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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    How to disable ads on your Windows 10 Lock Screen

    The HowToGeek posted an article called How to Disable Ads on Your Windows 10 Lock Screen a few days ago. I thought the article was very useful and thought about all the PC's and laptops I've updated so far and how many I still have to do for family and friends between here and July 29. Loads of them...

    To cut a long story short, I've started trying to list and automate all the myriad little tweaks I do to a new Windows 10 system. This HowToGeek article looked like a prime candidate so I used a registry/file comparison program (InCtrl5) to snapshot before and after the changes. It turned out that the following is all that is needed:

    Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ContentDeliveryManager]
    "RotatingLockScreenEnabled"=dword:00000000
    "RotatingLockScreenOverlayEnabled"=dword:00000000
    
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Lock Screen\Creative]
    "LockImageFlags"=dword:00000000
    "CreativeId"=""
    "PortraitAssetPath"=""
    "LandscapeAssetPath"=""
    "PlacementId"=""
    "ImpressionToken"=""
    "HotspotImageFolderPath"=""
    "CreativeJson"=""
    Hope this helps... (I've attached it as a TXT file as well. Just rename the file extension from .TXT to .REG)
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
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    Ads on the lock screen! Since when?
    Free upgrade = ad revenue for MS. What a bunch of charlatans!

    cheers, Paul

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    Hello, T.
    I have yet to see an add on my locked screens, this on 4 machines here. But what surprises me is that I can LAN to any of them before I enter the NIP or PW and run the machines. Maybe both are related but I still have not understood how this takes place.

    >>> charlatans! <<< Very proper terminology.

    All fine wishes. Jean.

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    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    I used a registry/file comparison program (InCtrl5) to snapshot before and after the changes. :
    And I see PCMag is still charging for their 10-15 year old s/w. Glad to know that it still works! I still have the whole Library some place, mostly useless but a few gems, InCTRL was one of them.

    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wavy
    And I see PCMag is still charging for their 10-15 year old s/w. Glad to know that it still works! I still have the whole Library some place, mostly useless but a few gems, InCTRL was one of them.
    Just change the properties for InCtrl5.exe to Run as administrator in Compatibility mode (as Windows XP SP3). I still use it in preference to some of the more recent Registry comparison tools.
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2016-02-26 at 10:39. Reason: Clarified original info

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  7. #6
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    In my family are 3 Windows 10 Phones, two DIY desktops (Pro), three laptops (one Pro, two Home), and none of them has yet to have an ad appear on the lock screen.

    Is this a solution without a problem, or is it particular to certain OEM's? The laptops are all Dell, the phones are Nokia/Microsoft.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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    It's disabling something you have to enable in the first place, and which has been around for nearly a year:

    Microsoft is unveiling a new lock screen for Windows 10 today that will change over time and customize itself based on how each person uses their computer. The new lock screen is optional, but if you do enable it, you'll see something a lot like the Bing homepage: a beautiful image provided by Microsoft with a number of hot spots on it that you can mouse over for more information. It's not quite the same, however. ...
    Microsoft wants to put ads on the Windows 10 lock screen (April 29, 2015)

    Microsoft today announced a new feature that is coming in Windows 10 called Windows Spotlight. Any user can turn on/off Spotlight feature in their Windows 10 PCs. When it is turned On, it takes over the lockscreen. Instead of static images all the day, Spotlight offers suggestions to users on Windows features, apps in Windows Store and more.
    Microsoft Announces Windows Spotlight, A New Feature In Windows 10 (Apr 29, 2015)
    Last edited by BruceR; 2016-02-26 at 22:12.

  9. #8
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    It's disabling something you have to enable in the first place, and which has been around for nearly a year:

    Microsoft today announced a new feature that is coming in Windows 10 called Windows Spotlight. Any user can turn on/off Spotlight feature in their Windows 10 PCs. When it is turned On, it takes over the lockscreen. Instead of static images all the day, Spotlight offers suggestions to users on Windows features, apps in Windows Store and more.
    Microsoft Announces Windows Spotlight, A New Feature In Windows 10 (Apr 29, 2015)
    I checked Lock screen under Personalization and it shows Windows spotlight, but I have yet to see any ad. Then again, I never use Bing or Cortana on my PC's, just on my phone. But I've never seen an ad on my phone, either.

