How to stop Windows 10 apps from displaying personalised ads

James Walker

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Fed up of seeing ads in Windows 10 apps based on your recent browsing history? There’s a way to turn this off through the Settings app. This guide shows you how and explains what will happen when you turn off your Microsoft advertising ID.

This method will not stop ads from displaying – they’ll still be there within apps, but they won’t be tailored to your interests or browsing history. If you’re concerned about privacy, this should be a notable improvement nonetheless.

Open the Settings app (Win+I keyboard shortcut) and click the “Privacy” category on the homepage. On the first page which appears, turn the first toggle button (“Allow apps to use your advertising ID…”) to off.

Screenshot of disabling Windows 10 advertising ID

That’s all you need to do! Windows will reset your advertising ID and prevent apps from using it to identify you. Apps can ordinarily access your ad ID in a similar way to how websites use ad tracking cookies. It allows apps to associate personal information about you with your advertising identity, which enables “personalisation” of ads and data sharing between different apps and experiences.

With the ad ID disabled, apps which use Microsoft’s Advertising SDK will no longer be able to access the ID. You’ll start to see generic ads within apps, as apps will no longer be able to access your personal information or past activities to serve up more “relevant” ads. You can find more information about what the advertising ID is and how it works within Microsoft’s FAQ on the subject.