Turn off most Windows 10 Ads with a double-click, or manually

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 20, 2017
Updated • Oct 24, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

The following guide offers instructions on turning of all ads on Windows 10, and most of them with a simple double-click.

Not all Windows 10 users have seen advertisement yet on devices that run the operating system, but the number is certainly growing.

The main reason why it is growing is that Microsoft is pushing what it calls suggestions or tips to more and more places on the operating system.

What started with pre-installed third-party apps and suggestions in the Start Menu, has grown to ads in other locations such as the lockscreen, the File Explorer, and the taskbar.

Microsoft does not differentiate between systems that were upgraded for free to Windows 10, and bought Windows 10 licenses.

Good news is that you can turn off most ads on Windows 10.

Turn off most Windows 10 Ads with a double-click

turn off ads windows 10

The following two Registry files let you turn ads on or off on Windows 10 devices. Please note that the files allow you to turn off most ads but not all. The reason for that is that some features cannot be turned off using the Registry Editor.

The second part of this guide lists all locations, and provides you with instructions on how to disable ads for these locations as well.

First, the download link: disable-windows10-ads.zip

Here is what the turn-off-ads-windows-10.reg file does:

  1. Turn off File Explorer ads.
  2. Disable Start Menu suggestions.
  3. Disable "Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows".
  4. Turn off Game Bar tips.
  5. Optional: Turn off Lockscreen
  6. Optional: Turn off Cortana

Note: I suggest you create a backup of the Windows Registry before you run the files, or the Windows system as a whole.

To use the file, simply double-click on it. Accept the UAC prompt in the next step of the process, and confirm the Registry Editor warning message as well.

You can open the file in any text editor to take a look at it before you run it.

Disable Windows 10 ads: the manual way

As I mentioned earlier, it is not possible to disable Windows 10 from showing ads in some locations as you cannot control the functionality using the Registry Editor.

The following instructions offer manual ways to disable Windows 10 ads. This includes instructions for ads that you cannot turn off using the Registry.

Disable Start Menu Suggestions

occasionally show suggestions in start

We talked about turning off Start Menu ads before here on Ghacks. These suggestions are listing applications for the most part near the top of the start menu. This included in the past free apps or games, but also commercial applications or games.

One of the issues that you may have with the listing is that it is near the top. This means that it uses valuable space there that your program listings could fill instead if it would not be there.

Microsoft started to show suggestions to use Microsoft Edge in the very same location recently (for instance stating that you can stream videos longer with Edge).

To turn them off do the following:

  1. Use Windows-I to open the Settings application.
  2. Go to Personalisation > Start.
  3. Locate "occasionally show suggestions in Start", and toggle the option so that it is set to off.

Disable Lock Screen ads

windows lockscreen ads

The Windows 10 lock screen may feature two different types of ads. First, you may see wallpaper ads. Microsoft showed a Tomb Raider wallpaper for instance there at one point in time. It looked really nice, but it was still an ad. Microsoft may also display suggestions and tips there.

You have two options here. First, disable the lock screen entirely. Or, and that is probably better, switch to a local wallpaper image instead.

  • Use Windows-I to open the Settings application.
  • Go to Personalisation > Lock screen.
  • Select Picture or Slideshow under Background (not Windows Spotlight).
  • Also, toggle "Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen" to off. Note: the setting is called "Get fun facts, tips and more from Windows and Cortana on your lock screen" in newer versions of Windows 10.

Get Office, and Get Skype

get office

Get Office and Get Skype are two apps that may be installed on your device. The first advertises Microsoft Office 365, the latter the Skype application.

If you don't use Office 365 or Skype, or use it already, you may want to uninstall those applications as they serve no purpose. Additionally, they may interfere with the system in critical ways. The Get Office application blocked System Restore from working correctly for instance some time ago.

If you use a version of Windows prior to the Creators Update:

  1. Use Windows-I to open the Settings application.
  2. Select System > Apps & Features if you run Windows 10 version 1607 or earlier.
  3. Select Apps > Apps & Features if you run Windows 10 version 1703 or later.
  4. Search for "Get" using the search form.
  5. Click on Get Office or Get Skype, and select Uninstall to remove the application from the device.

Disable Windows 10 taskbar nags, welcome experience, and sign suggestions

windows welcome suggestions

Windows 10 may display suggestions, tips or tricks directly on the taskbar. Microsoft did so in the past to advertise Microsoft Edge for instance, showing that it is more secure than Firefox, or that it has a better battery life than Google Chrome.

We talked about the taskbar nags on Windows 10 here already.

Windows 10 may also display a welcome screen on start after updates, and show what's new or suggested when you sign in.

  1. Use Windows-I to open the Settings application.
  2. Go to System > Notifications & Actions.
  3. Locate Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use windows, and toggle the feature to off.
  4. Locate Show me the Windows welcome experience after updates, and occasionally when I sign in to highlight what's new and suggested, and toggle the feature to off as well.

Windows Ink Workspace suggestions

windows ink suggestions

If you use the Ink Workspace of Windows 10, you may have seen application suggestions there already. These work similarly to the Start Menu suggestions, only that they show up when you open the workspace, and that they are powered by a different setting.

  1. Use Windows-I to open the Settings application.
  2. Switch to Devices > Pen & Windows Ink.
  3. Locate show recommended app suggestions, and turn the feature off.

Disable File Explorer ads

sync provider notifications

The most recent location where ads appeared on Windows 10 is File Explorer. The built-in file browser showed an ad for Office 365 to some users directly in the center of File Explorer.

Even worse, there was no option to turn the ad off completely, as you could only select "not now" when it was displayed. This suggests that it will be spawned again at a later point in time.

We talked about File Explorer ads here before. Do the following to turn them off:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Select File > Change folder and search options.
  3. Switch to the View tab.
  4. Scroll down until you find show sync provider notifications.
  5. Uncheck the option to turn off File Explorer ads.

Disable Share ads

windows 10 share suggestions

Windows 10 may display suggestions in the Share menu that highlight applications that are not installed on the system.

You can turn them off in the following way:

  1. Open File Explorer and select a file with a left-click.
  2. Select the Share tab in the menu bar, and click on the Share button when the menu is displayed.
  3. Right-click on any item displayed in the Share window that opens, and uncheck the "show app suggestions" option.

See disable share suggestions on Windows 10 for detailed information.

Other things you may want to consider

There are a couple of other things that I'd like to mention. First, that the operating system's live tile functionality for application icons in Start may display ads. You can turn off live tiles with a right-click on the tile, and selecting more > turn live tile off. Some apps can be uninstalled as well if you prefer that.

You can also uninstall apps that shipped with Windows 10 by default to get rid of them.

Or, and that is also an option, install an application like Classic Shell to replace the entire Start Menu (and get rid of any ads this way).

Closing Words

Microsoft increased the locations that it displays what it calls suggestions or tips slowly but gradually. It seems likely that we will see even more ads further down the line. I will update the guide whenever new ad locations become known.

If you know of another location, let me know and I'll check and update the article asap.

Now You: What's your take on the whole Windows 10 advertisement situation?

Turn off most Windows 10 Ads with a double-click, or manually
Article Name
Turn off most Windows 10 Ads with a double-click, or manually
The following guide offers instructions on turning of all ads on Windows 10, and most of them with a simple double-click.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):


  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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