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Windows 11 Start menu ads now rolling out

Microsoft has started rolling out ads for recommended apps within the sacred Windows 11 Start Menu.

Following a brief trial period during April, Microsoft has began rolling out a new Windows 11 update (KB5036980) that’ll show apps from “curated developers”. Earlier this month, Microsoft said it is designed to help you discover great apps from the Microsoft Store.

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The example shown in the post places the 1Password password manager alongside recently added apps and other frequently used tools and documents within the Recommended section of the Start menu.

However, it’s unclear whether this is an editorial decision from the company or whether it is receiving any compensation for placing the ads within arguably, and historically, the most important element of the Windows 11 interface.

Thankfully, this is only the default setting and you will be able to turn if off.

In the release notes for the new update: “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. If you want to turn this off, go to Settings > Personalization > Start. Turn off the toggle for Show recommendations for tips, app promotions, and more.”

Elsewhere, Microsoft says the updates will bring frequently-used apps to the Recommended section of the Start Menu. There’s also improvement to Widget icons in the taskbar so they no longer appear pixelated or fuzzy. Widgets on the Lock Screen are also more reliable as part of this update.

The update is gradually rolling out to Windows 11 users over the coming weeks.

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