Anniversary Update stops Windows 10 Pro users from disabling ads

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read

Users often criticize Microsoft for its stance regarding ads and sponsored content. It appears that the tech giant always finds a way to push sponsored content to its users’ computers, even after they particularly expressed their wish not to receive such content.

Microsoft has taken another step towards imposing its will upon users, and deactivated a series of Group Policies in the Anniversary Update. This means that users won’t be able to prevent ads and sponsored apps from entering their systems.

The worst part is that  IT-pros and system admins now have fewer methods to stop unwanted content from invading the systems they’re in charge of.

In other words, the universal Group Policy used in a PC network no longer allows admins to disable ads from all computers. They will have to manually remove the ads from each and every computer.

Speaking of unwanted content, many users have been complaining about not being able to get rid of the Candy Crush game. They uninstalled the game many times over, but it appears Candy Crush always finds a way to invade their computers. Now not even domain-joined Pro machines can’t run away from Candy Crush and other kinds of advertising.

“Windows 10, version 1607 (also known as the Anniversary Update), provides organizations the ability to centrally manage the type of content provided by these features through Group Policy or mobile device management (MDM). The following table describes how administrators can manage suggestions and tips in Windows 10 commercial and education editions.”

Options available to manage Windows 10 tips and tricks and Windows Store suggestions

Windows 10 edition Disable Show Microsoft apps only Show Microsoft and popular third-party apps
Windows 10 Pro No Yes Yes (default)
Windows 10 Enterprise Yes Yes Yes (default)
Windows 10 Pro Education Yes (default) Yes No (setting cannot be changed)
Windows 10 Education Yes (default) Yes No (setting cannot be changed)

What does this exactly mean for users? In the Anniversary Update version, Windows 10 Pro users won’t be able to turn off the Lock Screen. When the Lock Screen is turned on, Microsoft will bombard you with advertising. And you can’t do anything about it.

This decision may not be well-received by admins, as blocking access to the Windows Store is a security policy of many businesses.

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