing since people accepted free Windows 10 upgrades.


If Windows 10 isn’t doing what you want, beat it with a rolled up newspaper until it starts behaving again*. Or, in technical terms, do the following:

  1. Click the “Start” button, and search for “Settings,” then press Enter.
  2. Click “Personalization.”
  3. Click “Lock Screen.”

Now, here’s where you’ll have to come face-to-face with a difficult decision. Microsoft has bundled its “amazing” sponsored content with the nice random photos you see on your lock screen – they call the combination “Windows Spotlight.” Personally, I love the changing photos… but I really dislike when they’re polluted with sponsored callouts. And so my personal choice is to sacrifice the changing image for the sake of gaining a little more relaxation and peace of mind on my logon screen. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Click the “Background” dropdown, and change it from “Windows Spotlight” to either “Picture” or “Slideshow.” 
  2. Select the picture or picture(s) you’d like included, respectively.
  3. Locate the “Get fun facts, tips, and more from Windows and Cortana on your lock screen,” and enthusiastically toggle it from “On” to “Off.”

That’s it! Now, take a deep breath, and enjoy your newfound freedom from yet another source of advertising.

* Beating a computer with a rolled up newspaper won’t actually solve anything. Best left to the imagination.

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