Windows 11 gets new update that brings ads to the Start menu

Introduction to Windows 11 Update

The introduction of the latest update to Windows 11 marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing evolution of Microsoft’s flagship operating system. Building upon its foundation of innovation and user-centric design, this update brings forth a series of enhancements aimed at refining the user experience and adapting to the evolving needs of modern computing. However, amidst the anticipation for new features and improvements, the inclusion of advertisements within the Start menu has emerged as a point of contention, sparking discussions about the intersection of user convenience, corporate revenue strategies, and digital privacy. As users navigate the updated landscape of Windows 11, it becomes increasingly pertinent to explore the implications of these changes and the broader implications they entail for the future of operating systems and software development.


Robert Triggs / Android Authority


  • Microsoft is releasing a new update for Windows 11.
  • The update introduces recommendations for apps from the Windows Store in the Start menu.
  • Users can turn off the ads by going into Settings.

Get ready for ads to invade yet another place where they shouldn’t be. Microsoft is rolling out an update for Windows 11 that integrates ads right into the

About two weeks ago, Microsoft began testing a “Recommended” section within the Start menu for Windows Insiders. This Recommended section is designed to show users suggested apps from the Windows Store. It appears Microsoft has fast-tracked this feature and is now rolling it out for everyone this week as a part of today’s KB5036980 update.

According to the  the Recommended section will serve app recommendations that “come from a small set of curated developers.” The tech giant adds that these ads are meant to help users “discover some of the great apps that are available.”

In addition to ads, the Mountain View-based firm says that you may also see frequently used apps in the Recommended section. This will be the case for your frequently used apps that you don’t already have pinned to the Start menu or taskbar.

Fortunately, Microsoft is allowing users to turn off this feature. This can be done by heading over to Settings > Personalization > Start. There you will see a toggle for “Show recommendations for tips, app promotions, and more,” which you can turn off.

This update also adds a larger set of animated icons and improves widget icons on the taskbar so they no longer appear fuzzy or pixelated. Additionally, widgets on the lock screen will now be more reliable.

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The Start Menu Revamp

    Overview of Changes

The Start Menu revamp in the latest Windows 11 update introduces significant alterations to the user interface. Microsoft has prioritized a more streamlined and visually appealing design, aiming to enhance user experience. Among the notable changes are the integration of dynamic widgets, personalized recommendations, and a renewed focus on productivity features. However, the most controversial addition is the introduction of advertisements within the Start Menu interface. This departure from previous versions has sparked discussions among users about the balance between commercial interests and user satisfaction. Understanding these changes is crucial for users navigating the updated Windows environment.

    Integration of Ads

In the latest update to Windows 11, the Start Menu has undergone a significant revamp, introducing several changes aimed at enhancing user experience and functionality. One notable addition is the integration of advertisements within the Start Menu interface. Previously a space primarily reserved for accessing applications and system settings, the Start Menu now includes sponsored content alongside regular app shortcuts. These ads are strategically placed to capture user attention, often blending seamlessly with other menu items. While Microsoft has stated that the ads will be relevant and non-intrusive, their presence marks a departure from the ad-free experience users have come to expect from the operating system’s core interface. This integration has sparked discussions among users regarding the balance between monetization strategies and preserving the integrity of the user experience.

User Reactions and Concerns

User reactions and concerns regarding the new update bringing ads to the Start menu in Windows 11 have been varied and vocal. Many users have expressed frustration and disappointment, feeling that the inclusion of ads disrupts the user experience and detracts from the overall aesthetics of the operating system. Some have criticized Microsoft for prioritizing monetization over user satisfaction, suggesting that the company is betraying the trust of its user base.

Privacy concerns have also been raised, with users questioning the extent to which their data is being utilized to tailor the ads displayed in the Start menu. There is apprehension about the potential implications for data security and the risk of targeted advertising becoming overly intrusive.

Accessibility issues have been highlighted by some users, particularly those who rely on screen readers or other assistive technologies. The presence of ads could potentially interfere with the navigation and usability of the Start menu for these individuals, leading to frustration and barriers to accessibility.

Overall, there is a sense of disappointment among users who had hoped for improvements and enhancements in Windows 11, only to find that the update introduces features that are perceived as unwelcome distractions. Many are calling on Microsoft to reconsider its approach and prioritize the needs and preferences of its users in future updates.

Understanding Microsoft’s Strategy
Monetization Tactics

Understanding Microsoft’s strategy behind the introduction of ads in the Windows 11 Start menu involves delving into their monetization tactics. Microsoft has been gradually shifting towards a more service-oriented business model, where the focus extends beyond just selling software licenses. With Windows 11, the company seems to be leveraging the vast user base of its operating system to generate additional revenue streams. By integrating ads directly into the Start menu, Microsoft is capitalizing on prime real estate within its flagship product, aiming to capture user attention and potentially drive advertising revenue.

Moreover, Microsoft’s monetization tactics also encompass a broader ecosystem approach. The introduction of ads in the Start menu aligns with the company’s efforts to promote its services and products. By showcasing apps, games, or subscription services through targeted advertisements, Microsoft can potentially increase user engagement with its ecosystem while also driving sales and subscriptions. This approach mirrors the strategies employed by other tech giants, such as Google and Apple, who have successfully monetized their platforms through advertising and app promotion.

