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Windows 11 gets more ads in its latest update

A picture of a big Start menu button with a Windows 11 logo

May 2024 Patch Tuesday updates are now rolling out, which means it is time to get the latest fixes and security updates. The good part is that this month's release contains some important changes and bug fixes. The bad part is that you get new ads. The ugly part is that those ads sit right in the Start menu.

Microsoft initially started the public rollout by the end of April 2024, when the company released the latest non-security update. Now, however, the update is mandatory for all Windows 11 users.

Despite the negative reaction from customers during the short-lived testing period (Microsoft first introduced those Start menu ads in Windows Insider builds), Microsoft decided to go for it and ship "app recommendations" in the Start menu to all users. If you have a PC with Windows 11 version 22H2 or 23H2, get ready for some uncalled app shortcuts after installing KB5037771. Here is how Microsoft describes that:

The Recommended section of the Start menu will show some Microsoft Store apps. These apps come from a small set of curated developers. This will help you to discover some of the great apps that are available.

226353495 screenshots

Fortunately, you can turn Start menu ads in Windows 11 pretty easily. To do so, open the Settings app, go to Personalization > Start menu, and toggle off the "Show recommendations for tips, shortcuts, new apps, and more" option. You can also take a more radical approach to the ad problem in Windows 11 and use third-party apps, such as the OFGB, which, ironically, was made by a Linux user.

Windows 11 might soon get more useful changes. Enthusiasts discovered that the latest Windows 11 preview build from the Canary Channel of the Windows Insider program contains so-called "Start menu companions," live tile-like widgets sitting right next to your pins. Microsoft has not announced that yet, but you can have a first look here.

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