Wednesday March 08, 2017

How to Disable Advertising in Windows 10 File Explorer

One of the things that irked me when I first installed Windows 10, was the number of ways Microsoft was seemingly trying to funnel me in to their cloud eco-system. Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely hate being sold to, at any time, for any reason. Even when I walk into a store or a car dealership, I insist on being left alone until I ask for help, or I might just leave without buying anything. So, when my local file explorer popped up a nagging reminder to use One Drive, a Microsoft freemium cloud service, it drove me absolutely nuts. Advertising online is a necessary evil to pay for the websites I use, and thus I whitelist my favorite pages (hint, hint) but advertising on my local machine is just one bridge too far. This I cannot accept under any circumstance.

In his latest entry on InfoWorld, Woody on Windows notes that advertising locally within Windows 10 is about to get a lot more frequent with the 1703 Creators Update to Windows 10 coming this year. If you are like me, and don't care for this one little bit, head on over there and find out how to disable it. A fair warning, it comes with some side-effects, like losing certain notifications, and each application has a separate non-obvious setting to disable it, making it a bit of a challenge to find them all, but as of right now it seems to still be possible.

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Earlier this week on Reddit, poster Tall_Ships_for_Life drew interesting comments about the setting. Apparently the ads don’t appear in European versions of Windows 10 (although there’s a confirmed sighting of File Explorer ads in the United Kingdom) and the ads don’t appear in Windows 10 Enterprise.