Question Buying a Windows 11 PC, how bad are the Microsoft Ads around Windows OS and Start menu?

Please provide comments and solutions that are helpful to the author of this topic.

Ink

Administrator
Thread author
Verified
Staff Member
Jan 8, 2011
22,490
A bit of background, I stopped using Windows a few months before the launch of Windows 11.

Every news article I see about Windows 11 is a complaint of more Microsoft Ads and Copilot, in the Start menu and settings pages.
  • Realistically speaking, how bad are they for regular Windows users?
  • Do they appear in the notifications when using full-screen apps?
  • Can Windows 11 be used without a Microsoft account, or are users forced to Sign-in?
  • Is Copilot integration a global rollout?
  • Can MS Edge browser be uninstalled?

Looking for actual user feedback, not AI responses.

Other than the free version of Outlook.com, I won't be using any other Microsoft 365 apps.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

Level 79
Verified
Honorary Member
Top Poster
Content Creator
Well-known
Apr 24, 2016
6,844
Most annoyances can be shut off manually:

Local account is possible:

One “simple trick” and your next Windows install will be blissfully free of bloatware:

If you are living in the EU more things can be uninstalled.
For example Copilot does not exist for EU users yet.

Some great tools form O&O Software exist to make things easier for you:

The new Outlook app does have ads that appear in your inbox if you do not use it with a Microsoft 365 account.
I would consider alternatives like Thunderbird or eM Client.

Personally, I like Windows 11, it has grown on me, and I do not want to go back to Windows 10 anymore.
 
Last edited:

Marko :)

Level 21
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Aug 12, 2015
1,064
  • Realistically speaking, how bad are they for regular Windows users?
First of all, these are not really the ads like on websites. These are Microsoft's ads advertising only their services services like Edge, Bing or Microsoft 365 subscription, nothing else.

Just make sure to disable "recommendations" in Windows settings wherever you find that option and you won't see any of those ads.

I'm from the EU so my Windows experience might differ from the users coming from the rest of the world, but same trick disables ads in any region.
  • Do they appear in the notifications when using full-screen apps?
No. They are mostly notifications or small pop-ups inside Microsoft's apps. No ads outside of those.
  • Can Windows 11 be used without a Microsoft account, or are users forced to Sign-in?
Yes, I'm using it with local account.

During installation, when prompted to sign in with Microsoft account, just enter random, non existent mail address like a@example.com and then some random "password". It will say something like "this account has too many tries" and will offer you to create local account instead.

If that won't work for you, just Google for solution. There are plenty of tricks that work.
  • Is Copilot integration a global rollout?
Copilot isn't available in the EU because of strong privacy laws and regulations.
  • Can MS Edge browser be uninstalled?
No, unless you're in the EU, then yes.

Luckily, you can relatively easy fool Microsoft that you're in the EU. Just change the region to any EU country and you'll get ability to uninstall Edge, disable widgets and more.
 
Last edited:

RoboMan

Level 35
Verified
Top Poster
Content Creator
Well-known
Jun 24, 2016
2,459
It's no big deal. I am a Windows 11 user, and I'm not in EU.

1717452527621.png


When I first installed Windows 11 I ran a local script I have for removing bloatware, and never have I ever recieved any ads in any form. Windows has updated several times and ads have never popped up. Not in the task bar, start menu, full screen apps, notifications.

No ads, no installed software, no app installing suggestions.
 

Gangelo

Level 6
Verified
Well-known
Jul 29, 2017
285
IMHO, all these articles bashing Windows 11 are way overblown.
As already mentioned above, there are not 'ads', only showcasing Microsoft services.
You can disable recommendations in the start menu as Marko :) said.
Things are a bit different from Win10 at first, but when you use it for a week it will be like smooth sailing.
 

monkeylove

Level 12
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Mar 9, 2014
563
What I did was use Open-Shell with PatchExplorer, Optimizer, and some other things to disable things like widgets, Co-Pilot, etc. The result is that the system looks like Windows 7.

