More Windows 10 'ads'? Users grumble over new OneDrive promos in File Explorer

Microsoft is touting more space on OneDrive with in-Windows promotions for Office 365 subscriptions.


The OneDrive/Office 365 promotions appearing in Windows 10 File Explorer are technically 'sync' notifications.

Image: Tall_Ships_for_Life/Reddit/Microsoft

Windows users are once again complaining that Microsoft is advertising to them in Windows.

This time it's about a promotion for Office 365 subscriptions at $6.99 a month, offering a big storage bump on OneDrive's free 5GB limit. Pay for the Office 365 and OneDrive storage goes up to 1TB.

The OneDrive/Office 365 promotions appear in Windows 10 File Explorer and are technically 'sync' notifications, but they're still being treated as ads by critics.

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One riled redditor questions why they're seeing the notifications when they already have an Office 365 subscription. Others aren't impressed that the notifications are enabled by default.

It's reminiscent of the flack Microsoft received for putting ads in a handful of its own apps on Windows 8 a few years ago, when Microsoft watcher Paul Thurrott said it "cheapens" the OS. ZDNet's Ed Both defended the practice.

Thurrott has now detailed the steps to disable the "terrible intrusion", which appears "most disturbingly" in File Explorer in the Anniversary Update and the preview Creators Update.

"To be clear, File Explorer is the Windows 10 shell, a core part of the operating system. So like the mobile apps that first bore advertising back in Windows 8, yes, it is very much a 'part of' Windows, or 'in' Windows. It is Windows," writes Thurrott of his annoyance with Microsoft's ad-like notifications.

Fortunately, Windows 10 users can switch off the notifications, but they're buried deep in File Explorer's advanced settings under the not-so-clearly-explained option 'Show sync provider notifications'.

Users can turn them off by going to the View tab within File Explorer, selecting Options, and then 'Change folder and search options', which then displays a Folder Options window. In that window, users then go to the View Tab, and scroll to the Advanced Settings list where there's an option to uncheck the 'Show sync provider notifications'.

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