Microsoft Tests Ads In Windows 11 File Explorer But You're Not Supposed To Know

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Ads in Windows 11 File Explorer? Not on our watch! Ads mistakenly appeared inside Windows 11 File Explorer and have since been disabled.

Twitter user Florian B was testing out Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22572 when they noticed an ad inside File Explorer. The ad was for Microsoft Editor and prompted the user to click to "Learn More." Florian B posted a screenshot of their findings on Twitter and remarked, "Some people will go mad if Microsoft starts adding ads in explorer." This ad was especially ironic as Florian B already uses Microsoft Editor.

It turns out that these ads were not yet supposed to be visible to users. Brandon LeBlanc, senior program manager for Windows, confirmed to The Verge, "This was an experimental banner that was not intended to be published externally and was turned off." For the time being, Windows 11 Insider build 22572 users will not be plagued with ads for Microsoft products.

However, LeBlanc’s statement opens up a can of worms. Will there be ads in future iterations of File Explorer? Windows 10 was filled with ads that popped up on the lock screen, in the Start Menu, and in the taskbar. Thankfully, it was relatively easy to disable all of the built-in ads. Nevertheless, this was an annoying feature and no one is begging to see Microsoft product ads in their File Explorer.

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22572 was released roughly a week ago. It overall included quite a few changes and fixes to File Explorer. For example, "Shift + Right-clicking in File Explorer and the Desktop will now open the 'Show more options’ context menu'" and "'Pin to Quick Access' is now available in the command bar when a file in Recent Files in Quick Access is selected."

One new feature that Windows 11 Insider build 22572 users are enjoying are File Explorer tabs. This feature was not mentioned in the Windows 11 Insider build 2257 announcement but is one that testers have noticed. These tabs reportedly function in the same ways as web browser tabs and  make it easier to search through your File Explorer. 

Image courtesy of Microsoft