Windows 10: "News and interests" visible in the taskbar despite GPO?

Windows[German]I'm bringing up a topic that should have been settled long ago. Microsoft "tortures" its Windows users with the taskbar entry "News and interests". Administrators can disable this feature via group policies. An administrator contacted me the other day because the policy no longer works in his DC environment and suddenly the "News and Interests" entry appears in the taskbar.


A user report

German blog reader Andreas P.emailed me May 14, 2023 because he was an administrator in a corporate environment and ran into a problem with the Windows "News and Interest" feature. He wrote:

We are using Windows 10 Enterprise with the latest patch level. The GPO "Enable news and interests on the taskbar" has been set to "Disabled" for ages (the relevant policy was last adjusted around March 2022).

Nevertheless, since today I see the "News and interests" widget on the taskbar on some computers (all part of the domain).

I thought there was an article about this on their site, but I could be wrong.

Was there even a hint from other readers?

In the net I have found nothing further …

I haven't heard anything like that from the readers so far. But I have reported about issues several times in the past (see links at the end of the article). The question to the readers is: Has anyone also noticed that the group policy to hide the "News and interests" bar is no longer working? Some German blog readers has confirmed this issue – but it's not widley spread, I guess.

The "News …" function in the taskbar

While writing this article, I booted two Windows 10 22H2 test machines. On one machine, I was greeted with two icons in the taskbar related to search highlights in the search box (left) and "News and Interesting" (right entry).

Windows 10-Taskleiste mit Sondersymbolen

Here I was actually of the opinion that I had hidden these two icons before – but I'm not sure anymore. The search highlights icon by the search box (see on the left edge of the taskbar) can be hidden by right-clicking on the context menu (Search – Show Search Highlight). I had already reported about this in the blog post Windows 10: Microsoft expands "search highlights" in search area (May 19, 2022) and also mentioned that there was trouble with HP drivers (see Windows 10 21H2: Explorer /Taskbar issuses – a collision between Search Highlights and "HP Development Company, L.P. – Extension –").


News and interest
News and interests context menu on Windows taskbar, Source: Bleeping Computer

The right icon can be removed by right-clicking in the context menu via News and interests – Turn off.

Similar articles:
Disable and configure Windows 10 feature News and interests
Patchday: Windows 10-Updates (June 8, 2021)
Windows 10 21H1: StrangeTaskbar issues after update KB5003214
June 2021 updates disrupt taskbar with 'News and Interesting'
Windows 10: The buggy "News and interests" feature and Microsoft's confirmation
Windows 10: Sept. 2022 preview updates cause shell issues with taskbar, start menu, explorer
Windows 10: New icons for Search Highlights in the search area, who else has this? (April 26, 2022)

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One Response to Windows 10: "News and interests" visible in the taskbar despite GPO?

  1. aim says:

    We run Windows 10 Enterprise and have that disabled via GPO too. I haven't seen it return but now I'll be watching it. It wouldn't be the first time that Microsoft "fixed" something and broke an existing group policy setting in the process.

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