Windows 11 rolls out ads in the Start menu

Microsoft has rolled out an update, KB5036980, for Windows 11 to enable ads in the Start menu.

This feature was first announced as a Windows Insider beta update 13 days ago on the 12th of April.

The ads will take the form of recommended apps from the Microsoft Store, which Windows says will improve the convenience of the Start menu.

“[W]e are now trying out recommendations to help you discover great apps from the Microsoft Store under Recommended on the Start menu,” Microsoft said in the Windows Insider announcement.

“These apps come from a small set of curated developers. This will help you to discover some of the great apps that are available.”

The feature is optional, as it is a non-security update intended to improve convenience.

To disable the ads, users can go to Settings > Personalization > Start and deselect the toggle “Show recommendations for tips, app promotions, and more.”

Microsoft said the update would also list your most used apps under the Recommended Apps section, where the ads will be found.

Additionally, widget icons will be updated in the taskbar to make them less pixelated.

Windows has tested native ads for some time, starting with Microsft products in the File Explorer and later in the sign-out flyout menu.

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Windows 11 rolls out ads in the Start menu