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Microsoft is dabbling with ads in the Windows 11 Settings menu

Is nothing sacred?

The person is signing into their OneDrive account to manage their files and update their privacy and security settings. Full Text: Accounts VALIDATION 0 Burton & ded Rewards OneDrive · Sign In Manage files 1 & Accounts -- - Privacy & security Windows Update
Image: KnowTechie

Well, the glory days are over, folks; Microsoft is pushing its ads in the settings menu. In a bold move to push more users toward its services.

Specifically, they’re testing the ads in the “Accounts” section, nudging users to embrace Microsoft accounts.

But don’t panic just yet – these ads are only popping up in early Insider Canary builds, so their rollout to all Windows 11 users isn’t set in stone.

Twitter detective “Albacore” spilled the beans on this development, unearthing interesting tidbits in new Windows builds. Interestingly, these ads seem to target users logged in with local accounts, lurking exclusively in the Settings > Accounts portion of the Windows 11 Settings menu.

While Microsoft still allows local accounts for general purposes, it’s pushing users to sign in more often for features like auto-syncing files and Windows Store access.

Choosing a local account does have its perks, though, like increased privacy and dodging unwanted services like OneDrive.

These Settings menu ads are part of a broader trend of Microsoft weaving ads to any place imaginable, such as the Start menu.

This image is showing the process of setting up a Microsoft 365 Family trial account. Full Text: Home Find a setting Q Try Microsoft 365 - x Home Settings Get more cloud storage, advanced security, and use premium apps like System Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with a Microsoft 365 Family trial. Validation Home Bluetooth & devices Local Account Network & internet Try for free Find a setting a Personalization Apps Home Loading This is Storage data loading page Accounts System Loading Time & language This is Storage data loading page Bluetooth & devices Network & internet K Accessibility Personalization It's all here with Microsoft account Privacy & security Finish securing your account When you sign in, you're connecting your favorite Microsoft apps and Apps services to your device. You'll be able to back up your device, keep it Windows Update We'll make sure that your login info is secure and that you're able to log more secure, and use Microsoft 365 apps and cloud storage back in if you ever lose your password. Accounts Time & language Get started Gaming Sign in Accessibility Privacy & security Get help Windows Update
Image: KnowTechie

We’ve been dealing with ads in Windows for a while now, and as Windows 10 approaches its twilight years, we can probably expect even more “reminders,” “ads,” and “notifications” to rear their heads.

While some folks argue that Microsoft ads have their merits (spreading the word about new features and options), for those in the know, these ads are just another pesky hurdle to clear before getting on with their day.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at or find him on Mastodon or Post.



  1. Dreaper

    May 9, 2023 at 4:13 pm

    Ah… Now I know why Windows’ market share has dropped so much since December. Because Microsoft is actively pushing people to other platforms. No wonder Chromebook and Mac went up some. But it seems in the past month, India caused a good dent in Windows’ market share. That market share went to “unknown”. So, it must be that India has moved over to their own in house Linux distribution that isn’t recognized as one of the common Linux distros. So, it seems like Microsoft is making Linux seem like better option than actual Linux users now.

    And with Valve’s Steam Deck (which also runs Linux) making Windows more irrelevant to PC gaming, I wonder what the future of Windows will be like in the next handful of years with Microsoft degenerating at this rate.

  2. Dreaper

    May 9, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    If anyone wants to see stats of OS market share on the desktop, just head over to stat counter.

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