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How to turn off Windows 11's new Start Menu ads

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With the latest optional update KB5036980 for Windows 11 version 23H2 and 22H2, Microsoft is adding ads for programs and Windows services that users can buy in the Microsoft Store to the Windows 11 Start menu. Microsoft euphemistically refers to this advertising as “Recommendations” (in the Start menu, this area is called “Recommended”), which sounds much nicer. Microsoft describes this innovation as follows:

Some Microsoft Store apps are displayed in the Recommended section of the Start menu. These apps come from a small group of selected developers. This will help you discover some of the great apps that are available.

Microsoft in the support document for KB5036980

But the better-sounding name doesn’t change the fact that many Windows 11 users don’t want to see ads in the Start menu.

How to switch off the new ads in the Start menu

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You are not helplessly at the mercy of the “recommendations” in the Start menu, but can easily switch them off. To do this, in the Windows settings go to Personalization > Start (this is where you configure the Windows 11 Start menu). There you will find an entry named as follows “Show recommendations for tips, app promotions, and more.” Now click the slider to the right of it to toggle the option to “Off.”

Important: Ads in the Start menu currently appear only after installing the optional update

KB5036980 is currently only an optional update that Windows 11 does not install automatically. KB5036980 will only be automatically installed as a cumulative update on every Windows 11 computer with the next Microsoft Patch Tuesday in May 2024. From then on, all Windows 11 users will find these intrusive recommendations in the Start menu of their operating system.

This article originally appeared on PC Welt and has been translated from German to English.

This article originally appeared on our sister publication PC-WELT and was translated and localized from German.

Hans-Christian Dirscherl schreibt seit über 20 Jahren zu fast allen IT-Themen. Sein Fokus liegt auf der Koordination und Produktion von Nachrichten mit hohem Nutzwert sowie auf ausführlichen Tests und Ratgebern für die Bereiche Smart Home, Smart Garden und Automotive.

Recent stories by Hans-Christian Dirscherl:

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