Since Windows 10 1909, Microsoft has displayed a widget in the taskbar that shows content from MSN, such as weather or stock quotes. These "news and interests" are probably not required or desired in most professional environments. They can be deactivated via Group Policy.

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."

Just like the IE and Edge home pages News and interests displays content from MSN

Just like the IE and Edge home pages News and interests displays content from MSN

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.

The widget can be disabled via the context menu of the taskbar

The widget can be disabled via the context menu of the taskbar

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

Disable the news widget by deactivating the above setting

Disable the news widget by deactivating the above setting

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:

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Stop-Process -Name explorer
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6 Comments
  1. NMI 3 months ago

    "Since Windows 10 1909, Microsoft has displayed a widget in the taskbar that shows content from MSN, such as weather or stock quotes."

    But only since April/May 2021:

    https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/windows-it-pro-blog/group-configuration-news-and-interests-on-the-windows-taskbar/ba-p/2281005

    +2
    avatar
  2. Leos Marek (Rank: 4)
    3 months ago

    Hi Wolfgang,

    thanks, used it right away 🙂

    A side note - I think the correct version where this came up is 21H1, not 1909.

    Cheers

    L

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  3. Author

    I did some research to find out when this thing has been added to Windows 10. Seems like every version down to 1909 got it, but only starting this year.

    +3

  4. cyrrus 3 months ago

    How do I enable them ? They don't work on any of my computers including a freshly installed laptop

     

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  5. JohnIL 2 months ago

    Be nice if Microsoft would just offer this sort of feature in its Store and let users decide whether they want it or not. I long for the days when a operating system was exactly that. Let's be honest here, News and Interest is just another marketing avenue for Microsoft. I see little value in this feature, I can seek out my own news and interest Microsoft.

    0

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