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Microsoft ad banner nags you in Windows 10 File Explorer

by Mark Tyson on 9 March 2017, 13:21

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Windows 10

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Microsoft is accused of putting advertising in the Windows 10 File Explorer window area. Technology site ExtremeTech reports that Windows 10 users are seeing 'nags' to upgrade OneDrive to a paid subscription, to gain more cloud storage. The nags aren't appearing somewhere you might expect such as on Microsoft's web pages, in the Skype app banner, or even in a programmable tile in the Start Menu - but taking up valuable space in your File Explorer window.

OneDrive is of course now 'baked in' to Windows. However, some people like myself haven't used it since the placeholder files system changed (placeholders are set to return soon as 'On-Demand Sync', but that's another story). The offending OneDrive ad is apparently summoned thanks to a File Explorer feature option called 'Show sync provider notifications' (In File Explorer > View > Options). That setting can be toggled but then you won't see any sync provider notifications, even those you might have set up for yourself.

If you look at the above screenshot the OneDrive promotion is rather obtrusive but it can be dismissed with the 'Not Now' button. However ExtremeTech reports that the 'ads' which started showing up for various users a couple of months ago, now seem to have been popping up and randomly re-popping up with greater regularity. That 'Not Now' option should clearly be joined by a 'Don't bother me again' one.

People had already been annoyed by various Windows 10 ads and tracking settings but this OneDrive ad is controlled by a different setting to those previous annoyances. Another recent ad annoyance, which we didn't report on here at HEXUS, was a Windows 10 / Google Chrome browser targeted personal shopping assistant plugin. That accessory software was likely designed to monetise your Windows 10 profile data.

HEXUS Forums :: 57 Comments

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I've been the first to defend Windows 10 but even I think this is a step too far. I realise Microsoft need to make money on the OS now but there must be better ways…
Valve pushing gaming on Linux is an important step, we just need Adobe to release their software on Linux and I'd be a happy chap.
This brings back memories of the heady days of having MSN ‘baked in’ to copies of Windows 98, I remember Microsoft being fined large sums of money and told don't do that again or we'll split up the business. Seems they forgot the second part.
I feel like this was a pretty natural development, given the direction they've been working in, but that doesn't detract from this being yet another negative practice. At what point will Windows be more advertisement for Windows services than operating system? Imagine Android being essentially Google Play Services.