I hear that several of these won't work with the new update, so I might use Start11 or something else.
 

brambedkar59

Level 30
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Apr 16, 2017
1,966
Ads in Win11 are not too bad.
Apart from usual settings (to disable recommendations) I used GPedit and WinAero Tweaker to disable Copilot, bing bar, widgets, weather/news crap, web search in Start menu.
One thing that grind my gears about Win11 is the slow & laggy UI (My hardware is supported officially). Explorer and action centers have abysmal performance.
 

Marko :)

Level 21
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Aug 12, 2015
1,064
IMHO, all these articles bashing Windows 11 are way overblown.
As already mentioned above, there are not 'ads', only showcasing Microsoft services.
You can disable recommendations in the start menu as Marko :) said.
Things are a bit different from Win10 at first, but when you use it for a week it will be like smooth sailing.
It took me literally few hours to get used to Windows 11. I'd never go back to Windows 10 because Windows 11 design is million times better.
Ads in Win11 are not too bad.
Apart from usual settings (to disable recommendations) I used GPedit and WinAero Tweaker to disable Copilot, bing bar, widgets, weather/news crap, web search in Start menu.
One thing that grind my gears about Win11 is the slow & laggy UI (My hardware is supported officially). Explorer and action centers have abysmal performance.
I find it funny how LTSC version can be installed on any machine while normal Windows 11 version can't. Just that part says how Microsoft artificially bumped system requirements in order to make older hardware, still working, obsolete on purpose. To boost new PC hardware sales.
 
  • Hundred Points
Reactions: brambedkar59

TairikuOkami

Level 36
Verified
Top Poster
Content Creator
Well-known
May 13, 2017
2,561
Realistically speaking, how bad are they for regular Windows users?
Virtually all can be disabled, some are represented as pre-installed apps shortcuts, clicking on them will install the app.
Do they appear in the notifications when using full-screen apps?
Some do, but can be disabled, but they are also re-enabled by some updates.
Can Windows 11 be used without a Microsoft account, or are users forced to Sign-in?
Yes. In fact 24H2 accidently forced a local account on me during a clean install, so I had to reinstall, since it messed up my settings tied to my MSA.
Is Copilot integration a global rollout?
Gradual, some will get i nowt, some later, some not at all. MS decides.
Can MS Edge browser be uninstalled?
No, since some parts are integral parts of OS. EU version will basically remove the GUI, it will be nonsensical like Windows N version, people might have to reinstall Edge to get runtimes.

I have blocked pretty much everything via Edge policies, NextDNS and I have removed Start, where most "ads" are supposedly located.

capture_06042024_120729.jpg
 

rashmi

Level 8
Jan 15, 2024
357
Well, you can change a region any time you want, but I'm not sure if that'll bring back Edge, Bing or any changes you made.
I changed the region and time to an EU country, but the uninstall option wasn't available on Edge. Even after restarting, shutting down the system, and waiting for a day, it still didn't work.
 

Marko :)

Level 21
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Aug 12, 2015
1,064
I changed the region and time to an EU country, but the uninstall option wasn't available on Edge. Even after restarting, shutting down the system, and waiting for a day, it still didn't work.
Try changing the keyboard and screen language as well, and then restart the PC. To which country did you change your region?
 
  • Like
Reactions: rashmi

rashmi

Level 8
Jan 15, 2024
357
Try changing the keyboard and screen language as well, and then restart the PC. To which country did you change your region?
You come from one of the EU countries. Please let me know the name of your country or an EU country, as well as a time zone to try out.
 

Marko :)

Level 21
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Aug 12, 2015
1,064
You come from one of the EU countries. Please let me know the name of your country or an EU country, as well as a time zone to try out.
Croatia, UTC+2 right now.

If nothing works, Microsoft obviously saw people trying this and now determines user's location the other way.
 
Last edited:

About us

  • MalwareTips is a community-driven platform providing the latest information and resources on malware and cyber threats. Our team of experienced professionals and passionate volunteers work to keep the internet safe and secure. We provide accurate, up-to-date information and strive to build a strong and supportive community dedicated to cybersecurity.

User Menu

Follow us

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to know first about the latest cybersecurity incidents and malware threats.

Top