Windows 10 Creators Update shows ads in Explorer

Windows 10 has had ads of some kind since launch. Most of them were easy to turn off, but the upcoming Creators Update may make things more confusing. ExtremeTech reports that along with all the appreciated features in the upcoming Creators Update, Windows Insiders are seeing an uptick in Microsoft ads prompting users to start OneDrive and Office 365 subscriptions.

Source: reddit user aj1985

If you're seeing these ads, they're pretty easy to disable with one caveat. Open up an Explorer window, go to View, then Options. In the Options menu, find the View tab and go through the list of checkboxes under Advanced Settings. Uncheck the option that says "Show Sync Provider" and hit OK. Redditor Silversee notes that the Sync provider notification feature does have legitimate uses and disabling it will disable any notifications it could send, whether they're useful or not.

Windows has put ads on our lock screens and into our taskbars before, so these aren't anything new, but this might be the most annoying one yet. It feels like the kind of thing that should come up on a free version of Windows 10, not the version many of us have legitimate licenses for.

Comments closed
    • Major-Failure
    • 3 years ago

    Every now and then I find myself thinking “Windows 10 can’t be that bad,” but articles like this one keep reminding me, thank god, or Eric, in this case.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Here’s an article that, while primarily one that highlights the advantages of Ubuntu over Windows 10, also points out the biggest issues with Nutella’s vision of the future of Windows.

    [url<]https://betanews.com/2015/12/30/microsoft-ubuntu-windows-10-2015/[/url<] So yeah, you guys enjoy Windows 10, OK?

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    I stopped trying to keep a list of all the junk you need to disable on a fresh W10 install these days.

    I pretty much lost my s*** when ads reappeared on the login screen and I’ve been making sure that any machine I come into contact with runs enterprise now, to which I apply my GPO template to to disable all the rubbish.

    And by rubbish, I mean most of the interface stuff that has been added since Vista.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    How I sometimes wish another company makes an alternative PC OS. And by this I mean a real commercial OS just like Windows and one that’s polished, not like the tons of ‘either it works or it doesn’t’ Linux distros out there.

      • tipoo
      • 3 years ago

      One does, but they tie it to multi thousand dollar hardware or leave you to finicky hackery.

      I hope Elementary OS continues coming along nicely, I gave them a small donation.

        • ronch
        • 3 years ago

        iOS isn’t exactly similar to Windows in terms of how you can get it, as you said.

        I think at this point there’s a real opportunity for another big software company to do an alternative OS. Free and open source is nice but a company needs to polish the OS, push it, and back it up.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    Who needs viruses when the OS itself tracks your keystrokes, steals and sends your personal data to Microsoft, and displays ads left and right?

    The Italian Bouncing Ball seems so nice in comparison.

    • ronch
    • 3 years ago

    So would we rather have free OS upgrades or pay straight up for a copy of a new OS? Most folks got Windows 10 for free. Even the copies of Windows that come with computers from Dell or HP were probably free too. And while you may argue that you upgraded from a legit and paid copy of an older Windows version, you paid for the older Windows version, not 10, so you also got 10 for free, strictly speaking. You really can’t complain about ads then. It’s the same thing with free Android apps. It’s free, so it’s also entitled to display ads. You want no ads? Pay. Can Windows 10 go this way too?

    I think there’s an unkind term for folks who get stuff for free and then complain about what they got. Yes, Microsoft nagged the hell out of everyone to grab Windows 10 and I do think that’s disingenuous considering what they really intended Windows 10 to be (an ad and data mining machine), but then maybe folks should stop being so gullible (not just in this case).

      • joselillo_25
      • 3 years ago

      windows 10 is packed with nearly every new computer in the world, are this people also getting windows 10 for free, so deserve the ad apocalipsis??

        • ronch
        • 3 years ago

        Question is, do the PC OEMs actually pay MS for the copies they put on new machines?

      • kvndoom
      • 3 years ago

      Stingy old man I used to work for at a convenience store said to me once:

      “‘Free’ is a 4-letter F-word.”

