How to Disable Those Annoying 'Suggestion' Ads on Your Windows PC

Photo:  Lukmanazis (Shutterstock)
Photo: Lukmanazis (Shutterstock)

When you buy a new Windows laptop, it keeps offering ads that are disguised as suggestions. But you already spent the money on the machine—you shouldn’t have to suffer through a bunch of ads on your brand new laptop, and you don’t have to. Here’s how to turn them off.

How to disable full-screen suggestion ads on Windows

Windows often asks you to “finish configuring” your new laptop, which can be roughly translated as “please sign up for Microsoft’s services and help us make money.” To get rid of them, open the start menu and select the gear icon in the left pane. This will open Windows settings. Now go to System > Notifications & actions and disable the following options:

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How to hide search and Cortana from the taskbar

The search button on the taskbar is useful sometimes, but it has a bunch of “recommended” results that are unhelpful. You can use PowerToys to get a systemwide search option as an alternative and get rid of the taskbar search. To do it, right-click the taskbar and go to Search > Hidden. While you’re at it, you should also consider hiding Cortana if you don’t plan to use voice search. Right-click the taskbar and disable Show Cortana button.

How to remove news and interests from the taskbar

“News & interests” is another way for Windows to push their ads, and if you’re not interested in this feature, right-click the taskbar and select News and interests > Turn off. This will hide it from the taskbar.

How to disable OneDrive alerts

Finally, OneDrive’s alerts can keep interrupting you on a brand new laptop. To disable them, click the OneDrive icon in the system tray, which is in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Select the gear icon and click Settings. This will open a pop-up where you can select the Settings tab. Disable every alert you don’t need under the Notifications tab, and you’re done.

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