If you are a Windows 10 user, you have probably noticed adverts on your screen when your computer goes to sleep or when you lock your account. This is the handy work of a windows 10 feature known as ‘spotlight.’ The application has the same APIs as Bing from where it displays images. Users then get ads, news and other information from windows on top of these images. Other users have also reported that the images displayed are posed as sales adverts. These include game wallpapers e.g. Tomb Raider images, among others.
This ads feature came with the release of windows 10 anniversary. Since most of the extra information shown is on news or release of features, tips and tricks and the images are meant to be for wallpaper purposes, Microsoft has no legal obligation to acknowledge them as adverts.
So how can you remove these adverts? Unfortunately, there is no way to remove the adverts and keep spotlight. Removing spotlight as your background setting will remove the ads. You can then choose the pictures you want to display on your background instead. Here is how to do it.
Method 1: Remove spotlight as your background setting
This option will remove spotlight as your background, therefore allowing you to choose if you want to continue receiving news and ads from Microsoft.
- Click on your Start menu, and open up the Settings app
- From here, choose the Personalization setting, and then navigate to the Lock Screen tab.
- Once this is open, find the field that reads “Windows Spotlight”, and click on the box. You can switch this to display either a “Picture” or a “Slideshow”, depending on your personal preference.
- This will disable Microsoft from automatically pushing ads to your login screen without your permission.
- Lastly, once you’ve selected the new style of login screen you will be provided with the option to toggle the adverts. Be sure to turn off the option for “Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen”.
This will guarantee that you will not get any ads from windows and sales pitches from Bing images.
Method 2: Change registry settings
This method will change the registry keys and set your lock screen background options to a picture and turn off tips, fun facts and tricks from Microsoft. This will suppress all adverts.
- Open notepad
- Copy and paste the key below into the notepad editor window.Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager] “RotatingLockScreenEnabled”=dword:00000000 “RotatingLockScreenOverlayEnabled”=dword:00000000[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Lock Screen\Creative] “LockImageFlags”=dword:00000000 “CreativeId”=”” “PortraitAssetPath”=”” “LandscapeAssetPath”=”” “PlacementId”=”” “ImpressionToken”=”” “HotspotImageFolderPath”=”” “CreativeJson”=””
- Click on file then choose ‘save as’
- In the ‘save as’ popup window, choose the desktop location
- Type the file name anything.reg to save it as a registry file
- Click on save
- Go to your desktop
- Double click on the reg file you saved here
- If you are asked for administrator permission, allow it. If asked for administrator credentials, provide them and continue
- You will get a warning about changing the registry, allow the installation to continue.
- If Windows asks if you want to merge the key with the existing key, click yes to allow your keys to install.
If it’s the images that have the ads that are bothering you, or you don’t mind the text adverts, you can always teach spotlight what you prefer to see so that your lock screen images are more tailored to your interests. You can tell Microsoft what’s relevant by clicking the icon in the top-right corner of your lock screen, and you will get two options from the drop down menu where you can choose from the two options “I want more!” and “Not a fan.” Selecting ‘Not a fan’ will change your lock screen image to a different picture the next time you log in, as well as preventing similar content from appearing in the future.
Method 3: Change RotatingLockScreen, SoftLanding and SystemPane Settings via Registry
- Click Start
- Type cmd -> Right Click cmd and choose Run As Administrator
- In the command prompt window copy paste the following commands and press ENTER.
reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager” /v “RotatingLockScreenEnabled” /t REG_DWORD /d “0” /f
reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager” /v “RotatingLockScreenOverlayEnabled” /t REG_DWORD /d “0” /f
reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager” /v “SoftLandingEnabled” /t REG_DWORD /d “0” /f
reg add “HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager” /v “SystemPaneSuggestionsEnabled” /t REG_DWORD /d “0” /f
- Hit Enter. And then Reboot PC and test.