Opt out of targeted ads on Windows

Advertisers need to uniquely identify you across apps and websites in order to aggregate data they might collect about you from those sources. To do so, Microsoft issues an Ad ID for your device, which it then shares with advertisers so they can serve you ads based on your data. In this guide you'll learn how to opt-out of targeted ads on Windows.

Last modified
8th October 2021
Guide level
Guide OS
Guide Device

Opt out of targeted ads

We have written before about the risks that targeted advertisements pose in regards to your digital privacy. To opt out of targeted ads on Windows, open the Start menu, go to Settings > Privacy > General, and disable all options (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: Privacy settings on Windows

To prevent diagnostic data from being used to serve you ads, go to Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & Feedback and disable Tailored experiences (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2: Diagnostics settings on Windows

To prevent your activity history from being shared with Microsoft, go to Settings > Privacy > Activity history and disable Send my activity history to Microsoft (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3: Activity history settings on Windows

Disable ads on lock screen

By default, Windows 10 displays ads on your lock screen. To prevent this behaviour, go to Settings > Personalization > Lock screen > Background and choose Picture or Slideshow (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4: Lock screen settings on Windows

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