      I still think the end game of Windows 10 is ‘pay to use the OS.’ I see a future where advanced features are held behind a paywall, while you can do the basics for free.

      And I still don’t buy it when MS said it’s the last version of Windows ever. No way a corporation that size isn’t focused on growth and replacing old product with new. If the ad model doesn’t bring in the kind of revenue they want, then what good are hundreds of millions of installs with no upgrade path?

    • albundy
    • 3 years ago

    sounds like the pirated version is the clean version without the hassle and nonsense. what a disaster of an OS!

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      Yup. The whole OS is malware.

    • kvndoom
    • 3 years ago

    “It feels like the kind of thing that should come up on a free version of Windows 10, not the version many of us have legitimate licenses for.”

    Did you pay for Windows 10 itself (retail, OEM, or buy a new computer), or use the “free” upgrade? Serious question, because a lot of people upgraded from 7 or 8, and MS has never given OS updates away for free before.

    Microsoft gave away tens, if not hundreds, of millions of Windows licenses. No way they did that for the consumer’s benefit.

    • egon
    • 3 years ago

    This showed up in File Explorer a month ago, and although it was promoting the free rather than paid service, it looked like an ‘ad’ to me:

    [url<]http://imgur.com/a/TW3oI[/url<] Had screenshotted it as a reminder to myself why Windows 10 is staying off my main PC. It's far from the main reason, but emblematic of Microsoft's relationship with its Windows 10 users.

    • not@home
    • 3 years ago

    Have any of you seen the movie “Idiocracy”?

    • Ninjitsu
    • 3 years ago

    Ahahahahahaha.

    [quote<] It feels like the kind of thing that should come up on a free version of Windows 10, not the version many of us have legitimate licenses for. [/quote<] Some of us have been saying this for a lot of other things before, and they were all defended. It'll only get worse.

    • adamlongwalker
    • 3 years ago

    And people wondered why I did not upgrade to Windows 10. I “knew” that your privacy will be going away. I “knew” that ads would return. I’ve been dealing with Micro$haft for years. I also will state once again that sooner or later we will be having a Windows subscription based OS for the consumer.

    I used Windows 2000 for 13 years before going to Windows 7 in 2013. I had a stable OS that needed no fixing and to myself the same goes to Windows 7.

    I’ve been dabbling with Linux every now and then and so help me if this BS continues I’ll make a full switch.

      • I.S.T.
      • 3 years ago

      Some of us had to upgrade because of new software changes like DX12. It’s niche-ish now, but won’t be in the future. Gloating over those who upgraded isn’t cool, dude.

        • odizzido
        • 3 years ago

        If people stick with W7 then game devs would not use it. Maybe they could swap to vulkan/GL instead.

      • way2strong
      • 3 years ago

      In what use case does Windows 2000 make more sense than Linux in the 2010s? How much modern software will actually run on Windows 2000?

      Don’t get me wrong, Windows 7 is a different story, but if you were fine on 2000 in 2013 I don’t see why you don’t just use Linux.

      • ronch
      • 3 years ago

      Ditto. No way am I going with Windows 10. I might get whatever CPU + mobo combo that still supports Windows 7 while they’re still available to tide me over for the next 5 years or so. My current rig is already 4 years old so I’m not sure if it’ll last many more years.

    • I.S.T.
    • 3 years ago

    *ahem*

    OH GOD HELP ME

    HOLD MY BREATH AS I WISH FOR DEATH, OH PLEASE GOD HELP ME

    • w76
    • 3 years ago

    I’ve been saying a close version of this for a long time, and Microsoft continues to show me I’m right.

    First, it was free. Pull everyone in. Make it seem inevitable.

    Then, light ads. Just in a couple spots. Opt-out not default but it was there.

    Now, there are more ads. Can opt out again, for now.

    Next, they’ve got a slimmed down Win10 with a locked app store — but only for that version, they’ll say.

    Skip ahead a couple updates. First they’ll make people manually opt-in to “side-loading” non-appstore software. For security, they’ll say. Totally not revenue.

