Windows 10 Tip: Turn Off Share Pane Advertising

Posted on April 3, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 19 Comments

Windows 10 Tip: Turn Off Share Pane Advertising

I just discovered another advertising vector in Windows 10, via the new Share pane that debuts in the Creators Update. Fortunately, you can turn this one off too.

As you must know, Windows 10 is teeming with advertisements, and it’s getting worse with each version. I’ve explained why Microsoft has chosen this dubious strategy, but what users really need to know is how to turn off this baloney.

As it turns out, that’s my job. So in tandem with an update to my book Windows 10 Field Guide, I’ve published a few tips here on to help you clean up the OS. So be sure to check out Windows 10 Tip: Turn Off File Explorer Advertising and Windows 10 Tip: Turn Off Lock Screen, Start and Action Center Advertising, which together cover most of the nastiness.

Most, but not all. Just this morning, I discovered a new form of advertising in Windows 10, and this one debuted with the Creators Update: If you attempt to share files from File Explorer—using the Share pane that almost no one even knows is there—you will actually receive an app advertisement.

Oh, Microsoft.

To be fair, this type of thing could be useful to some people. In that sense, it works a bit like some other ads—sorry, “sugggestions”—that Microsoft sprinkles all over Windows. But whatever. I want to get rid of this. But in looking through all the options in Settings, I couldn’t figure out a way to make that work.

And, my, aren’t there a lot of settings for “suggestions” in Windows 10? Just not for this one. For some reason.

Anyway, Microsoft’s Jen Gentleman was nice enough to post the answer on Twitter: You just right-click on the advertisement in the Share pane and de-select “Show app suggestions.”

Crisis averted.


Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (19)

19 responses to “Windows 10 Tip: Turn Off Share Pane Advertising”

  1. scumdogmillionaire

    I dunno. I don't really consider this an ad. I turned it off when I first saw it as well but it's clear the majority of Windows users don't know the Store exists which is why we're in the boat we're in with apps. While unlikely to improve the situation, this to me is an acceptable nudge to those types of users.

    • BoItmanLives

      In reply to scumdogmillionaire:

      People know the store exists, they just know how crappy the not-even-good-enough-for-phones apps are. Everyone clicks the store once.. Then gets a screenful of Fischer price tiles and backbutton out of there fast, never to be repeated.

      At what point do you guys look inward and realize the store sucks because MS's effort was so poor even on buggy, threadbare firstparty apps?

      • prjman

        In reply to BoItmanLives: You are exaggerating to make a point, obviously. There are several, quite useful apps in the store, many of which I use every day. They are easy to install, generally lightweight, easy to uninstall, and usually support more features of the OS that using Win32 equivalents. Perhaps you should try a few.

        • skane2600

          In reply to prjman:

          While it's true that MS withheld some new features from Win32 that they could have included, the fact remains that UWP is more a subset of Win32 than the other way around.

      • chrisrut

        In reply to BoItmanLives:

        It's not about the Store. MS isn't selling the store, They're selling that a very popular productivity tool works in their collaboration environment. That's a VERY important message for MS to get across.

        If this was a paid ad by Box, and/or if Box were an unknown trying to wedge into the space, I might analyze this differently.

  2. wright_is

    I am wondering when they will start advertising my competitors' products as interstitials in my PowerPoint presentations to customers...

  3. chrisrut

    Personally, I think the complaining about "ads" is getting more annoying than the "ads."

    Putting that Box "ad" in the sharing center is a very gentle way of telling users "Hey, if you're already using box? Cool. You can use it right here." How ironic: they're not selling Box.... they're selling that it integrates with their system... they're selling the art of the possible.

    The vast majority of users - including "Experts" like us - have little idea as to what our systems are capable of beyond the scope of what we use every day. So: you see the notice about box, and if you want, you right click and poof it's gone. But now you know it's possible. Mission accomplished. No harm, no foul.

    MS is competing against Google, Amazon, Apple and others for mind-share in many markets. As we all know, they have about zero mind-share in the mobile space: they're doing their best to make sure they don't depend on "if you build it they will come" in emergent spaces; cloud, VM, AI, etc.

    And you expect them to do it without advertising it?

    • darr

      In reply to chrisrut:

      Thank you. I don't get why this is a big deal. Frankly, for non - techies who have no idea what the Windows Store does, these suggestions might be helpful. Let's not get too attached to our pitchfork.

    • skane2600

      In reply to chrisrut:

      I don't know. It sounds a bit like Clippit Office Assistant.

      "I see you're sharing a file. Would you like help?"

  4. Winner

    Gee, I wonder why they were so keen to coerce all of those Windows 10 "free" updates? I think we know the answer.

    • Darmok N Jalad

      In reply to Winner:

      Seems like they should just make it free entirely and maybe they could be done with the negative press of the increasing advertising. Heck, that might get them to their 1 billion goal overnight, and maybe then developers would give the store a more serious look. I wonder if they did this but also made an ad-free edition at current prices. Would people put their money where their mouth is?

  5. nbplopes

    The perfect OS for ADHD.

  6. Luka Pribanić

    @Paul - could you write an article with all the privacy & ad-related settings in one place? And keep it updated as an online "privacy guide" of sorts?

  7. jmeiii75

    And ans you predicted, Paul. We see the first ad for a non-Microsoft service (Box). Up until now, we have seen suggestions for Microsoft properties, such as OneDrive.

    • chrisrut

      In reply to jmeiii75:

      But get the mindshare message behind this: they are "advertising" one of their own competitor's products - in this case a highly popular productivity product - works in their collaboration environment. Ergo that compatibility - that inclusiveness is what they're selling. Actually, it is their "Unique Selling Proposition."

      As I mentioned elsewhere: if Box had paid for this ad, and/or if they were a nobody trying to snare mindshare in the space, then I would agree that the purpose was the advertising itself. Until and unless, I think Paul's prediction of the slippery-slope is off base.

  8. lwetzel

    A guy's gotta make a buck somehow.

  9. Brian Devins

    Personally I don't mind an ad here in this contextually relevant place. Better than on the Start menu.