Microsoft is testing Game Pass ads on the Settings homepage

Martin Brinkmann
May 13, 2024
Windows 11 News

Look, another advertising test in Windows 11. Microsoft launched a new build to the Windows 11 Insider Dev channel on Friday. Windows 11 build 26120.470 fixes issues for the most part. It is delivered via KB5037864 and rolled out gradually to all test systems, even if get the latest updates as soon as possible is checked.

Microsoft notes that the update "includes a small set of general improvements and fixes" designed to "improve the overall experience for Insiders".

Game Pass recommendation ad

One of the improvements recommends, Microsoft's words, the subscription service Game Pass.

Windows 11 testers who open the homepage of the Settings app may see the new ad slot there. It advertises Game Pass, Microsoft's subscription-based game playing service.

Here is Microsoft's announcement: "We are introducing a new Game Pass recommendation card on the Settings homepage. The Game Pass recommendation card on Settings Homepage will be shown to you if you actively play games on your PC. As a reminder – the Settings homepage will be shown only on the Home and Pro editions of Windows 11 and if you’re signed into Windows with your Microsoft account.".

Game Pass is available for $9.99 per month, requires a Microsoft account, and gives subscribers access to hundreds of games while subscribed. There is also Game Pass Ultimate, which is available for $16.99 per month. The core difference is that ultimate gives access to games on PC, console, and the cloud, includes online console multiplayer, and includes EA Play.

Microsoft shows the Game Pass advertisement only if users are signed in to a Microsoft account and using Windows 11 Home or Pro. Whether this is true for managed devices as well is unclear.

Closing Words

When Microsoft launched the new homepage of the Settings app, I described it as half promotion half pointless. Not everyone agreed, which is fine.

Back then, Microsoft added a few promotions on the page already. It promoted Microsoft 365 there and also showed subscription information. I decided to hide the Windows 11 Settings homepage, as it offered no value.

Some users may find the information valuable enough to keep it enabled though. Microsoft continues to test the waters regarding ads on Windows 11.

Some, like application recommendations or profile icon recommendations have launched already. Good news is that you can turn off most ads, including app promotions in Windows 11's start menu.

What about you? Do you use the Settings homepage, if you use Windows 11? 

Article Name
Microsoft is testing Game Pass ads on the Settings homepage
Microsoft launched a new build to the Windows 11 Insider Dev channel on Friday and with it comes a Game Pass ad in Settings.
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  1. Anonymous said on May 27, 2024 at 1:38 pm

    more spyware in windows 11 go back to windows 10

  2. JESUS_IS_LORD said on May 14, 2024 at 7:23 pm

    My Linux Mint doesn’t seem to have those ads… I wonder why…

    1. bruh said on May 15, 2024 at 10:12 am

      Too few eyeballs for any advertiser to care, lmao

  3. MicrosoftScroogledMe said on May 13, 2024 at 11:10 pm

    The Home section in settings is adware. Disable it in SettingsPageVisibility registry key.


  4. Dan said on May 13, 2024 at 8:29 pm

    I’m planning to continue using Windows 10 LTSC for as long as it’s supported. With any luck, Win 11 LTSC arrives later this year and they’ll still have it running fairly tight, as it’s used by corporations and doesn’t have monthly “feature” updates, only security and bug fixes.

  5. John G. said on May 13, 2024 at 6:03 pm

    Please Nadella just give up before W10/11/12 become literally an amount of the worst crap.
    Thanks for the article! :]

  6. Tachy said on May 13, 2024 at 4:13 pm


    I hate the “settings home” page. I hate all unsolicited advertising with a fervent passion!

    It is now hidden, I had missed that article as I was unaware you published articles on another site.

    I am glad you finally started calling the “suggestions” and “reccomendations” what they really are, advertisments.

    PS: It needs said from time to time, my quality of “Screen time” is greatly improved as a direct result of the articles you write.

  7. Ally said on May 13, 2024 at 3:58 pm

    Won’t ever and never happen MicroShite…

  8. Mystique said on May 13, 2024 at 1:27 pm

    Another fine example of the rubbish we spoke about early in another article.

    If anyone believes at all that the next iteration of windows would be any better then I would say they are dreaming. Most of this sort of garbage will be baked in from day one which is worse than Windows 11. I’m convinced Microsoft’s strategy is just that. Release something that is even worse to push people to use what they once thought was the garbage but now in retrospect is actually not as bad by comparison and then repeat the cycle each version.
    Effing you over in a more subtle and granular manner.

    It’s safe to say that windows and microsoft has become a smoldering and stinky dumpster fire.

  9. John said on May 13, 2024 at 1:21 pm

    I used Windows for decades but last couple years been mostly using Mac’s. Windows 10 was mostly fine for me, but Windows 11 became the catalyst for me to begin the switch. It was not one thing for me, but an accumulation of annoyances and choices Microsoft made with Windows 11. Yes, the ads are a annoyance, but it’s only one of many issues I find with Windows 11.

  10. Anonymous said on May 13, 2024 at 12:58 pm

    Candy Crush rides again.

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