    Finally, they’ll slam shut the gates of the walled garden, and only Pro or Enterprise licensees will be able to side-load. “Jailbreaking” and “rooting” will become common vernacular for traditional computers as well as handsets.*

    And then Microsoft will no longer have to look with infinite envy at the closed Google and iOS app stores, because they’ll have killed the traditional PC ecosystem and built their own prison.

    * Except for linux users, the ranks of whom still probably won’t grow much despite all of this, since none of the distros seem to be able to get the experience just right to spark an exodus of users.

      • odizzido
      • 3 years ago

      It seems to be pretty standard practice. Google did the same thing with youtube ads recently.

        • w76
        • 3 years ago

        Youtube is free, nobody (but Red subscribers) pay for it, so there’s no expectation of something for nothing. It’s also not an OS with a long history of being relatively open, ie, buy the OS, install whatever you want on it.

      • Anton Kochubey
      • 3 years ago

      Few years ago, I’d call you overly paranoidal conspiracy theorist.

      Nowadays, though.. It’s hard to disagree with such ideas.

    • kvndoom
    • 3 years ago

    Part of me thinks I should revert the laptop I just upgraded last night, back to Windows 7. I can avoid this nonsense for more than 30 more months if I do.

      • Redocbew
      • 3 years ago

      I never updated the Windows VM I use for work to Win10. I kept it using 7 mostly because I was lazy and didn’t want to setup my development environments over again. Now I’m kinda glad I did.

    • nanoflower
    • 3 years ago

    So they want us all to replace Windows Explorer? I can do that, but I shouldn’t have to.

      • Redocbew
      • 3 years ago

      Pretty much. The only time I boot into Windows is for gaming these days, so I don’t spent a lot of time in Windows anyway. I might end up doing the same though. Ugh.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 3 years ago

    *sigh*
    Windows was always meant to be about convenience. Since they began down the Windows 10 path, updating Windows has turned into a part-time job! I used to be able to leave auto-updates turned on, and forget about it. Now, any time there’s a new update, I have to “research” it, to pre-check what bullcrap I’m going to have to disable or find a workaround for *this* week.

    It’s a shame… Windows 10 is a marked improvement all round… *if* you get hold of the Enterprise edition, go through a list longer than my arm of hacks, group policy edits and tweaks to turn off as much of the tracking and rubbish as possible, uninstall the Windows Store and all default UWP apps. You’re left with essentially Windows 7+… clean and fast.

    Except it feels like a constantly ticking bomb… at any moment they might (and often will) sabotage the damned thing.

      • Major-Failure
      • 3 years ago

      Is there no reliable way to turn updates off for good? Even via firewall for example?

        • Ninjitsu
        • 3 years ago

        Set it to a metered connection. Unfortunately you’ll end up turning security updates too.

    • moshpit
    • 3 years ago

    Ummm, Eric, while most of us have legitimate licenses, it WAS a free version of the OS for most of us.

    My question then is, will Home versus Pro make any difference in this? I can see this being the case on Home, but somehow the thought of them putting ads in Pro doesn’t make sense. They would not be seeking to alienate their business customers. Most of the free users got stuck with Home, but some of us with a 7 Ultimate license got 10 Pro instead of Home for free.

      • GrimDanfango
      • 3 years ago

      Pro isn’t really for business customers… Pro is just a more feature-complete Home edition.

      Enterprise is the only edition that offers business customers enough control over what’s going on.

        • w76
        • 3 years ago

        There’s no doubt countless thousands of smaller companies without the IT staff to manage Enterprise and get all the value necessary out of it to make it cost effective, and thus just use Pro. My own employer among them.

      • Ninjitsu
      • 3 years ago

      oh please, what BS. Home versions are full paid versions too, stop trying to excuse MS’ crap policies.

      • MOSFET
      • 3 years ago

      I get this same OneDrive ad with licensed Win10 Pro (even though I have an Office 365 subscription, and already use OneDrive, as well as DropBox) without even having the upcoming Creator’s Update. Does disabling the Sync Provider notifications also disable DropBox notices?

