If you’ve been using Windows 10, you may have noticed something. When you open the Start menu you’ll sometimes see little advertisement tiles. These tiles might be asking you to install a Windows 10 game or maybe try out an app. They’re intrusive, not to mention annoying.
You’ll also notice that they sometimes show up on the Windows 10 lock screen as well. Why are you seeing advertisements on Windows? Well, for the first time ever, Microsoft gave out Windows 10 for zero cost. If you head to the Windows 10 section of the website, it’s easy to get an installation disk and get it going. You don’t even need a product key. It’s also possible to upgrade directly from 7 or 8/8.1 as well.
Since Microsoft has given out all these free copies, they thought it’d be cool to make a little money on these people. And that’s fine. If you’re not a paying customer you shouldn’t really have any room to complain about this. However, these ads are also showing up for people who’ve paid for the license key as well.
How to disable ads on the lock screen
Press the Windows key on your keyboard or click the Windows icon on the task bar. From here, start searching. You’re looking for a gear with Settings next to it, so just start typing “Settings,” and you should see it.
Once you see it come up in the menu, click it to launch it. Once launched, just go to the search bar in the top-right corner of the Settings window and start searching for “Lock screen.” When you do this you’ll see three settings appear. The only setting we need to worry about is “Lock screen settings” – everything else is irrelevant.
Click on “Lock screen settings” to be taken to the configuration area of the Windows 10 lock screen. There you’ll see a few areas like Background, Colors, Lock Screen Themes and Start. Click on Lock Screen.
Inside the lock screen area look for Background. By default, it’s set as Windows spotlight. This is generally where you see the advertisements. Click the drop-down menu and select pictures from your own personal picture collection or create a slideshow with your pictures.
With Windows spotlight changed, click the Browse button under “Choose your picture.” You’ll notice a slider that basically says it’ll gI’ve you “tips” and “tricks” on the lock screen. Click this into the “Off” position. After that you should no longer be seeing any sort of advertisements on your Windows 10 lock screen.
How to disable them on the Start screen
The lock screen isn’t the only place you’ll run into advertisements on Windows screens. They also have a knack for showing up on the Start screen as well.
Here’s how to turn them off. Start off at the Start screen and just like before, search for “Settings.” Once you’ve typed that you’ll notice it in the search results. When you find it, launch it.
In the Settings window go to the top-right corner of the screen and type Start. When you do this, a ton of results will appear. Click on Start settings. This will take you directly to where you need to be. From here, just scroll down and find “Occasionally show suggestions in Start.”
This is a slider that by default will serve you advertisements in your Windows 10 Start menu. Click the slider to the “Off” position, and you’ll no longer see any sort of ads in the Start screen.
Windows 10 is one of the most polished releases of Windows in recent memory. The user interface is fresh, modern and responsive. The loading times have been improved significantly, and just about everything else under the hood has been beefed up. Suffice it to say, Microsoft has done a good job this time around.
Still, with all this positive talk about Windows, there is one thing that is often overlooked – privacy and advertising on Windows 10. The fact that sometimes even paying customers in Windows 10 – those who paid more than $199 to get a key – along with “free upgrade” users are seeing advertisements in Start and the Lock screen. This is a bit strange and intrusive.
Regardless, at least Microsoft has allowed for these things to be turned off. It may be buried in settings upon settings, but can still be disabled nonetheless.
Windows 10 users: how do you feel about advertisements showing up in your Start screen and lock screen? Tell us why below!
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons