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Microsoft Quietly Introduces Ads in New Outlook for Windows

Image Source: HJBC / Shutterstock

The transition from the older Mail and Calendar app to the new Outlook app is currently underway. Microsoft had announced the discontinuation of the classic apps in favor of the new Outlook app in June 2023. The new Outlook app was introduced to Insider builds a month later and the company confirmed that the migration will be enforced in early 2024.

Not all users have completed the migration at this point. Those who have been migrated or installed the Outlook app directly may notice several differences between the new Outlook app and the classic Mail app.

One of the main differences is the introduction of ads, turning the previously ad-free email experience into one with advertisement. Users may now see ads in their inbox in the new Outlook app, a feature that was not present in the classic Mail app. The new Outlook app is based on the web-version of Outlook, which also includes advertisements.

Microsoft has distinguished advertisements with an ad icon, but they are designed to resemble regular emails, making it challenging for some users to differentiate between ads and genuine emails.

It’s worth noting that Microsoft is not the only provider of free email services that displays such ads; Google’s Gmail and many other free email services may also feature advertisements for users.

Users currently have the option to delete the ads by hovering over them in the inbox and selecting the trashcan icon. However, new ads will eventually be added to the inbox again.

Furthermore, there is a menu link that directs users to the “go ad-free” page on Microsoft’s website, where they are offered an ad-free experience for $1.99 per month.

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According to Proton, the maker of Proton Mail and a competitor to Microsoft, the presence of ads and trackers in the Outlook app represents a new data collection service on Windows.

How to Go Ad-Free by Switching to Another Email Client

Switching to a different email client is an option to avoid the ads. When third-party email clients are connected to the Outlook account, these ads are not displayed.

One of the recommended options for Windows is the open-source Thunderbird client. Setting up the Outlook account in Thunderbird is a simple process, requiring users to enter their Outlook email address and password in Thunderbird’s account creation dialog. This provides an ad-free experience, with the setup taking less than a minute to complete.

Image Source: HJBC / Shutterstock

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