Ads in Microsoft Outlook app for Android and iOS are getting worse

Aug 23, 2022

The Microsoft Outlook app for Android and iOS is displaying more ads than before. The new banners are appearing right in the inbox.

Microsoft is displaying more ads in its Outlook app

Microsoft is displaying more ads in its Outlook app

As you may know, the Outlook mobile app has two main tabs or views, Focused Inbox, and Others. The former collects important mails, while the Others tab displays all emails in your inbox.

Ads aren't good for a user's privacy, but this time the banners are causing another issue. The ads appear similar to regular mails, which could trick users into tapping them. They appear right at the top of the page with a contact bubble next to it, and this is what makes it look like a real email. The banners do have a small text indicator that says "Ad", but that could easily be missed. This is similar to what Google does with ads in its Gmail app (Promotions tab).

You may swipe the ad (from left to right) to dismiss it, just like you would with a real email. This isn't a permanent fix though, as the ad shows up again after a while, or after you restart the app.

Some reports claim that the ads open in an in-app browser, but this isn't the case for me.  They are clickable links that are opened in your default web browser.

How to disable the ads in the Microsoft Outlook app

The ads in the Microsoft Outlook app for iOS and Android have been rolling out slowly to users over the past few months. Users can disable ads by buying a Microsoft 365 subscription. In a statement given to The Verge, Microsoft said that users can avoid these ads by enabling the Focused Inbox. This will restrict the ads to the "Other" inbox.

To do so, tap on your profile picture in the top left corner. Now, tap the gear icon to open the Outlook settings. Scroll down till you see Focused Inbox, tap on it to toggle the feature. This will add the Focused Inbox tab to the app's homescreen.

enable focused inbox in microsoft outlook app

If neither of those options seem to be acceptable solutions, don't worry. There is another way to get rid of the ads, by using a Private DNS service that blocks ads. I use NextDNS, and noticed that the ads appear only when I switched the DNS off, with it enabled however, the ads were blocked. You may have to close the app and start it after applying the DNS settings, for the change to take effect.

Ads in Microsoft Outlook app for Android and iOS are getting worse

Want to switch to a different app? you can check out K9 Mail and FairEMail for Android, both of which are open source, though only the latter supports OAuth. iOS users may want to stick with the stock Mail app in iOS.

On a side note, the Microsoft Outlook web-app for Windows 11 that was leaked a few months ago, now works with personal accounts that have Hotmail, Outlook addresses, and is expected to add support for Gmail accounts soon. Here's a screenshot of the app's interface.

Apple is also said to be testing ads in its apps for iPhones, and they could be implemented in the Apple Maps app in iOS 16.

Do you use the Outlook app on your phone?

Ads in Microsoft Outlook app for Android and iOS are getting worse
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Ads in Microsoft Outlook app for Android and iOS are getting worse
Microsoft is displaying more ads in the Outlook app for Android and iOS. Here's how you can block the ads.
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  1. Some Dude said on March 19, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Are these articles AI generated?

    Now the duplicates are more obvious.

    1. boris said on March 19, 2023 at 11:48 pm

      This is below AI generated crap. It is copy of Microsoft Help website article without any relevant supporting text. Anyway you can find this information on many pages.

  2. Paul(us) said on March 20, 2023 at 1:32 am

    Yes, but why post the exact same article under a different title twice on the same day (19 march 2023), by two different writers?
    1.) Excel Keyboard Shortcuts by Trevor Monteiro.
    2.) 70+ Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows by Priyanka Monteiro

    Why oh why?

    1. Clairvaux said on September 6, 2023 at 11:30 am

      Yeah. Tell me more about “Priyanka Monteiro”. I’m dying to know. Indian-Portuguese bot ?

  3. John G. said on August 18, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Probably they will announce that the taskbar will be placed at top, right or left, at your will.

    Special event by they is a special crap for us.

  4. yanta said on August 18, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    If it’s Microsoft, don’t buy it.
    Better brands at better prices elsewhere.

  5. John G. said on August 20, 2023 at 4:22 am

    All new articles have zero count comments. :S

  6. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 7:48 am

    WTF? So, If I add one photo to 5 albums, will it count 5x on my storage?
    It does not make any sense… on google photos, we can add photo to multiple albums, and it does not generate any additional space usage

    I have O365 until end of this year, mostly for onedrive and probably will jump into google one

  7. St Albans Digital Printing Inc said on September 5, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Photo storage must be kept free because customers chose gadgets just for photos and photos only.

  8. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    What a nonsense. Does it mean that albums are de facto folders with copies of our pictures?

    1. GG said on September 6, 2023 at 8:24 am

      Sounds exactly like the poor coding Microsoft is known for in non-critical areas i.e. non Windows Core/Office Core.

      I imagine a manager gave an employee the task to create the album feature with hardly any time so they just copied the folder feature with some cosmetic changes.

      And now that they discovered what poor management results in do they go back and do the album feature properly?

      Nope, just charge the customer twice.

      Sounds like a go-getter that needs to be promoted for increasing sales and managing underlings “efficiently”, said the next layer of middle management.

  9. d3x said on September 5, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    When will those comments get fixed? Was every editor here replaced by AI and no one even works on this site?

  10. Scroogled said on September 5, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Instead of a software company, Microsoft is now a fraud company.

  11. ard said on September 7, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    For me this is proof that Microsoft has a back-door option into all accounts in their cloud.
    quote “…… as the MSA key allowed the hacker group access to virtually any cloud account at Microsoft…..”

    so this MSA key which is available to MS officers can give access to all accounts in MS cloud.This is the backdoor that MS has into the cloud accounts. Lucky I never got any relevant files of mine in their (MS) cloud.

  12. Andy Prough said on September 7, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    >”Now You: what is your theory?”

    That someone handed an employee a briefcase full of cash and the employee allowed them access to all their accounts and systems.

    Anything that requires 5-10 different coincidences to happen is highly unlikely. Occam’s razor.

  13. TelV said on September 8, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Good reason to never login to your precious machine with a Microsoft a/c a.k.a. as the cloud.

  14. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    The GAFAM are always very careless about our software automatically sending to them telemetry and crash dumps in our backs. It’s a reminder not to send them anything when it’s possible to opt out, and not to opt in, considering what they may contain. And there is irony in this carelessness biting them back, even if in that case they show that they are much more cautious when it’s their own data that is at stake.

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