Microsoft tests ads in Windows 11 start menu

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Microsoft is currently exploring the possibility of integrating advertisements into the Windows 11 Start menu.

Specifically, they are considering placing ads for apps available in the Microsoft Store within the recommended section of the menu. This strategy closely resembles the advertising approach seen in the previous Windows 10 operating system.

For those who have extensively used Windows 10, the notion of ads in the Start menu might be met with a sense of resignation, as the older OS also featured ads, predominantly for downloadable apps.

Presently, Microsoft is only showcasing these ads to users located in the United States who are enrolled as Windows Insiders in the Beta Channel. Users who are not part of this group or are utilizing devices managed by organizations will not encounter these ads.

Fortunately, users have the option to disable these advertisements altogether.

This can be accomplished by navigating to the Personalization section within Settings and toggling off the option labeled “Show recommendations for tips, app promotions, and more” under the Start category.

However, it’s important to note that like many of Microsoft’s experimental features, the inclusion of ads in the Start menu may not ultimately be implemented on a wider scale.

Despite this uncertainty, it’s prudent to remember the steps for disabling ads, given Microsoft’s history of integrating advertisements into its desktop platforms.

Last year, the company experimented with promotional placements for its services, such as OneDrive, within the menu accessed by clicking on the user’s profile photo. Thus, while the current ad integration remains limited to a specific user base, it’s indicative of Microsoft’s ongoing exploration of advertising opportunities within its software ecosystem.

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