It can be difficult to get tasks done when you see distractions around you. This is also the reason why many people opt to install ad blockers. After all, some of these Internet advertisements block the content that users want to see. So, it is only natural to be frustrated when you see that Windows 10 is riddled with built-in ads.
No matter what version of the operating system you get—the free upgrade, the licensed OS, or the Professional version—you will still see the annoying ads and notifications. You might ask, “Can I disable Windows 10’s built-in ads and tips?” Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we are going to discuss how to remove ads from Windows 10. We will also share some tips on how to minimize the distracting pop-up notifications and ‘suggestions’ on your desktop.
How to Disable the Ads on the Lock Screen
Windows 10 uses the Spotlight feature to display ads on the lock screen. This feature’s primary purpose is to show off various wallpapers. However, on certain occasions, it will sneak in advertisements for games like Quantum Break and Rise of the Tomb Raider. Most of these apps can be bought from the Windows Store. If you want to disable the ads on your lock screen, follow these steps:
- Go to your taskbar, then right-click the Windows icon.
- Select Settings from the options.
- Click Personalization.
- Now, select Lock Screen from the left-pane menu.
- Click the drop-down list below Background, then select Slideshow.
- Scroll down, then disable the ‘Get fun facts, tips, and more from Windows and Cortana on your lock screen’ option.
Removing the Suggested Apps in the Start Menu
Occasionally, Windows 10 will use the Start Menu to advertise ‘suggested apps’. Most of the time, these apps are not free. In some cases, these ads include PC games worth $60 or more. Basically, these suggested apps only take your Start menu’s valuable space. So, to prevent them from appearing, follow the instructions below:
- Click the Search icon on your taskbar.
- Now, type “Settings” (no quotes). Choose Settings from the list of results.
- Select Personalization.
- Go to the left-pane menu, then click Start.
- Look for the ‘Show suggestions occasionally in Start’ option and disable it.
How to Stop the Notification Ads
When Microsoft released the Creators Update, it included new ‘suggestions’ to the Notifications feature. Ads for various Windows features now appear as normal notifications on your desktop. For instance, you see a pop-up message telling you to set up a certain app. You will be able to access such notifications in the Action Center. If you want to disable these new ‘suggestions,’ you can follow the steps below:
- Click the Windows icon on your taskbar.
- Click the Settings icon. It should look like a gear symbol.
- Select System.
- Go to the left-pane menu, then click Notifications & Actions.
- Switch off the option which says, ‘Show me the Windows welcome experience after updates and occasionally when I sign in to highlight what’s new and suggested.’
How to Remove Taskbar Pop-ups
When Microsoft also uses pop-up ads on the taskbar to show ‘tips, tricks, and suggestions.’ In most cases, the company takes advantage of this feature to promote Microsoft Edge. The notifications may suggest using the browser to improve battery life. They might even encourage you to use Edge through Microsoft Rewards points.
If you prefer other apps and want to prevent Microsoft from nagging you to use their programs, you can disable the tips. To do this, you need to follow these steps:
- Open the Settings app.
- Click System, then select Notifications & Actions.
- Look for the ‘Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows’ option and disable it.
How to Stop Cortana from Bouncing on the Taskbar
When your system recognizes that you haven’t been using Cortana for a while, the feature will occasionally bounce on the taskbar. Some users do not mind this, but others feel like Cortana is nagging them. So, if you want to disable this feature, you can go to Settings, then disable the Taskbar Tidbits option. You will find this item under the ‘Let Cortana pipe up from time to time with thoughts, greetings, and notifications in the Search box’ category. After doing that, Cortana will stop bouncing on the taskbar. It will only be active whenever you decide to use it.
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Removing Advertisements from File Explorer
When Microsoft released the Creators Update, the tech company used it to display ads for Office 365 and OneDrive. You might see the banner ads at the top of the File Explorer window. If you do not like seeing these ads, you can disable them by following the instructions below:
- On your keyboard, press Windows Key+E. This should launch File Explorer.
- Click View, then select Options.
- Go to the View tab, then scroll down until you see the list of advanced settings.
- Deselect the ‘Show sync provider notifications’ option.
How to Get Rid of Candy Crush Soda Saga and Other Default Apps
When you sign in for the first time to Windows 10, the system automatically downloads and installs apps like Candy Crush Soda Saga, Minecraft, Flipboard, and Twitter. Some manufacturers also include their own apps and make them appear like they are default programs on the live tiles.
These software programs are supposed to be part of the ‘Microsoft Consumer Experience’. However, if you find them unnecessary, you’d want to learn how to remove built-in Windows 10 apps for all users. Before, these apps could be disabled through the Group Policy editor. However, Microsoft removed this option when they released the Anniversary Update. Keep in mind that only Windows 10 Enterprise users can turn off the feature.
On the other hand, you still have the option to remove the apps and tiles. To do this, follow the steps below:
- Click the Start menu.
- Look for the apps that you do not need.
- Right-click each app, then choose Uninstall.
Note: By default, some apps, including FarmVille 2: Country Escape and Candy Crush Soda Saga, may appear as tiles. However, you can still find them under the list of apps.
In some cases, you will find tiles of apps that are not yet downloaded. You can remove these tiles by right-clicking each of them, then selecting Unpin from Start. Keep in mind that you won’t see the Uninstall option. After all, the tiles are links that go to the specific Windows Store pages that let you download the app.
How to Remove Ads from the Windows Ink Workspace
When you open the Windows Ink Workspace, you will also see a section for ‘suggested apps’. Microsoft uses this venue for advertising pen-enabled apps that you can buy from the Windows Store. If you find these ‘suggested apps’ annoying, you can disable the feature. After all, you can always visit the Windows Store when you need to purchase pen-enabled apps. To remove the feature, follow the steps below:
- Launch Settings, then select Devices.
- Go to the left-pane menu, then click Pen & Windows Ink.
- Under the Windows Ink Workspace section, you will see the ‘Show recommended app suggestions’ option.
- Turn off the feature to stop the suggested apps ads.
These are just some of the built-in ads and notifications you can remove from Windows 10. However, if you keep on seeing pop-ups that seem suspicious and utterly unrelated to Microsoft, you might want to beef up your anti-virus. There are many software programs out there that promise security for PC users. However, if you want something more reliable and effective, your best bet is to install Auslogics Anti-Malware.
Auslogics Anti-Malware can detect malicious items you’d never suspect existed. What’s more, it can catch items that your main anti-virus may miss. This tool can keep your PC safe and secure, providing you with the peace of mind you need.
Which of the Windows 10 ads do you find intolerable?
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