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- Deactivate Windows 10 widget "News and interests" with Group Policy - Thu, Jul 15 2021
The widget, which is visible at the right of the taskbar by default, is one of Microsoft's many attempts to provide users of the operating system with unsolicited content, apps, or cloud services. With the new widgets in Windows 11, users are likely to be confronted with even more such "gifts."
What all these new features have in common is that they are usually distractions in work environments and hinder users from their daily tasks. Therefore, admins are regularly kept busy turning off such additions with each release of Windows 10.
Disabling the widget interactively ^
Basically, users can deactivate News and interests themselves. However, many of them will not find this option, which is in the context menu of the taskbar under News and interests > Turn off.
Disabling news using GPO ^
In centrally managed environments, this add-on can be removed via a Group Policy. However, if you use a central store for the ADMX files and have not updated it for some time, then you may not find the relevant setting.
The prerequisite for this is feeds.admx plus its language files (.adml). If necessary, you can get this administrative template by downloading the current ADMX templates. Once you have them, create a GPO, link it to the desired domain or OU, and open it in the Group Policy editor.
There, navigate to Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > News and interests. The container currently holds only one setting: Enable news and interests on the taskbar. You have to disable this.
Disable the news widget by deactivating the above setting
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If you reload the group policies via gpupdate /force, the widget does not disappear automatically. To achieve this goal, either log off and back on again, or restart Windows Explorer using the PowerShell command:
Stop-Process -Name explorer