Skip to main content

How to Reduce Sponsored Ads In Windows 10 (4 Different Settings)


“So starting with Windows 10, Microsoft got really comfortable with showing ads for apps, games, and, you know, Bing searches, things like that, in Windows. They’re trying to, of course, push their own products, push people to buy stuff in the Windows Store because they get a cut, things like that. So from their perspective they think they are being helpful, they’re offering us these “suggestions,” but personally I find these suggestions really irritating, because I don’t want sponsored content appearing everywhere as I’m working.

So here’s 3 different places where we can turn off these helpful “suggestions,” and I’ll also show you how to keep your lock screen clean in Windows, so that you don’t have like these pop-ups where they suggest things to you before you’ve even logged in.

Okay, so the first step is let’s go to the Start menu here, and I’ll show you that at the top, at the top here there’s normally an ad. There’s not one right now, because it’s not guaranteed that an ad shows up, but the ads are usually for apps, games, so I’ll show you how to make sure that doesn’t happen.

And the way we turn off these suggestions is we click Start, we click the gear here, which is Settings, and now we’re going to do is we’re going to search for suggestions, literally the word “suggestions,” okay? And you’ll notice the first option is “show suggestions occasionally in Start.” So we’re going to click that, and then here “Show suggestions occasionally in Start,” we’re going to turn that to off. That’s the one that appears at the top of the Start menu, that’s what I wanted to… that’s why I wanted to start with that.

Now, we’re going to go ahead and just do a few more of these. So search for suggestions, we’re going to see “show suggestions in your timeline,” just click that, once again, let’s turn this off. Okay? Right here where it says Timeline, “show suggestions in your timeline,” just turn that off.

And now we’re going to do one last search, and this one’s going to be a bit deeper in the list, so instead of just searching and clicking one of the top five options, I’m going to click “show all results,” and all the way at the bottom, there is “turn off suggested content in the settings app.” I’m just going to zoom in real quick, right here. Okay? So I’m going to click that guy, and then once again it highlights the option “show me suggested content in the settings app,” click “off”…. great. So these suggestions are all off right now.

Now the next one I’d like to show you is something that’s harder to visualize, it’s the lock screen, so I can’t really do it while I’m recording, but I’ll show you how to fix it nonetheless. So I go here in my browser – I actually have an image of what it looks like roughly.

So if you see things like this on your lock screen, it’s because you’re using what’s called the Windows Spotlight feature, which is like, a cool kind-of random image that appears on your lock screen, which is your log on screen, you know, before you’re even into Windows, and the cost, if you will, of having this dynamic image is that they sneak in things like this, little ads. So I’ll be showing you how to turn this stuff of, in case it irritates you… I know it irritates me! So let me show you how to do that.

So the way you do this is you have to actually go to Settings again, because of course this is where we do things like this. And we have to locate the lock screen section… which is actually in the Personalization section right here – click this, and they’re going to click “Lock screen,” and you’ll notice I’m set to “Windows spotlight.” So that’s bad to begin with, well [slight laugh], it’s bad if you care about sponsored content. If you like your sponsored content being fed to you in addition to the nice images, then feel free to keep this.

Personally I prefer having a clean start page, so what I do is I actually select one of the other two options, slideshow or picture. Usually I just choose Picture and then I choose any random picture from this list, or I browse for another one.

And here’s the key, here’s where they sneak in the sponsored content… “Get fun facts, tips, and more from Windows and Cortana on your lock screen.” This is the guy. So if you turn that off, you’ve got a clean start screen. Now, of course, you’re missing out on some fun facts and tips, but take my word for it, there’s quite a bit of sponsored content there, and if you have no tolerance for that just turn this guy off, it’s going to improve your life a little bit.

There you go. Now you can enjoy seeing a few less advertisements in your day.”

Close Menu