How to block Windows 11 from using Diagnostic Data to show Ads

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 22, 2023
Windows 11 Help

Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system has so many preferences for showing advertisement and promotions that it is hard to keep up. Did you know that Windows may use diagnostic data to show you ads?

Microsoft words these options differently, usually by adding "tips" and "recommendations" to the description to make the main intention less obvious.

Microsoft introduced a core change to Telemetry when it released Windows 10. Basic diagnostic data is now collected and submitted to Microsoft in Windows 10 and 11.  Windows 11 users may opt-in to send optional diagnostic data; this is not recommended for most, as it includes data about visited websites or how apps and features are used.

Windows Insiders need to enable this though, as it is a requirement for receiving Insider builds.

What many Windows 11 users may not know is that the operating system may use the data for a feature that Microsoft calls Tailored Experiences.

Tailored Experiences in Windows 11

windows 11 tailored experiences

When enabled, Microsoft uses diagnostic data to display tips, ads and recommendations, according to the description: "Let Microsoft use your diagnostic data, excluding info about websites you browse, to enhance your product experiences with personalized tips, ads, and recommendations".

Most Windows 11 users may want to turn this off. Tips and recommendations are usually basic, if displayed at all.

Here is a step-by-step guide to make sure Tailored experiences is turned off on Windows 11:

  1. Open Start and select Settings. You may also use Ctrl-I to open the Settings app directly.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security.
  3. Locate Diagnostics & feedback on the page that opens and select it.
  4. Scroll down to Tailored experiences on the page and check the Status.
    1. If it is Off, the feature is turned off already.
    2. If it is On, expand the selection and toggle the feature from On to Off to disable it.
  5. Close the Settings app.

Windows 11 won't use diagnostic data anymore for tips, ads or recommendations.

How to block Windows 11 from using Diagnostic Data to show Ads
Article Name
How to block Windows 11 from using Diagnostic Data to show Ads
Find out how to prevent Windows 11 from using Diagnostic Data to show advertisement to the user of the operating system.
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  1. notwhatitusedtobe said on October 23, 2023 at 6:42 am

    This spyware exists in Win10 as well, and the setting to disable it (as much as Windows lets you disable anything) is in the same place as in Win 11 (see article above).

    While you’re there, also toggle all the other Diagnostics+Feedback settings to their least-intrusive positions, and clear your diagnostic data. I check these settings after every Patch Tuesday, as MS has, in the past, re-set them without asking.

    I don’t recommend O+O ShutUp, it has fubared too many machines for me. I used to use Windows Privacy Dashboard for this, but it, and the Crazy-max list both it and many other Win-privacy programs use, is abandonware. Still looking for an alternative. Until then, I just make sure I’ve got the long list of Win10 privacy settings dialed in my favour.

    And after putting up with this increasing crap since Win 3.11, my next machine won’t be Windows. The OS itself is not the problem – it’s more reliable and secure than it ever has been – but the seeming contempt MS has for its users freedom and privacy is too much. MS is hardly alone on this, but Apple has over the decades proven itself more worthy of user’s trust. Linux is not yet a consumer product, but it’s getting closer.

    1. bruh said on October 23, 2023 at 2:58 pm

      “this increasing crap since Win 3.11”

      Bit disingenuous, mate. Sounds like you don’t like Windows and almost never have? But to pretend they haven’t had good operating systems between 3.11 and now is not exactly true, lol.

  2. VioletMoon said on October 23, 2023 at 12:22 am

    “O&O Shutup” takes care of the issue when applying Recommended Settings.

    I’m almost certain most programs that are similar disable the setting as well.

    What was gHacks fave? Blackbird?

  3. Iron Heart said on October 22, 2023 at 7:47 am

    “How to block Windows 11 from using Diagnostic Data to show Ads”

    By using Linux, Martin.

    1. ECJ said on October 22, 2023 at 3:05 pm

      Sadly I need to use Windows, as software I use is only available on Windows and macOS.

      However you’re right, when it comes to privacy, Windows and Android are an abomination and I would rather use Linux if I could.

      Until Satya took over, Windows was just about tolerable so I never considered MacOS, but that may be another option. That said, there’s no guarantee Apple won’t eventually go down the same path if they deem it more profitable. At the moment it certainly seems a better option to Windows and some of the software licences already cover installing it on Mac as well, so I wouldn’t even need to repurchase the software.

      Perhaps EU need to clamp down more on operating system makers to make it easier for users to completely opt out of privacy invasive settings. At the moment – as mentioned in the article – there are a vast number of privacy-invading settings plastered all over the operating system, buried in various different menus, which makes it a real headache trying to configure as there are just so many of them. I suspect this is no accident.

      1. Chris said on October 23, 2023 at 5:02 am

        Apple is a hardware company, they seem to make money there and have IOS and macOS as a secondary component to their core. I don’t see them going down the ads everywhere in the OS approach.

        After making the switch myself, its a nice OS. Get homebrew and the terminal is great and it feels like a polished Linux flavour imo.

      2. bruh said on October 23, 2023 at 2:52 pm

        If I see one more person referring to Linux “flavours”… I swear, I’m gonna break my monitor, I’m gonna do it!

        Jokes aside, sounds like you’re happy – tweaking the OS (one of my occasional past-times) is not fun in MacOS for me, and of course, after paying through the nose for their hardware, you will be singing praises for them :) I was too for a few years until I accepted that “meh, it is what it is, pretty good but not the best thing ever”.

      3. Anonymous said on October 22, 2023 at 8:18 pm

        Since Satya Microsoft’s software turned into a scammy bloated junk. They need to let this guy go. No one has pride in their work at Microsoft anymore.

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