Manage and personalize ad preferences in Microsoft products

Advertisements are used by almost every companies that provide free services – be it search, apps or storage. And this is natural, because how else can one expect to provide you with free products or services!? Since the free services cost some money to the companies, they have to recover the costs in some way or the other. The best method is to display ads so that users do not have to pay for using those services. Microsoft employs personalized ad system so that the advertisements appearing on your Windows 10 apps, Xbox, etc. are of your interest. This post will show you how to personalize your ad experience in Microsoft products including Windows 10, Xbox, Store apps, etc.

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Manage Ad preferences in Microsoft Products

When on the Internet, each of the major companies assigns an advertisement ID for all the users. Then they keep a tab on the users’ browsing habits, purchases online, sites visited, etc. , so that they know what interests the user. The companies also take note o the location, etc. , so as to serve ads for entities that fall within your geofence.

A Geofence, according to Microsoft, is the area where you move more frequently. In other words, assume it to be your county based on your location. They (Microsoft, Googl, etc.) can also track you if you leave your geofence. I hope you have noticed foreign ads on your cellphones when you are visiting a foreign place. The same happens with your Internet devices.

Advertisements are normally based on what you search for on the Internet. Microsoft, for example, assumes you are interested in products related to your search and the pages you visit on the Internet. Thus, a file is built that contains what you are and what you want. Based on what you want, they display ads that will sure interest you. This is Personalized Advertising and has more chances of attracting your interest so that you click on them and visit the related websites.

Read: Opt out of Data Tracking & Targetted ads

Turn off Personalized Ads in Microsoft products

You can turn off personalized ads in all your Microsoft products – Windows 10, Xbox and other products. Microsoft gives you options to turn off personalized ads on a particular browser that you use. If you choose this option, personalized ads will not be shown in that browser. But ads will still appear. Just that they won’t be personalized. And it doesn’t either mean that Microsoft will stop tracking your searches and website visits.

Then the other option is to turn off personalized ads on all devices and products related to Microsoft. This would include Windows operating system, Microsoft Windows Apps, Store recommendations, and Xbox ads. Again, turning off personalized ads won’t mean turning off all ads. Ads will always be there. The only difference would be that they won’t be personalized to suit your taste.

Since the ads are always present, and tracking never stops (irrespective of your privacy settings), it is better to keep personalized ads on. At least the ads might not bother you much. But in case you want to turn off personalized ads in Microsoft products, visit Microsoft Personalized ads page.

Turn off personalized ads in Windows 10

Turn of personalized ads in Microsoft products

Windows 10 also allows you to turn off personalized ads. It also offers a host of options to protect your privacy. Even with ample privacy protection, you are still tracked, and the data associated with your advertising ID will keep on increasing. If you turn off personalized ads, you just disassociate all personal information from your advertising ID. To turn off personalized ads using Windows 10, follow these steps

  1. Open start menu and click on Settings
  2. Click on Privacy option
  3. Move the slider to off against label “Let apps use my Advertising ID”
  4. Scroll down further and click on Manage my Microsoft Advertising
  5. In the page that appears, you can turn off personalization for a particular browser and all Microsoft products

Even if you turn off personalized ads in Microsoft products, some of your browsing and computer usage data will still be collected.

Similarly, you can maintain your privacy when using Google Services including Google ad personalization.

Now see how you can completely remove all Ads in Windows 10.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.