However, while monetization is a key aspect of Microsoft’s strategy, the company must also balance it with preserving the user experience. Implementing ads in the Start menu risks alienating users who perceive them as intrusive or disruptive. Microsoft must tread carefully to ensure that the ads are relevant, non-intrusive, and provide value to users. Failure to do so could lead to backlash and diminish trust in the Windows brand. Thus, understanding Microsoft’s strategy requires considering not only the revenue-generating potential but also the impact on user satisfaction and loyalty.

Balancing User Experience and Revenue

Understanding Microsoft’s strategy involves recognizing the delicate balance between enhancing user experience and generating revenue. With the introduction of ads in the Start menu of Windows 11, Microsoft aims to capitalize on its massive user base by leveraging targeted advertising. However, this move raises concerns about the intrusion of commercial content into the user interface and the potential impact on user experience. Microsoft faces the challenge of maintaining a positive user perception while pursuing revenue-generating opportunities. Finding the right equilibrium between these two objectives is crucial for the long-term success of Windows 11 and for preserving user trust in the platform.

Implications for Users and Businesses

The introduction of ads to the Start menu in the latest Windows 11 update carries significant implications for both users and businesses alike. For users, this change represents a departure from the traditional ad-free experience they may have come to expect from their operating system. Many users value a clean and distraction-free interface, and the introduction of ads can disrupt this experience, potentially leading to frustration and a sense of intrusion.

From a business perspective, the inclusion of ads in the Start menu opens up new avenues for advertising and revenue generation for Microsoft. By leveraging the vast user base of Windows 11, Microsoft can offer advertisers a prime opportunity to reach a large and diverse audience directly through the operating system. This move aligns with broader trends in digital advertising, where companies are increasingly looking for innovative ways to target consumers across various platforms and devices.

However, businesses must tread carefully to avoid alienating users with overly intrusive or irrelevant ads. Striking the right balance between monetization and user experience is crucial to maintaining user trust and satisfaction. Moreover, businesses must consider the potential backlash from users who may feel that their privacy is being compromised or that they are being bombarded with unwanted advertisements.

Ultimately, the implications of ads in the Windows 11 Start menu underscore the evolving landscape of technology and advertising. Users and businesses alike must adapt to these changes while striving to maintain a positive and mutually beneficial relationship in the digital ecosystem.

Navigating the New Start Menu

Navigating the new Start Menu in Windows 11 after the latest update may require some adjustment for users accustomed to a clutter-free interface. With the introduction of ads, it’s essential to understand how to navigate through them efficiently. Upon opening the Start Menu, users may notice sponsored content strategically placed among their usual apps and shortcuts. These ads may vary in form, from subtle suggestions to more conspicuous promotions. To navigate effectively, users can start by identifying sponsored content by any visual cues or labels provided by the operating system. Once recognized, users can choose to interact with these ads or bypass them to access their intended applications. Additionally, users may explore settings within Windows 11 to customize their Start Menu preferences, potentially opting out of certain ad categories or adjusting visibility settings. Ultimately, while ads may now be part of the Windows 11 Start Menu experience, users retain control over how they engage with this new feature, ensuring a tailored and streamlined navigation experience suited to their preferences.

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, operating systems stand as the foundation upon which our digital experiences are built. Among the most influential and widely used operating systems is Microsoft Windows. With each iteration, Windows has pushed the boundaries of innovation, striving to provide users with enhanced functionality, improved performance, and a more intuitive user experience.

The latest chapter in the Windows saga is Windows 11, a highly anticipated update that promises to redefine the way we interact with our devices. Building upon the foundation laid by its predecessors, Windows 11 introduces a host of new features, design enhancements, and performance improvements aimed at delivering a more seamless and enjoyable computing experience.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of Windows 11, exploring its key features, system requirements, upgrade process, and much more. Whether you’re a seasoned Windows user or new to the ecosystem, this guide will serve as your roadmap to understanding and making the most of the latest Windows update.

Table of Contents:

  1. Evolution of Windows: A Brief History
  2. Introducing Windows 11: What’s New?
    • Start Menu and Taskbar
    • Redesigned User Interface
    • Enhanced Productivity Features
    • Gaming Enhancements
    • Security and Privacy Improvements
  3. System Requirements for Windows 11
    • Hardware Requirements
    • Compatibility Check
  4. Upgrading to Windows 11
    • Upgrade Options
    • Installation Process
    • Troubleshooting Common Issues
  5. Exploring Windows 11: A Hands-On Experience
    • Customization Options
    • Productivity Tips and Tricks
    • Gaming Performance and Features
  6. Optimizing Windows 11 for Performance
    • System Maintenance
    • Performance Tweaks
    • Resource Management
  7. Security and Privacy in Windows 11
    • Built-in Security Features
    • Privacy Settings
    • Best Practices for Securing Your System
  8. Windows 11 for Business and Enterprise
    • Enterprise Features
    • Deployment Strategies
    • Managing Updates and Policies
  9. The Future of Windows: Looking Ahead
    • Microsoft’s Vision for the Future
    • Continuous Improvement and Innovation
    • Feedback and Community Involvement

1. Evolution of Windows: A Brief History

Microsoft Windows has come a long way since its inception in the 1980s. Originally conceived as a graphical user interface for MS-DOS, Windows has evolved into a full-fledged operating system that powers millions of devices worldwide. Over the years, Windows has undergone numerous iterations, each introducing new features and improvements to meet the changing needs of users.

