How to Remove Ads in Windows 10 File Explorer

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Windows 10 has already racked up several controversies in its two years of existence – forced updates, privacy concerns, difficulty changing default apps – and there’s another one to add to the list. Users discovered that the system started showing ads in File Explorer, and Microsoft says it does this to “help customers”.

The announcement in File Explorer is an invitation to subscribe to OneDrive, the cloud storage service, and appears at the top of the Quick Access screen.

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Notifications similar to this already appeared in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, but the Creators Update will indeed bring ads like the one seen above.

In a statement to The VergeMicrosoft says:

The new notifications with tips in File Explorer in Windows 10 are designed to help customers by providing quick and easy information to improve their experience regarding storing and managing files in the cloud. That said, Windows 10 customers can easily opt out of receiving these notifications if they so choose.

Learn how to disable Windows 10 ads

In fact, as the website explains, it’s possible to disable these ads – it’s just not very intuitive. Open File Explorer, go to View > Options, click on “View” and turn off the “Show notifications from sync provider” option.

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This isn’t the first time Microsoft has placed ads on Windows 10: you can find them on the lock screen, on the Start menu and also on the taskbar. To disable them, you have to go to different places in the settings.

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Go to Settings > Personalization > Lock Screen and turn off the “Get interesting data, tips and more from Windows and Cortana on your lock screen” option. (This option will not be available if your background is “Windows Spotlight”.)

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Go to Settings > Personalization > Start and turn off the “Occasionally show suggestions on Start” option.

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Finally, go to Settings > System > Notifications & Actions and turn off the “Get tips, tricks and suggestions for using Windows” option. This will prevent ad pop-ups from appearing on the taskbar.

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All of this is an inconvenience for anyone who has decided to use Windows 10, and is a way of pushing Microsoft products – such as OneDrive and the Edge browser – at the expense of the competition. Will, if it hears enough complaints, the company will stop this practice?

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