Third-party program blocks integrated Windows 11 advertising

Facepalm: Microsoft introduced some dramatic UI changes with Windows 11. The company’s latest PC operating system now includes ads and “recommendations” in various areas. As a result, software developers have begun to respond with new tweaks and customization options tailored for power users.

A Windows “debloat” application previously known as Bloatynosy has been rebranded as Winpilot. It now features a completely new section aimed at removing all “promotions” and advertising that Microsoft has integrated into the OS interface. According to the app’s developer, Winpilot is the “manic cousin” of Microsoft Copilot and was originally designed as a hybrid web/offline application to simplify the removal of all AI features in Windows.

The latest release of Winpilot, version 2024.5.5, introduces a new “Adblock” section that is specifically tailored to remove ads from the Windows 11 UI. It offers toggles to disable Start menu ads, personalized ads, general tips ads, lock screen “tips,” and more.

Microsoft recently escalated its efforts to integrate ads into the Start Menu, following experimentation with the feature in the Insider program. While the Redmond corporation still provides some native settings to disable ads and personalizations, third-party applications like Winpilot offer a more convenient solution by consolidating all known Windows 11 ads into a single, easily accessible interface.

After intensifying advertising efforts and frustrating a significant portion of Windows power users, Microsoft has recently been accused of intentionally making the OS worse. A former Microsoft developer described the performance of the Windows 11 Start Menu as “comically bad,” even on a high-powered machine equipped with a Core i9 CPU and 128 GB of RAM.

It’s unlikely that more ads will help Microsoft regain the trust it lost with its users, and Windows 11 market share is declining as a result. The developer of Winpilot, who also creates other applications aimed at providing a better Windows experience, has adopted a plugin-based approach to introduce several tweaking options. These aim to enhance user privacy, remove unwanted apps, disable Copilot, and more.

Microsoft appears to be doubling down on its efforts to display ads and aggressively promote AI features to Windows users, regardless of their preferences. Third-party applications like Winpilot are likely to continue pushing back, offering Windows 11 users the opportunity to regain full control over the operating system.

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