Microsoft showing full-screen, personalised advertisements on Windows 10 lockscreen

Microsoft has started to show full screen advertisements on the Windows 10 lockscreen, part of the operating system’s Spotlight feature. Users report they were presented with an ad for Square Enix’s Rise of the Tomb Raider that’s available in the Windows Store since last month.


(Advertisement on Windows 10 lockscreen – source:  David McGavern)

The Redmond technology giant announced in April last year that it would show advertisements on the lockscreen. These ads are personalised because according to Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore the company is “able … to understand what your use of the PC is” and is able to tailor ads based on that.

The ads are part of Windows Spotlight, which is also responsible for the frequently changes of the background of the Windows 10 lockscreen. Windows Spotlight is enabled by default but users that want to disable Windows Spotlight can easily do so.

Go to Settings > Personalization > Lock screen > Background > Windows spotlight > and select a different lock screen background.

Windows 10 is available since July last year as a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users. The operating system is installed on more than 200 million devices and Microsoft hopes that will be 1 billion within 3 years. Showing advertisements on the lockscreen is one the ways the company wants to generate revenue from its free OS.