While I've always liked Windows 11, it won't be an exaggeration to say that the OS has way more haters than people who've embraced it – people who are hanging onto Windows 10 for dear life. Now, it seems Microsoft is intent on driving away even the numbers that the OS does have in its favor.

Microsoft has now started showing ads in the Windows 11 Start Menu, with the KB5036980 update rolling out to everyone now, after briefly testing it with Windows Insiders. While Microsoft is calling them "recommendations" for apps from the Microsoft Store from a small set of developers, let's be clear, they are ads.

Microsoft says that the aim of this exercise, more than allowing users to discover these apps, is to encourage those developers (whose apps they'll be promoting) to build more apps for Windows. These ads would appear in the 'Recommended' section of the Start menu for individual PC users only (not Business users).

An example of a recommended app in the Windows 11 Start Menu. Source: Microsoft

While the move is encouraging strong reactions from most people, let's also cut Microsoft some slack. The ads aren't going to be as invasive as you might think, only a recommendation for an app, possibly, two.

They might not even appear in your Start menu if you're particularly lucky. But if you're receiving them, it's not too difficult to turn them off.

  1. Open the Settings app on your Windows 11 PC.
  2. Go to 'Personalization' from the options on the left.
  1. On the right, scroll down and click on the 'Start' option.
  1. Then, turn off the toggle for 'Show recommendations for tips, shortcuts, new apps, and more'.

And that's all it takes to disable these annoying incursions upon your person in the Start Menu.

If you want to take back control of your Start Menu in Windows 11, fortunately, it's an easy enough feat. You can also ditch the native Start menu from Windows completely and use third-party apps, like StartAllBack or Start11, to customize your Start menu.

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