The journey began with Windows 1.0, released in 1985, which introduced the iconic graphical user interface featuring windows, icons, menus, and a mouse pointer. Subsequent versions, including Windows 3.0, Windows 95, Windows XP, and Windows 7, brought significant advancements in terms of usability, performance, and features.

With the release of Windows 10 in 2015, Microsoft introduced a new era of Windows with a focus on delivering a unified experience across devices. Windows 10 brought a host of new features, including the virtual assistant Cortana, the Edge web browser, and the Windows Store, among others. It also marked the beginning of a new approach to software updates, with Microsoft adopting a “Windows as a Service” model, providing regular feature updates and security patches to users.

2. Introducing Windows 11: What’s New?

Windows 11 represents the next chapter in the Windows story, bringing with it a fresh design, enhanced productivity features, and improved performance. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key highlights of Windows 11:

Start Menu and Taskbar: One of the most noticeable changes in Windows 11 is the redesigned Start Menu and Taskbar. The Start Menu is now centered on the screen, with a simplified layout that provides quick access to your favorite apps, recent documents, and recommended content. The Taskbar has also been streamlined, with icons centered and a new set of animations for a more modern look and feel.

Redesigned User Interface: Windows 11 introduces a sleek and modern user interface that is designed to be more intuitive and visually appealing. The new interface features rounded corners, translucent effects, and updated icons, giving the operating system a fresh and contemporary look.

Enhanced Productivity Features: Windows 11 includes a range of productivity features aimed at helping users work more efficiently. Snap Layouts and Snap Groups make it easier to organize and multitask with multiple windows, while virtual desktops allow users to create separate desktops for different tasks or projects.

Gaming Enhancements: For gamers, Windows 11 brings several enhancements designed to improve the gaming experience. DirectStorage technology reduces load times by allowing games to load assets directly from the SSD, while Auto HDR automatically adds high dynamic range (HDR) support to compatible games for richer and more vibrant visuals.

Security and Privacy Improvements: Security and privacy are top priorities in Windows 11, with several new features designed to protect users from threats and safeguard their personal information. Windows Hello provides password-free sign-in using facial recognition or fingerprint authentication, while Microsoft Defender Antivirus offers built-in protection against malware and other threats.

3. System Requirements for Windows 11

Before upgrading to Windows 11, it’s important to ensure that your device meets the minimum system requirements. These requirements are designed to ensure that Windows 11 runs smoothly and efficiently on your hardware. Let’s take a closer look at the system requirements for Windows 11:

Hardware Requirements:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with at least two cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or system on a chip (SoC).
  • RAM: 4 gigabytes (GB) or more.
  • Storage: 64 GB or larger storage device.
  • TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0.
  • Graphics Card: DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x.
  • Display: >9” with HD Resolution (720p).
  • Internet Connection: Internet connectivity is necessary to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features.

Compatibility Check: Microsoft provides a compatibility checker tool that allows users to determine if their device meets the requirements for Windows 11. This tool scans your device and provides a report detailing any potential compatibility issues that may need to be addressed before upgrading.

4. Upgrading to Windows 11

Once you’ve confirmed that your device meets the system requirements, you can proceed with the upgrade to Windows 11. Microsoft offers several options for upgrading, including:

Upgrade Options:

  • Windows Update: The simplest way to upgrade to Windows 11 is through Windows Update. If your device is eligible for the update, you’ll receive a notification prompting you to download and install it.
  • Media Creation Tool: Alternatively, you can use the Media Creation Tool to create a bootable USB drive or ISO file for upgrading to Windows 11.
  • Clean Install: If you prefer to perform a clean install of Windows 11, you can use the installation media created with the Media Creation Tool to format your hard drive and install Windows 11 from scratch.

Installation Process: The installation process for Windows 11 is straightforward and similar to previous versions of Windows. Once you initiate the upgrade

Conclusion: The Future of Windows Updates

In conclusion, the introduction of ads to the Windows 11 Start menu marks a significant shift in Microsoft’s approach to monetizing its operating system. While ads have become commonplace in many digital platforms, their integration into core user interfaces like the Start menu raises questions about the balance between user experience and revenue generation. Moving forward, it will be crucial for Microsoft to carefully consider user feedback and sentiments regarding these changes. Additionally, transparency in advertising practices and clear opt-out options will be essential in maintaining user trust and satisfaction. As Windows continues to evolve, the debate surrounding ads and other monetization strategies will likely persist, underscoring the importance of finding a middle ground that serves both Microsoft’s financial interests and the user experience expectations of its diverse user base.

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