The purpose of this guide is how to stop or remove the built-in pop-ups ads on Windows 10. You can block ads and pop-ups using a dedicated pop-up blocker or third-party ad-blocking software. However, if you are seeing random pop up ads on your Windows 10 computer like Lock screen, Start menu, Cortana search box, and Action Center & Notifications even when you’re not browsing the web, those tactics will not work. In this guide, you will learn how to stop pop-ups on Windows 10.
Meanwhile, Windows 10 has plenty of built-in advertising. This is not just about the free upgrade offer: you will see advertising in your operating system even if you buy a new PC that comes with a Windows 10 license or pays $200 for a copy of Windows 10 Professional. But you can disable a lot of that.
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Stop Pop-Ups in Microsoft Edge on Windows 10
For Windows 10, Microsoft Edge is the default Web browser. If you encounter pop-up ads when running Microsoft Edge, you can swiftly stop them.
In old Microsoft Edge:
- Open Microsoft Edge.
- Click on the three dots ( … ) menu on the top right-hand corner.
- Click Settings.
- Select Privacy & Security.
- Turn on Block pop-ups under the Security.
In New Microsoft Edge:
- Open the new Microsoft Edge.
- Click on three menu dots ( …) then select Settings.
- Click Site permissions on the left side.
- Select Pop-ups and redirects.
- Move the Block toggle to On.
Stop File Explorer Pop-ups Ads
The Developers Update also carried file explorer ads along with it. Occasionally you can see a banner in your file explorer which will seek to convince you to use OneDrive and Office 365. If you find them annoying, you can put a stop to them.
- Press Win + E to open the File Explorer window.
- Click the View tab.
- Select Options on the left-hand side and choose Change Folder and Search Options.
- Select the View tab on Folder Options.
- Uncheck Show sync provider notifications.
- Click Apply and OK.
Remove or Stop Pop-ups from The Lock Screen
On the Lock screen, Windows 10 shows ads in two different ways: using the Windows spotlight and using your own custom background. Although you can’t disable advertising when using the Windows spotlight, you can choose to view a custom background image or slideshow that provides an option to prevent Windows 10 and Cortana from displaying ads on the Lock screen.
To stop ads from the Lock screen, do the following:
- Open Settings by pressing Windows + I.
- Click Personalization.
- Click on Lock screen on the left-hand side pane.
- In the background drop-down, menu select either picture or slideshow.
- Turn off Get fun facts, tips, tricks and more on your lock screen.
Remove or Stop Ads for the Start Menu
Microsoft has found a sneaky way to monetize the Start menu. They’re not called “ads,” they’re called “suggested” applications, and it’s a way for Microsoft to get people to use the operating system to get apps and services through the Windows Store.
To remove ads from Start menu, do the following:
- Open Settings or press Win + I.
- Click on Personalization.
- Click on Start on the left pane.
- Turn off Show suggestions occasionally in Start.
Stop Ads From Actions & Notifications
In the Creators Update, Microsoft added new “suggestions” that appear as notifications. These ads remind you about different Windows features and appear as normal desktop notifications. For example, you might see a notification asking you to set up Cortana. Like other notifications, they are also saved in the Action Center so you can see them later.
To stop ads from notifications & Action Center, do the following:
- Open Settings.
- Click on System.
- Click on Notifications & actions.
- Under Notifications, uncheck both Show me the Windows welcome experience after updates and occasionally when I sign in to highlight what’s new and suggested and Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows.
How to Stop Windows 10 Displaying Targeted Ads
Microsoft also assigns you, in addition to the various advertisements you see in Windows 10, a unique identification number to track your every move in the Windows Store and on applications that target you with specific ads.
If you don’t want Microsoft to display targeted ads, you can change your privacy settings to turn off your advertising ID. However, the operating system will still be able to display ads, just not ads based on your computer behavior.
To stop Microsoft to target you with ads, do the following:
- Open Settings.
- Click on Privacy.
- Click on General on the left pane.
- Turn off Let apps use advertising ID to make ads more interesting to you based on your activity.
That’s it. This guide was all about how to stop built-in pop-ups ads on Windows 10. Once you disable the options mentioned in this guide, you will see a significant reduction in the number of ads across the operating system. Keep in mind, however, that these options will not remove advertisements on those Windows Store apps that are ad-supported. These ads can’t be disabled.
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