Microsoft is showing ads in the Windows 11 Start menu

Windows 11 Start menu ads

If you're someone who has previously been irritated by Microsoft displaying ads in Windows, prepare to roll your eyes, gnash your teeth and howl in anguish. Windows 11 users are finding that the company is now showing advertisements in the Start menu.

As has been the case in the past, Microsoft is using Start menu ads to promote its own products and services -- specifically OneDrive and Microsoft accounts. Unsurprisingly, the reaction from users who have seen the ads has been less than positive.

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The ads appear in the user-switching/sign-out section of the Start menu, with users being prompted to "Back up your files" with a new entry at the top of the menu. Clicking the link takes users to the OneDrive website. Ads have also been seen that encourage users to sign up for a Microsoft account, and to "Complete your profile".

The ads were spotted by Twitter user Albacore who posted screenshots of the additions:

While it could be argued that this is hardly a prominent, in-your-face position for advertisements, the fact that Microsoft is using Windows 11 as a vehicle for advertising has irked many people.

In line with what the company has done previously, it appears that -- as suggested by Bleeping Computer -- Microsoft is conducting A/B testing as not everyone is currently seeing the ads.

This is far from the first time Microsoft has stuffed ads into its products. We have seen advertising in File Explorer, within WordPad, and in the Start menu in the "Recommended" section. Whenever new ads appear, there is always an outcry, but this seems to be one thing that Microsoft is unwilling to listen to feedback about, instead sticking doggedly to its self-promotion tactics.

Image credit: Albcore

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