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How to Stop App Promotions in Windows 11’s Start Menu

Image Source: rawf8 / Shutterstock

In an upcoming update, Windows 11’s Start Menu will start showing promotions for specific apps in the recommended section. These ads will be visible to users of unmanaged Windows 11 devices.

Apart from the usual pinned section where icons of apps and games are displayed after installation, the Start Menu will now include advertisements. This move started with ads for Microsoft’s subscription services like Microsoft 365 early in 2023. These ads showcase the benefits of OneDrive and are marked with an error icon to draw attention when users click the profile icon.

Microsoft confirmed this change on its support website, stating, “The Recommended section of the Start menu will feature select Microsoft Store apps from curated developers, helping users discover great apps.”

The recommended section may also show frequently used apps not pinned to the Start Menu or taskbar.

Initially, Microsoft showcased a screenshot of the promoted app, 1Password Password Manager, on its Windows blog. However, the design has been updated, and now promoted apps are labeled as “promoted” to distinguish them from user-installed apps.

These ads are blended with frequently used apps, files, and recently added programs, causing some confusion as some advertised apps may require a subscription, like 1Password.

Microsoft specifies that these ads will only show on non-managed Windows 11 devices.

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How to Disable App Ads in Windows 11’s Start Menu

Users of Windows 11 can turn off this feature by following these steps:

  1. Open the Start Menu.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Go to Personalization > Start.
  4. Turn off “Show recommendations for tips, shortcuts, new apps, and more.”

By following these instructions, users can stop the display of app ads in the recommended section.

In addition to disabling ads, users can also adjust the layout to “more pins” to make space for more pinned apps in the Start Menu. Another option is to use a third-party Start Menu like Start11, but note that it is a paid tool.

Image Source: rawf8 / Shutterstock

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