How to Disable Personalized Ads in Windows 10 Apps

Desktop computer on desk.
Follow these step-by-step instructions to disable personalized ads in Windows 10 apps to take control of your privacy.

Increasingly, software and internet users are frustrated with being bombarded with intrusive and irrelevant ads wherever they go.

Microsoft is no different from other service providers because when they switched to Windows 10 and made it a SaaS (software-as-a-service), they decided to implement personalized advertisements in apps.

Every user is assigned a unique identifier, using which you will get ads on products you searched and websites you visited, just like how Google’s model operates.

You might want to know how to disable personalized ads in Windows 10 apps and get an experience where you are not being constantly followed around by advertisers.

Luckily, Microsoft does allow users to manually disable personalized ads if you are willing to tweak your settings.

You will still come across ads in free apps and games, but they will not be tailored to suit your usage habits and your activities on Windows 10.

Step-By-Step Guide to Disabling Ads in Settings Menu

The advertising identifier is saved by default in the settings menu but you have the option to turn it off as part of privacy feature.

  1. Find the Start button on the left hand side of your Windows 10 operating system.
  2. Click to open Start.
  3. Find the gear icon and click on it to open settings.
  4. Click Privacy and continue by clicking on the General tab to open all available options.
  5. Toggle the button to Off where it says “Let app use advertising ID” to make adds interesting for you .
  6. Quit the settings menu and continue using all your favorite apps as usual

The option doesn’t turn off ads completely because it is a basic method for app developers to make money while providing you their services for free. However, this will stop showing personalized ads on your apps and you will see generic ads.

Note: A warning message will say it will reset your ID, which is not going to affect your user experience. You can continue to use your computer as usual

A Guide to Disabling Personalized Ads with the Help of Group Policy

The Group Policy feature may not be available on all Windows 10 operating systems but it is available on the Pro version.

  1. Click and hold the Windows key on your PC and then press R.
  2. It opens the Run command.
  3. Click on the dialog box and type gpedit.msc.
  4. Click on Ok and it will open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  5. In the dialog box it opens, click on computer configuration-administrative templates-system-user profiles6. Find the option “Turn off advertising ID” on the right hand side and double click on it.

7. Check the disable option and click Apply, then click Ok.

Making changes by going deeper into the settings panel in Windows 10 may sound intimidating for some users. If you can avoid turning on or off any other features in the panel, your operating system should run fine without any issues. Follow the above instructions properly to turn off personalized ads using local group policy.

How to Disable Personalized Advertising Directly During Windows 10 Setup

Every time you install Windows 10 in a new PC or format your existing hard drive to go for a fresh copy of the operating system, you can choose to turn off personalized ads in the setup window.

  1. Install Windows 10 following the steps that you usually do.
  2. Towards the last step, you will come across a privacy settings page.
  3. Find the Advertising ID option and turn it off.
  4. You will no longer have to do it again in the settings page if you do it during the installation phase.

How to Turn off Personalized Ads with Microsoft’s Official Website

Microsoft provides a way for users to login to the website using an Outlook account and adjust the settings so that their website browsing history, app activities and other personal information is not tracked to provide personalized ads.

Previously, the opt-out policy of the company allowed users to turn off personalization individually in a particular browser or in the Microsoft account that was used to log in and to turn it off completely whenever they use Windows in their device.

  1. Head to the official website here.
  2. The site will request you to log in using your Microsoft account.
  3. You will find the “See ads that interest you” option below.
  4. Use the toggle button to turn it off and you will no longer see advertisements that are related to what you do online.
  5. You can also choose to customize the type of ads you see and don’t see in the same page by scrolling down to find a list of interests.

Turn off Personalized Ads in Your Browser

  1. Head to the official website (linked above).
  2. Keep scrolling down until you find an option that says “see personalized ads in your browser.”
  3. The feature can be toggled on or off based on your preference.
  4. When switched on, the service will track your browsing activities to show ads that are relevant to your interests, and turning it off will provide more generic ads.

Turn off Ads in Windows 10

An instructional guide has been created by Microsoft in the same page linked above. It details how you can turn off personalized ads in Windows 10 by tweaking your settings menu.

The steps are provided for major operating systems including Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows mobile devices.

Better User Experience

Knowing how to disable personalized ads in Windows 10 apps and the operating system as a whole will help you enjoy a better experience using Microsoft products.

You will no longer be bombarded with ads for smartphones, apps or clothing apparel, if you have searched for those items in a browser.

Besides, it also makes it easier to focus on your immediate task using those apps while ignoring any generic ads that are getting displayed.

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