Remove Ads from the Lock Screen on Surface

Remove Ads from the Lock Screen on Surface

Tip Of The Week: How To Remove Ads From The Lock screen

Did you notice the lock screen picture on your Surface change after a reset?

Or, did you, perhaps, just start seeing new advertisements?

If so, you’re not alone. One of the updates in February added a “feature” to Windows 10 that allows Microsoft to push pictures and even ads to your Surface which get displayed on the lock screen.

Frankly, privacy issues aside, this behavior really annoys me. Think about it, I paid full price for this device and it wasn’t cheap but now Microsoft is pushing advertisements to my device without even asking for permission, really?

Yes, I know there is legalese that can be twisted into a saying that I agreed to seeing ads somewhere in that giant EULA for Windows 10. Hell, it wouldn’t surprise me if I agreed to be Bill Gate’s towel boy in one of the hundred of EULA’s I’ve signed over the years but it’s the principal of the thing that annoys me.

If it was a deal more like Amazon’s Kindle Paper White, where you can get $$$ off the purchase price in exchange for agreeing to see the ads, I might be a little more accepting. However, since I didn’t get a choice, I want to remove the ads from the lock screen.

Remove Ads from the Lock Screen: The Steps

So, if you’re like me and don’t like that Microsoft, not only removed your favorite lock screen picture, but also started pushing random ads, follow these steps to get rid of them:

  • Bring up All Settings then navigate to the Personalization screen then select the Lock Screen tab.

Remove Ads from the Lock Screen on Surface

  • On the right side, change the Background pull down from Windows spotlight (this is where the ads come from) to either Picture or Slideshow. Pick one option or the other, depending on your personal preference.
  • Next, set the Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen option to Off.

Remove Ads from the Lock Screen on Surface

Now when your Surface’s screen is locked (like right after a restart), you will no longer see random pictures and advertisements, instead, you can set it to your favorite picture again. Oh, and you will no longer get those annoying screen popups with tips – unless of course you want them, in which case, skip the last step from the list above.

This little tip should help you become less bitter (as I am), regarding Microsoft adding this “feature” to Windows 10 to benefit themselves. Hey, I don’t have a problem with ads, everyone needs to make a living, it’s more an issue with the double-charging model. First for the device and then the ads.

Didn’t I tell you I was a pessimist?



  • Ever since I use Windows Spotlight (no ads yet though) I was wondering how the hell the finance that. Because they are showing changing brilliant Hi-quality pictures which is quite expansive work which needs to be licenced and paid for. It’s a clever idea to link this with ads if this is what it takes. If you switch off Windows spotlight you can also switch off the ads so that’s not an issue. As a photographer it makes me quite bitter to read that people see pictures like that and think they should get this for free hence getting annoyed when there’re some paid ads coming with them. It’s just an offer, man, you don’t need to take it! But don’t expect free use of brilliant photography then either.

    • Anyone can be a competent photographer with current technology. Its no big deal so get over your ego and join the real world where the constant bombardment with ALL adverts however slick just irritates. If I want any of your photos (never will) I’ll buy them off you; but if you ever advertise I will apply the “never buy anything that is advertised rule” (my personal regime).

  • Nothing ‘pessimis[ic]’ about not wanting to be pestered with ads. Spotlight has only showed me nice photography, but it asks “do you like what you see? We’ll keep this feedback in mind for developement”, or something to that affect. I had a suspicion that advertisements were the end goal.

    I completely relate to the feeling, ‘ Think about it, I paid full price for this device and it wasn’t cheap but now Microsoft is pushing advertisements to my device without even asking for permission, really?’ This is how I feel about bloatware, start/corina searches and, I think I wanna go there, conduit trojan bing highjacks! Microsoft’s poor judgement at the Xbox One launch pretty clearly shows their disconnect from their customer base.

    However, I really like my surface book. As an artist, this device really feels like it was made for me. But, this is the first time I have had Window’s for almost a decade. So far there hasn’t been too many presumptuous moves by Microsoft. We’ll see.

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