    I do get new Lock screen images every few days on my PC, for which I can choose "Show me more" or "Not my style". I like the landscapes, excellent photography. But there has never been an ad presented.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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  10. #9
    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    @bbearren
    If I understand you correctly, I can turn off those changing lockscreens by going to Personalization and unchecking Windows Spotlight ( which I hadn't noticed as an option )?
    When I boot up my Win 10 laptop it has the lockscreen that I selected but when I put it to sleep and then wake it, I get the different lockscreen with "Like this" up in the right corner.

  11. #10
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lumpy95 View Post
    @bbearren
    If I understand you correctly, I can turn off those changing lockscreens by going to Personalization and unchecking Windows Spotlight ( which I hadn't noticed as an option )?
    When I boot up my Win 10 laptop it has the lockscreen that I selected but when I put it to sleep and then wake it, I get the different lockscreen with "Like this" up in the right corner.
    Those "Like this?" photos are the ones I've described. I haven't tried to turn that off, because I am able to click "Not my style" and get another choice. The "Not my style" photos haven't been offered again. I enjoy high-quality landscapes, and I click "Show me more" when I see one I like.

    My guess is that these photos are being assembled in a dll somewhere, and are presented randomly as a Lock screen background. This I don't mind in the least. And as I've said, I have not seen an ad yet, on any PC or phone.

    Since I haven't seen any ads, I haven't tried to turn off this behavior, so I can't really answer your question.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    I've checked my laptop and reverted my Windows 10 VM to a 'newly installed' state. Both have Windows Spotlight turned on by default.

    I think it's a mistake to assume 'ads' just means exhortations to purchase something. Most people may not mind their lock screen showing different, beautifully photographed landscapes.

    However, others may mind that - without prior informed consent - MS are actively downloading these images, asking for opinions and sending back the responses in order to help build profiles, including specific details of the device being used (make/model/BIOS/how it's connected to the internet), up to 20 obfuscated IDs and the Internet-facing IP address of the device.

  13. #12
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Some of the images are located in \Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft .Windows.ContentDeliveryManager_cw5n1h2txyewy\Loca lState\Assets and they have 64-character alphanumeric filenames with no ending. Most in my folder I have not seen before.

    But not all of them remain there. Those I have selected as Lock screen images (except for one) are not there. I'm guessing that those have been relocated or perhaps tucked into a dll somewhere in System32.

    As for gathering information for targeted ads, I'm not so concerned. As I said before, I don't use Bing or Cortana on my PC's which makes the profile MS might be gathering on my preferences somewhat useless.

    Most of the other information I have locked down, and the IP address is always available unless one is using darknet.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    I've checked my laptop and reverted my Windows 10 VM to a 'newly installed' state. Both have Windows Spotlight turned on by default.
    Did you delete all user profiles? Or try creating a new user?

    People who want Windows Spotlight as default lock screen can't find how to do it:

    Is there a way to make Windows Spotlight the default lock screen when nobody is signed in?


    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    However, others may mind that - without prior informed consent - MS are actively downloading these images, asking for opinions and sending back the responses in order to help build profiles, including specific details of the device being used (make/model/BIOS/how it's connected to the internet), up to 20 obfuscated IDs and the Internet-facing IP address of the device.
    Where did those telemetry details come from? How do you know they're user IDs if they're obfuscated?

  15. #14
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR
    Did you delete all user profiles? Or try creating a new user?
    I'm the sole user in both cases so no other user profiles are involved, either created or deleted. Why would I delete all user profiles or try creating a new user?

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR
    Where did those telemetry details come from? How do you know they're user IDs if they're obfuscated?
    The data is contained in 'plain text' files generated automatically by the system (although the owner is the logged on user). I didn't actually say they were user IDs, just that they are obfuscated IDs.

  16. #15
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR
    Did you delete all user profiles? Or try creating a new user?
    I hadn't thought of creating a new user... so I did, just to see if the same data is created.

    I did nothing but create a new user using a local account then logged into that new account. When the process completed (which appeared to be really slow compared to Windows 7) I drilled down within the newly-created profile to find that a new file had been created within the ad-related content that includes, amongst other info, the Internet-facing IP address of the device.

    Edit: More info. A check of the contents of the newly-generated file shows ad-related references but no 'post' details. Other files I have looked at in the same folder within the first created profile have included details of the URL that the data is presumably posted to (using HTTPS).
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2016-02-27 at 19:30.

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