Windows 11 Shows Start Menu Ads Now: Here’s How to Turn Them Off


  •  Windows 11 has started displaying ads in the Start menu, a move many users find unwelcome.
  •  Ads disguised as app recommendations take up space, potentially leading to accidental purchases.
  •  To disable ads, navigate to Windows Settings > Personalization > Start, and un-check ‘Show recommendations.’

Windows 11 has started displaying ads in the Start menu. While we don’t really like to put companies on blast, nobody wants this, and it’s a terrible idea. While ads aren’t yet showing to all users, the roll-out will reach you eventually, so here’s how to turn them off.

The Windows 11 Start Menu Now Has Ads

Ads in the Windows start menu are disguised as app ‘recommendations’. Apps you have never used will appear in the menu, taking space away from the apps you actually use, and potentially luring your young friends or family members into clicking on them and purchasing them through the Windows Store.

Currently, app recommendations and ads appear below your pinned apps in the Windows 11 Start menu:

The location of the recommended section in the Windows 11 Start menu

Jerome Thomas / How-To Geek

Steps to Disable Ads in the Windows 11 Start Menu

Thankfully, disabling these ads is easy, just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Windows Settings App from the Start menu or by pressing Windows+i.
  2. Click on “Personalization” in the sidebar.
  3. Click on “Start” on the Personalization screen.
  4. Un-check “Show recommendations for tips, shortcuts, new apps, and more.”
The location of the option to disable Start menu ads in Windows 11

Brad Morton / How-To Geek

While this setting has existed in some form for a while, turning it off will make sure that any new ads don’t appear in your Start menu, regardless of their format.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only annoying ‘Feature’ being introduced to Windows 11. Ads have become pervasive throughout the operating system, so many users prefer to de-bloat Windows 11 after installing it to disable as many ads and unnecessary or annoying features as possible. Many also opt to bring back as much of Windows 10’s visual appearance as possible.