Microsoft Begins Rolling Out Ads In Windows 11 Start Menu

Microsoft, on late Tuesday, released a preview version of the KB5036980 optional update for Windows 11 version 22H2 (OS build 22621.3527) and 23H2 (OS build 22631.3527), which will be made a part of the “Patch Tuesday” update for May.

This update adds advertisements to the Start menu for third-party apps available in the Microsoft Store.

For those unaware, the Redmond giant earlier this month released the Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22635.3495 (KB5037000) to the Beta Channel.

This build tested running ads inside the Start menu on Windows 11 for Beta users within the United States.

After a brief period of testing with Windows Insiders, Microsoft has now enabled the Start menu ads for everyone on Windows 11.

It has started rolling out the optional KB5036980 update for all Windows 11 users, which includes “Recommendations” for apps from the Microsoft Store in the Start menu to enhance users’ experience.

In other words, the “Recommended” section will suggest apps and games that the users can download from the Microsoft Store, subscribe to Co-pilot Pro, etc.

However, these recommendations are different from the “prompted” apps, which are ads.

“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,” Microsoft writes in its update notes.

Thankfully, these ads (or “recommendations”) popping up inside the Start menu on Windows 11 can be disabled.

If you have installed the latest KB5036980 update, you need to go to Settings > Personalization > Start and turn off the toggle that reads “Show recommendations for tips, app promotions, and more.”

In addition to the above, the company is also planning to add frequently used apps to the Windows 11 Start menu.

“In the coming weeks, your most frequently used apps might appear in the Recommended section of the Start menu.

This applies to apps that you have not already pinned to the Start menu or the taskbar,” the update notes explain.

Currently, the KB5036980 update is optional, but Microsoft is expected to start pushing the new operating system to millions of Windows 11 laptops and desktop PCs in the coming weeks.

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Kavita Iyer
Kavita Iyer
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human!!!


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