Underneath all of Windows 10’s useful features, Microsoft is ruining the experience to a certain degree by showing ads in various locations. While it is possible to block ads in Windows 10, you’ll need to tinker with multiple settings to do this.
No….there’s no ‘Block ads’ magic button to help you out. And most of these settings don’t have transparent names. You won’t be seeing the ‘ad’ or ‘advertisement’ words or any other related words for that matter.
Also, Microsoft is aware many users hate these ads and do their best to disable them, which is why after a major update all the settings are returned to their default state. As a result, you’re probably going to do this all over again at some point.
How to block ads in Windows 10
Ads are displayed in various areas of the system, so in order to block ads in Windows 10, you’ll need to disable several settings.
Let’s start by disabling ads on the lockscreen. To do this, open the Settings app and go to Personalization -> Lock screen.
If you have ‘Windows spotlight’ selected for your lockscreen background there will be no option to disable ads on the lockscreen. For this purpose, you will need to choose either ‘Picture’ or ‘Slideshow’. Once you select one of these two options, another option called ‘Get fun facts, tips and more from Windows and Cortana on your lock screen’ will be displayed.
It sounds pretty harmless, right? What is not obvious is the ‘more’ part of that option also includes ads. Go ahead and toggle the switch under the option to the Off position.
Now we’ll remove ads from the Start Menu. Without leaving the Personalization screen, click on the ‘Start’ option located in the left sidebar.
The option we’re interested is called ‘Occasionally show suggestions in Start’. This option often shows promoted Windows Store apps in the Start Menu, so disable it if you don’t want to see them.
Another type of advertisement we can get from Microsoft is notifications to get Office or Skype paid subscriptions. To disable these, open the Start Menu and find the app called ‘Get Office’. Right-click on it and select ‘Uninstall’.
Another method is to head back to the Settings app and go to System -> Notifications & actions and scroll down to the ‘Get notifications from these senders’ section. Switch off the toggle next to the ‘Get Office’ app.
Windows 10 also gives each user something known as advertising ID. This ID is used to track you and show you targeted ads. It’s a good idea to disable it, even though doing this doesn’t block ads by itself.
Open the Settings app one more time and select ‘Privacy’. The first option is called ‘Let apps use my advertising ID for experiences across apps’. Once you turn it off, your advertising ID will be disabled.
If at some point you decide to turn it back on, you will be assigned a new advertising ID, although assuming you have no interest in seeing Microsoft ads this has little importance.