Microsoft Introduces Ads in Windows 11 Start Menu: Find Out How to Disable Them

Ads are now being displayed in the Start menu of Windows 11, according to Microsoft. This move comes after the company tested the feature with Windows Insiders earlier this month. The update, known as KB5036980, has been rolled out to Windows 11 users this week, and it includes app recommendations from the Microsoft Store in the Start menu.

According to Microsoft, the ads in the Start menu are designed to help users discover more apps and benefit developers who are encouraged to build more Windows apps. The update notes state that these apps will come from a curated list of developers.

It is surprising to see this feature progress from the Beta Channel to release so quickly, considering that Microsoft only started testing these ads two weeks ago. Feedback from users is essential in determining whether or not these ads are well-received, and it seems that two weeks may not be enough time to gather substantial feedback.

Fortunately, users have the option to disable these ads, or “recommendations” as Microsoft refers to them. By installing the latest KB5036980 update, users can navigate to Settings > Personalization > Start and turn off the toggle for “Show recommendations for tips, app promotions, and more.” Although the update is currently optional, Microsoft plans to push it to all Windows 11 machines in the coming weeks.

This move by Microsoft to include ads in the Windows 11 Start menu follows previous promotional efforts in the Windows 10 lock screen and Start menu. Last year, the company also tested ads inside the File Explorer of Windows 11 but eventually disabled the experiment. Hopefully, this experiment remains just that.

Implications and Future Trends

This development of ads in the Windows 11 Start menu raises several important implications and potential future trends. One of the key trends is the increasing monetization of operating systems. As companies seek to generate more revenue, they are finding ways to incorporate advertisements into various aspects of their software.

While some users may find these ads intrusive, they also offer opportunities for developers to promote their apps and reach a wider audience. This could result in an increased number of Windows apps being developed, as developers are motivated by the potential exposure and financial gains. However, striking a balance between monetization and user experience is crucial to avoid alienating users.

Another future trend that could emerge from this development is the integration of ads in other areas of the Windows 11 operating system. Microsoft has previously experimented with ads on the lock screen and File Explorer, indicating that they are exploring different avenues for advertising. As technology continues to advance, it is likely that we will see further integration of ads within operating systems.

Furthermore, this move by Microsoft reflects the broader trend of personalized advertising. By curating a list of recommended apps, Microsoft aims to provide users with targeted and relevant recommendations. This trend aligns with the increasing use of data analytics and machine learning algorithms to deliver personalized content and advertising to users.

In conclusion, the inclusion of ads in the Windows 11 Start menu signifies the ongoing monetization efforts by operating system companies. While ads may present opportunities for developers and revenue for companies, it is essential to balance these efforts with user experience. As technology evolves, we can expect to see further integration of ads within operating systems and the rise of personalized advertising.

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