If you’re a new Windows 11 user or have been using it for a while, you may have noticed that the operating system is loaded with annoying ads. These ads can appear in different forms such as tips and suggestions on the Lock screen, the appearance of apps that you’ve never used before on the Start menu, service promotions on File Explorer, content suggestions and features on the Settings app, and more.
Furthermore, Microsoft also utilizes diagnostic data to display personalized ads and other information throughout your Windows 11 experience.
However, if you’re tired of these types of ads, Windows 11 offers various settings that you can toggle to either completely disable ads or prevent targeted advertising. In this guide, we will take you through the steps to minimize these annoying ads and improve your experience with Windows 11.
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How to Remove Ads from Windows 11 Lock Screen
In Windows 11, the Lock screen can display various ads, but you can’t disable them when using the Windows Spotlight feature. However, you can select the “Picture” or “Slideshow” option to prevent unwanted information from being shown on the Lock screen.
To remove ads from the Lock screen while using custom images, follow these steps:
1. Open Windows Settings.
2. Click on Personalization from the left pane and select the Lock screen option page on the right side.
3. Under the “Personalize your lock screen” section, if the Picture or Slideshow option is selected, uncheck the “Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen” option.
Once you have completed these steps, the Lock screen will not display any information that can be considered ads when using custom images.
How to Remove Ads from Windows 11 Start Menu
Microsoft places ads in the form of pins on the Start menu, increasing the chances of users being lured into installing apps that they don’t require. Although these apps are not installed on your device, it can be frustrating to see them there without any labels.
The apps that appear may vary depending on your location and the Windows 11 version that you’re using. However, apps like Adobe Express, Prime Video, TikTok, Instagram, Spotify, and others are common.
To remove app ads from the Start menu, follow these steps:
1. Open the Start menu by pressing the Window key on the keyboard or by click on Start on the Taskbar.
2. Right-click om the app you don’t want and select the Uninstall button.
3. Click the Uninstall button again to confirm the action.
You may need to repeat these steps to remove all the app ads from the Start menu.
How to Remove Ads from Windows 11 Search
“Search highlights” is a feature that displays web suggestions in the Windows 11 Search home. Although these types of content can be seen as advertisements, as they can entice users into using online services and applications that they may not want to use, you can disable the feature from the “Search permissions” settings.
To disable content highlights in the Search home of Windows 11, follow these steps:
1. Launch Windows Settings.
2. Click on Privacy & security from the left and go to Search permissions on the right side.
3. Under the “More settings” section, turn off the “Show search highlights” toggle switch.
Once you have completed these steps, the next time you open the Search experience, you will find two lists, including “Quick searches” with suggestions to find settings and “Top apps” with your top six apps, instead of online content.
How to Remove Ads from Windows 11 Widgets Board
The Widgets board on Windows 11 displays curated online content and advertisements. Fortunately, you can remove the contents and the icon from the Taskbar by following these steps:
1. Open Settings.
2. Click on Personalization and go to the Taskbar page on the right side.
3. Under the “Taskbar items” section, turn off the Widgets toggle switch.
After completing these steps, the Widgets icon will no longer appear on the Taskbar, preventing accidental opening of the board when hovering over it.
Disable Widgets Content
Although you cannot disable the Widgets feature, you can sign out of it to avoid web content. Follow these steps to sign out:
1. Open Widgets by pressing the Windows key + W on the keyboard.
2. Click the Profile menu in the top-right corner.
3. Click the Sign out button.
After completing these steps, the Widgets board will no longer show any web content, limiting access to advertisements.
Tip: If you still prefer to use Widgets, you can configure the feature to show content tailored to your preferences.
How to Remove Ads from Windows 11 File Explorer
File Explorer also displays promotions to use certain services, such as OneDrive. Follow these steps to stop getting ads in File Explorer:
1. Open File Explorer by pressing Win + E on the keyboard.
2. Click the See more (three-dotted) menu button from the command bar and select Options.
3. Switch to the View tab.
4. Uncheck the “Show sync provider notifications” option.
After completing these steps, you should no longer see advertisements under the address bar of File Explorer.
How to Disable Device Usage Settings in Windows 11
The “Device usage” feature enables Windows 11 to show personalized ads and recommendations based on how you use your computer. To disable this feature and prevent tailored ads, follow these steps:
1. Open Settings (Win + I).
2. Click on Personalization and go to the Device usage page on the right side.
3. Turn off all the options to stop personalized ads and recommendations.
After completing these steps, you should no longer see tailored ads based on your device usage.
How to Disable Notification Ads on Windows 11
The notification system on Windows 11 can push toast notifications with tips and tricks to help you discover and use features. If you don’t need these random suggestions, you can disable them to prevent distractions.
Follow these steps to prevent features from showing tips and other recommendations:
1. Open Settings on your Windows 11 PC.
2. Click on System and go to Notifications on the right side.
3. Click on Additional settings.
4. Uncheck the “Show the Windows welcome experience after updates and when signed in to show what’s new and suggested” option.
5. Next, uncheck the “Suggest ways to get the most out of Windows and finish setting up this device” option.
6. Lastly, uncheck the “Get tips and suggestions when using Windows” option.
After completing these steps, the system won’t show notifications with tips and suggestions to use certain features.
How to Disable Suggested Content in Windows 11 Settings
The Settings app can provide suggestions to help you discover features or tips for content and apps. To stop the Settings app from showing suggestions, follow these steps:
1. Open Settings and go to Privacy & security > General under (Windows permission).
2. Turn off the “Show me suggested content in the Settings app” toggle switch.
After completing the above steps, the Settings app will no longer show suggestions to the end user.
How to Stop Apps Showing Ads on Windows 11
When you install applications on your Windows 11 system, they may use your computer’s unique ID to target you with personalized advertisements. If you prefer not to be targeted in this manner, you can stop apps from using your advertising ID.
To disable personalized ads, follow these steps:
1. Open Settings and navigate to Privacy & Security > General.
2. Toggle off the “Let apps show my personalized ads by using my advertising ID” option.
Once you have completed these steps, Microsoft Store apps will still show ads, but they will not be personalized.
How to Disable Diagnostics Dara Ads on Windows 11
In addition to targeted ads, Windows 11 collects various data to understand how users interact with the operating system, which is then utilized to improve security and develop new features. However, this information can also be used to target you with personalized ads, tips, and recommendations.
To prevent Microsoft from using your diagnostic data to personalize ads, follow these steps:
1. Open Settings and go to Privacy & Security > Diagnostics & Feedback.
2. Select the Tailored experiences setting.
3. Toggle off the “Let Microsoft use your diagnostic data, excluding info about websites you browse, to enhance your product experiences with personalized tips, ads, and recommendations” option.
After completing these steps, Microsoft will no longer use diagnostic data to tailor ads.
Following this guide will greatly reduce the number of ads you see. However, please note that you may still encounter advertisements from Microsoft Store apps and other third-party apps supported by ads.