In early 2023, Microsoft started testing promotions in the Start Menu on its Windows 11 operating system. These promotions have been included in subsequent versions of Windows 11 and will now be launched on Windows 10 systems next month.
The promotions appear when users select the profile icon in the Start Menu. They provide quick access to important account-related notifications, as stated by Microsoft.
Logged-in Windows users will receive notifications asking them to back up their files or protect their memories. On the other hand, users who are logged in with a local account may see an error badge instead. This is an attempt by Microsoft to catch the attention of local account users and encourage them to switch to a Microsoft account.
Local users will see messages such as “sign in to your Microsoft account,” “use Microsoft 365 for free,” or “keep your account safer” when they click or tap on the profile icon.
Soon, Windows 10 customers will also receive these promotions on their systems. Microsoft introduced this change in the latest Release Preview build for Windows 10. Typically, these changes are rolled out as an optional update on the fourth Tuesday of the month, followed by a release for all Windows 10 devices on the second Tuesday of the following month.
Here is Microsoft’s full message announcing the introduction of these promotions:
“This update expands the roll out of notification badges for Microsoft accounts on the Start menu. A Microsoft account is what connects Windows to your Microsoft apps. The account backs up all your data and helps you manage your subscriptions. You can also add extra security steps to prevent being locked out of your account. This feature provides quick access to important account-related notifications.”
It is safe to ignore these promotions.
Windows 11 allows users to turn off these promotions using the following steps:
- Open Settings, either through Start > Settings or by using the keyboard shortcut Windows-I.
- Navigate to Personalization > Start.
- Toggle “Show account-related notifications in Start”.
It is likely that Microsoft will introduce a similar setting for Windows 10 devices.
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