Monday, July 22

Disable Windows 10 Adverts

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The more you use Windows 10, the more you will notice the adverts that seem to be everywhere. Luckily, it is fairly simple to remove, block or hide Windows 10 adverts, along with many of the other slightly annoying popups. Here’s how to block or disable several of them.

1. Lock Screen Ads

Shortly after you enable Windows Spotlight for the lock screen, you will soon start to see the occasional advert for games like Tomb Raider appear among the pretty images. To disable the Windows 10 adverts, simply switch to the Picture or Slideshow options in the Personalisation settings.

2. Suggested Apps

Windows 10 will occasionally show “suggested apps” in your Start menu. Sometimes these are free apps, but often they are paid apps and games. Essentially, these are adverts. Head to Settings > Personalization > Start and set the “Occasionally show suggestions in Start” setting to “Off”.

3. Lose the Fun Facts

Although Cortana will occasionally provide you with an interesting fact when you click the search bar, often they are interspersed with adverts too. You can disable “Get fun facts, tips, and more from Windows and Cortana on your lock screen” in Settings > Personalization > Lock Screen.

4. Calm Cortana Down

Following on from the previous tip, you can also stop Cortana from doing that annoying thing when it bounces around in the Taskbar to get your attention. If you don’t want Cortana nagging you, click the Cortana search bar, click Settings, scroll down, and disable the “Taskbar Tidbits” option.

5. Microsoft Tips

Okay, so this might be classed as borderline as far as it being advertising, but if you are fed up of being advised to “Use Edge to save battery life”, head to Settings > System > Notifications & Actions and disable the “Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows” option.

6. Get Rid of Office Notifications

Windows 10 includes a “Get Office” app that sits there, suggesting you download the software for a free trial period. Head to Settings > System > Notifications & Actions, scroll down, and turn it off. You could also find the Get Office app in your Start menu, right-click it, and select “Uninstall”.

7. Disable Live Tiles

While you can remove the apps that are installed as part of the Microsoft Consumer Experience program, Windows 10 also includes a few apps you can’t uninstall, but will use the Live Tiles to advertise. To disable live tiles that annoy you, right-click a tile and select More > Turn live tile off.

8. Unpinning Windows Apps

Rather than turning live tiles off, you can simply unpin the tile from the Start Menu. Rght-click a tile and select “Unpin from Start” to get rid of the tile entirely. If you prefer a less cluttered Start Menu, you can even choose to unpin all the tiles and only use the All Apps list to launch apps.

Ad Blocking Software

The tips above will allow you to block many of the Windows 10 adverts and annoyances from the interface, but what about the adverts you see on your favourite websites? Unfortunately, there isn’t a Windows 10 setting to turn these off, but there is bit of software which can help. AdBlock, The No.1 ad blocker with over 200 million downloads, blocks YouTube, Facebook and ads in most places on the web. AdBlock works automatically, but lets you choose to continue seeing unobtrusive ads, white-list your favourite sites, or block all ads by default. You can download AdBlock from the Microsoft Store.

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Russ has been immersed in the world of technology since talking his way into a computer journalism job 25 years ago. If it is shiny, complicated and has LED's and a screen, he will want to master it.

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