May 19, 2022

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Microsoft is testing ads in the Windows 11 File Explorer

Microsoft has begun tests promotions for some of its other merchandise in the File Explorer application on devices managing its hottest Home windows 11 Insider establish.

The new Home windows 11 “function” was identified by a Home windows consumer and Insider MVP who shared a screenshot of an advertisement notification shown above the listing of folders and files to the File Explorer, the Home windows default file manager.

As revealed in the screenshot, Microsoft will use this sort of advertisements to encourage other Microsoft solutions, for instance, about how to “write with self-assurance throughout paperwork, e-mail, and the website with advanced crafting suggestions from Microsoft Editor.”

As you can think about, the response to this was adverse, to say the minimum, with some indicating that File Explorer is “one of the worst spots to exhibit ads,” whilst others extra that this is the way to go if Microsoft desires “individuals ditching Explorer for some thing else.”

BleepingComputer also tried replicating this on a program working the most recent Windows 11 Insider create, but we did not get any File Explorer adverts.

This can probably be explained by Microsoft working an A/B testing experiment striving to gauge the achievement of this kind of a attribute or by the firm disabling it right after the noticeable consumer outcry.

Window 11 File Explorer ads
Window 11 File Explorer advertisements (flobo09)

This is not the initial time Microsoft included promotional messages to File Explorer, as in 2016, Microsoft also confirmed a OneDrive ad in the Windows software.

Nonetheless, Redmond did not quit with File Explorer, and tested ads pushing its free Place of work world wide web apps in the menu bar for the Windows 10 Wordpad application two several years in the past, a marketing campaign with similar consumer protests.

The business also started out displaying ads for Microsoft Edge in the Windows 10 Start off Menu just about every time customers searched for a competing browser, prompting them to download the new Microsoft Edge.

Some of these exams also experienced unintended penalties, with Microsoft breaking the Windows Start off Menu and Taskbar although testing a Microsoft Teams advertising on Insiders.

Brandon LeBlanc, Windows Senior Product Supervisor at Microsoft, told BleepingComputer that “this was an experimental banner that was not supposed to be published externally and was turned off.”


Update 3/14/22 18:48 EST: Additional File Explorer advert from 2016.

Update 3/15/22 14:25 EST: Extra Microsoft’s assertion.