How to Turn Off Windows 10 File Explorer Ads

Those of us who gleefully took the offer of a free upgrade from Microsoft to Windows 10 should have expected this. Windows is now showing advertisements in their Windows File Explorer app.

To turn it off, click File / Change Folder and Search Options / View and scroll down to the non-intuitively named “Show Sync provider notifications” and untick the checkmark, and click Apply.


I have yet to see that. But I will keep watch for it.

ETA : hmm it is checked but maybe since I don’t sync with the cloud and don’t have my local account tied to a microsoft account that may be stopping it.

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Fucking cock-holes.


That special hell for child molesters and people who talk at the theater needs an extra wing added on for whoever decided that advertising through push notifications was a good idea. It takes something genuinely good (giving applications a way of surfacing important and timely information to users) and utterly perverts it. You then have two options: deal with a polluted notification stream, or completely disable the ability to get any notifications from that application. The File Explorer thing is even worse, because your options are “put up with Microsoft’s ads” and “never get a notification from any file sync service ever again”, which is great for anyone who uses something like DropBox or Google Drive.

Microsoft does this on iOS too, with their OneDrive app periodically reminding me that I should go review their app in the App Store. Next time they do it I’m going to just report them to Apple for violating the developer terms of use for push notifications, which expressly prohibit using them for this kind of garbage. Not that I really expect Apple to pull OneDrive from the App Store, but a boy can dream…


Which I don’t have set up on my win10 box so that may splain why I don’t see the Ad.


Apple: Begins offering OS for free (a decision to essentially drop a billion dollar revenue stream). No ads, no changes to privacy.
MS: Copies this change, adds massive changes to the OS in both tracking, and advertising.

I have to run bootcamp to play my favourite game, and every time I switch from OSX to Windows, there’s 1) new software listed in my start menu, 2) new software in the notifications area.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the stark difference between a hardware manufacturer who has 0 interest in selling your eyeballs, and software/services companies who do, and doubly so when they start giving the software/service away for free.


For those who go where angles fear to tread…


Set the 32-bit DWORD parameter named ShowSyncProviderNotifications to 0

SInce there isn’t a GPO Setting for this,


I’d like to plug ‘Reclaim Windows 10’ here.

Powershell script(not some skeezy opaque binary), uncomment the various purge options as desired(all available purge options have their matching restore options, should you want to do that); then fire away.

Doesn’t do anything that you can’t do from either the menus, command line, or registry grovelling; but it’s a lot more convenient and repeatable than doing it manually; and if you drop the hammer hard enough you get something that almost looks like Win7 with some architectural improvements(resist the temptation to send MS an invoice for fixing their shit for them; that’ll just ensure that they come up with something worse).


But, Goodness!, I thought that superior enterprise manageability through Active Directory was one of the things that made Windows awesome for my enterprise!

Sure is good that they wouldn’t bake in what is basically a glorified document retention policy violation client into their OS just for a few sordid upsells, huh?

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This is a great resource. Thank you.


You think Apple doesn’t put a ton of telemetry and data collection into MacOS?

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Absolutely they do. But with two important distinctions:

  1. Apple is not reselling your eyeballs to third parties, trying to target you with ads, or trying to monetize your attention in the way Google (and now, Microsoft) are. Now that they’ve decommissioned iAds, their revenue doesn’t come from advertising in the way that 77% of Google’s does or the recently profitable Bing and advertising division.
  2. Apple is actively trying to work with to use Differential privacy to obfuscate personal details wherever possible, of course in part because they have no third parties that would like that information.

None of this is perfect. But it’s a striking difference in policy.

For my money? I’ve worked in online advertising for over a decade now on and off (mostly on) as my day job, and I know the immense pressure suppliers like ISPs, software providers, social media sites, and so on are under to provide trackable data to help target more relevant ads. The fact that Apple gets no significant income from selling tracked eyeballs to others (including other divisions of their own company) is enough for me to choose to put my dollars there than to give them to Google or Microsoft, even when they’re trying to give their products away in return for that data.


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