      It may have been a free upgrade, but it was their corporate choice to give it away to pump up adoption numbers. I agree with Eric’s sentiment – ads in valid, licensed Pro editions of Win10 do not belong. Then again, it was our consumer choice to take the upgrade, and so far, I’m more pleased than frustrated.

    • odizzido
    • 3 years ago

    If MS really wanted people on W10 they wouldn’t be doing stuff like this. Still sitting on W7 here and since I don’t feel like fighting my OS I won’t be switching anytime soon.

    • DoomGuy64
    • 3 years ago

    Replace explorer.
    [url<]http://multicommander.com[/url<] There are superior replacements for most of windows functions now, and Microsoft only has themselves to blame for creating the need to use them. Now if only Vulkan would replace DirectX, I could drop the OS.

      • odizzido
      • 3 years ago

      That would be a dream come true. MS seems to have its claws in a lot of game devs though.

      • mjbridges
      • 3 years ago

      I favour Directory Opus: [url<]https://www.gpsoft.com.au/[/url<]

        • w76
        • 3 years ago

        I hear its nice, but it also costs what an OS should cost.

          • DoomGuy64
          • 3 years ago

          I’ve tried a bunch of different file managers, and Multicommander is pretty much the best overall. The UI isn’t out of control, and it has the same features as most of the other managers that charge money.

          Worth trying anyway, since it’s free. After that, you’ll probably come to the same conclusion I did.

            • w76
            • 3 years ago

            I did and I have, I’ve got MC on all the machines I touch. At least, I admit Multicommander is the best value, I do like some paid ones a little better, but not enough to pay what those vendors ask.

          • mjbridges
          • 3 years ago

          I got it ultra cheap in a Humble Bundle.

        • bthylafh
        • 3 years ago

        Nomad.net and Q-dir are pretty decent too.

    • christos_thski
    • 3 years ago

    > It feels like the kind of thing that should come up on a free version of Windows 10, not the > version many of us have legitimate licenses for.

    Truer words have never been spoken. Microsoft seems to be keeping their feet on both boats with this kind of crap. They should come out outright with an ad supported free Win10 version if they want to, not foist this kind of thing on full price licenses. It’s ridiculous.

      • TwistedKestrel
      • 3 years ago

      With the ads**, mandatory unpostpone-able updates*, and the fact that MS has more or less offloaded testing on to us (and that you still need a license for preview builds?), it feels like MS should be paying us. I could probably live with most/all of this stuff had I agreed to it upfront, but MS being able to alter the deal at any point, that if we’re being perfectly honest they have never actually executed on this scale before, has soured me on Windows 10 more than anything else.

      *I am aware that this should be coming back in the Creator’s Update, but 1) I am skeptical that they will implement this in a way that makes anyone happy and 2) they should never have taken it away in the first place

      **MS pretty much just pushed it to the point of people developing adblockers for Windows 10 now. Would be surprised if it took longer than the end on the month, if it doesn’t already exist

        • kvndoom
        • 3 years ago

        “but MS being able to alter the deal at any point,”

        Pray they don’t alter it any further.

        • boskone
        • 3 years ago

        I run pi-hole (a DNS proxy with a blacklist) with Microsoft’s telemetry and ad domains blacklisted. Because it was actually easier than fixing Windows, which is a sad state of affairs.

      • Topinio
      • 3 years ago

      Have to agree. I paid retail for Windows (8 Pro) on both my home PCs and do not entertain the notion that (the upgrade on one of these to Windows 10 Pro means) I’m not a paying customer.

      Microsoft “should” give me the choice of turning adverts off or them sending me my money back.

    • ch┬Áck
    • 3 years ago

    This proves that onedrive is nothing but a CIA honeypot.
    (Joking of course)
    (or am i?)

      • chuckula
      • 3 years ago

      No. It’s not a CIA honeypot.

      Honeypot implies that you’d actually want to use it.

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