Disable News and Interests on Windows using Intune

The News and Interests feature was introduced with Windows 10, starting from version 1909, and is available on later device versions. It has also been integrated as a widget on Windows 11 devices.

According to Microsoft, this feature was designed to offer quick access to weather, news, and information that is pertinent to the individual user.

This widget is customizable and can be managed on Windows devices through the Settings app. While it’s a valuable feature for many users, it may not be as useful for enterprise users who may not use this widget frequently.

Screenshot of News and Interests Widget on a Windows 10 device
Screenshot of News and Interests Widget on a Windows 10 device

At the end of this blog post, I have also provided the steps with screenshots to disable News and Interest Widget manually on a Windows 10 and Windows 11 device.

STEP 1 – Create a Device Configuration Profile

To create a Device Configuration Profile, follow the below steps:

  • Login on Microsoft Intune admin center
  • Click on Devices Configuration profiles
  • Click on + Create profile
  • Platform: Windows 10 and later
  • Profile type: Settings Catalog

Basics

Provide a Name and description of the Device configuration profile. For Example:

  • Name: Disable News and Interests on Windows
  • Description: This policy will disable the News and Interests widget on Windows devices

Configuration settings

  • Click on + Add settings and then search for news and interest in the settings picker. You will find two settings Feeds and Widgets and select select “Enable News and Interests” and “Allow Widgets“.

If you organization contains only Windows 10 devices, select Feeds > Enable News and Interests setting only. Allow Widget setting is for Windows 11 devices.

Settings Picker for News and Interests and Widgets on Intune admin center
Settings Picker for News and Interests and Widgets on Intune admin center
  • After you select the settings you want to configure, Configure Enable News and Interests setting and Allow Widgets setting and set it to Not allowed.

Enable News and Interests will target Windows 10 devices and Allow Widgets setting will target Windows 11 devices.

Configure Enable News and interests and Allow Widget to "Not Allowed"
Configure Enable News and interests and Allow Widget to “Not Allowed”

Assignments

Click on Add group to add an Entra ID security group containing users or devices. You can also click on Add all users or Add all devices.

Assign News and Interest policy to Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices
Assign News and Interest policy to Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices

Review + Create

Review the deployment and click on Create to start the deployment process.

Sync Intune Policies

The device check-in process might not begin immediately. If you’re testing this policy on a test device, you can manually kickstart Intune sync either from the device itself or remotely through the Intune admin center.

Alternatively, you can use PowerShell to force the Intune sync on Windows devices. Another way to trigger the Intune device check-in process is by restarting the device.

STEP 2 – Monitoring Deployment Progress

To monitor the deployment progress of a Device configuration profile, follow below steps:

  • Sign in to the Microsoft Intune admin center.
  • Click on “Devices” and then select “Configuration profiles
  • Choose the Device Configuration profile you want to work with, and at the top of the page, you’ll see a quick view of the Success, Failure, Conflict, Not Applicable, and In Progress status.
  • Click on “View report” to access more detailed information.

End-user Experience

Once the profile has been successfully applied to the target devices, you will observe that the News and Interests widget is disabled on Windows 10 devices. If you have also disabled “Allow Widgets” on Windows 11 devices, you will find that it is disabled there as well.

  • On a Windows 10 device, follow below steps to check and confirm:
    • Press the Win + I keys to open the Settings app
    • Click on Personalization > Taskbar
    • Scroll down on the page to find News and Interests settings
News and interests setting is greyed out in Settings App
News and interests setting is greyed out in Settings App
  • On a Windows 11 device, follow below steps to check and confirm:
    • Press Win + I keys to open the Settings app
    • Click on Personalization > Taskbar
    • Widgets will be turned off and greyed out.
Taskbar Widget Item is disabled and greyed out on Windows 11 device
Taskbar Widget Item is disabled and greyed out on Windows 11 device

More Information

In this section, we will see manual ways to disable News and Interests and Widgets on a Windows 10 and Windows 11 device respectively.

1. Disable News and Interests on a Windows 10 device manually

To manually disable the News and Interests widget on Windows 10 devices, please follow these steps:

  • Press Win + I to open the Settings app
  • Click on Personalization > Taskbar
  • Scroll down on the page to find News and Interests settings
  • Toggle off the setting “Show news and interests on the taskbar“.
Disable News and Interests on a Windows 10 device manually
Disable News and Interests on a Windows 10 device manually
  • You don’t have to go to the Settings app to turn off News and Interests. A quicker way is to right-click on the taskbar, locate the News and Interests option, and then simply click “Turn off” to disable the News and Interests widget on your Windows 10 device’s taskbar.
Turn off News and Interests by right-clicking on the taskbar
Turn off News and Interests by right-clicking on the taskbar

2. Disable Widgets on a Windows 11 device manually

To manually disable widgets on Windows 11 devices, please follow these steps:

  • Press Win + I keys to open the Settings app
  • Click on Personalization > Taskbar
  • Toggle off Widgets setting under Taskbar Items
Disable Widgets on a Windows 11 device manually
Disable Widgets on a Windows 11 device manually

FAQs

1. How to disable the “News and Interests” taskbar widget using Registry

You have the option to disable the News and Interests widget on both Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices by making changes in the Windows registry.

1.1 On Windows 10 devices (for All Users) using Registry

Please make sure you have administrator rights before following this procedure on your device:

  • Press Win + R keys together to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type regedit and press Enter to open Registry Editor.
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Feeds and on the right-hand side Update the EnableFeeds registry entry value to 0 to disable News and Interests from the taskbar.
  • Restart your Windows 10 device so that this change can take effect.
On Windows 10 devices (for All Users) using Registry
On Windows 10 devices (for All Users) using Registry

1.2 On Windows 10 devices (for One User) using Registry

The “EnableFeeds” registry entry allows you to disable the News and Interest widget at the device level, affecting all users who sign in on that device.

If you wish to disable News and Interests for specific users rather than all users, you can make changes at the HKCU (HKEY_CURRENT_USER) registry level. Let’s go through the steps for this customization:

  • Press Win + R keys together to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type regedit and press Enter to open Registry Editor.
  • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Feeds and update the ShellFeedsTaskbarViewMode registry entry value to 2.
  • Users will have to sign out and sign back in on Windows devices so that this change can take effect.
On Windows 10 devices (for One User) using Registry
On Windows 10 devices (for One User) using Registry

1.3 Disable Widgets on Windows 11 devices (for All Users) using Registry

To disable Widgets on Windows 11 devices for all users, follow below steps:

  • Press Win + R keys together to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type regedit and press Enter to open Registry Editor.
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Dsh and create a new DWORD (32-bit) registry entry called AllowNewsAndInterests and set its value to 0. This will disable Widgets for all users. AllowNewsAndInterests registry entry may already exist for you so you don’t have to create it, just set its value to 0 to disable it.
  • Restart your Windows 11 device so that this change can take effect.
Disable Widgets on Windows 11 devices (for All Users)
Disable Widgets on Windows 11 devices (for All Users)
  • After restarting the device, navigate to the Settings App > Personalization > Taskbar, and you will notice that the “Widgets” taskbar item is disabled and greyed out. Since we created the registry setting at the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE level, this change will apply to all users on the device.
Disable Widgets on Windows 11 devices (for All Users)
Disable Widgets on Windows 11 devices (for All Users)

Conclusion

In this blog post, we’ve explored various methods to disable the News and Interests widget on both Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices. We checked the steps via Intune to disable it across all organization devices, as well as utilizing the registry editor for more fine-grained control via the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Feeds registry key and related entries.

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