Full-screen nags start appearing in Windows 10, confusing users

midian182

Posts: 7,911   +82
Staff member
Facepalm: One might imagine that Microsoft has learned its lesson when it comes to displaying pop-up nags, but no. It appears that the company is yet again displaying prompts that cover the entire screen, and they’re confusing some users.

As reported by Windows Latest, the prompt pushes Windows 10 users to link their PC and account to services ‘powered by Microsoft,’ such as Office 365, Windows Hello, and the Your Phone app. It’s the same notification that’s shown when installing or upgrading Windows 10, but the pop-up is appearing when people merely sign in to the OS.

With the prompt familiar to those who’ve installed a major Windows 10 upgrade or just re-installed the OS, its appearance has caused concern—some users fear their PC has performed an unexpected update or somehow re-installed Windows.

The pop-up is due to a feature that Microsoft added last year, which causes the prompt to appear when users sign in occasionally. Thankfully, there’s a way to turn off the “Welcome to Windows” message.

To stop these screens appearing randomly and after updates, simply open the Settings menu using the cog symbol via the Start button or Windows Search, click on System, then open the Notifications & actions section. Now, just uncheck the box that reads: ‘Show me the Windows welcome experience after updates and occasionally when I sign in, to highlight what’s new and suggested.’

Microsoft has a history of annoying users with full-screen nags. It used them in 2016 to remind people that the Windows 10 free upgrade offer was coming to an end, later admitting that the malware-like tricks “went too far.” The company also used the technique more recently to remind Windows 7 owners of the operating system’s end of extended support date. Despite their almost universal dislike, Microsoft still believes they’re the best way to ram its messages down users’ throats.

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bviktor

Posts: 852   +1,269
How is this confusing? Heck, how is this even news? This has been the case for years, I think.
 

psycros

Posts: 4,159   +5,805
Like I said, I've seen this screen after every major upgrade for a while now.

I've never once seen this screen but I routinely see prompts to let Microsoft spy on me. Screw em', as always. Nobody in their right mind would ever opt-in to reduced security and targeted advertising on their own computer.
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,782   +4,214
I actually got this yesterday. I got it after I restarted my PC due to AMD GPU driver update. Thought it was Windows 10 casually resetting itself cause it's a mess but nothing happen, thankfully.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,130   +1,671
I know all my actual work could be done on Linux just fine (better even.) I'm on Windows because 1) I play PC games, and 2) I don't want to look at fonts and other GUI that look like there are from the 1980s.

Is there hope for me being able to escape now or in the near future?
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,289   +617
I know all my actual work could be done on Linux just fine (better even.) I'm on Windows because 1) I play PC games, and 2) I don't want to look at fonts and other GUI that look like there are from the 1980s.

Is there hope for me being able to escape now or in the near future?
For playing pc games? no. Windows will likely be the only real platform for gaming. Linux and others just dont have, likely will never get the dev or publishers on board.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,130   +1,671
The message isnt new as some and myself have seen it for awhile. Most just get it randomly. Not sure why anyone would freak out over something when at the bottom left it says skip.
People just overreacting as usual.
"Freak out" is an imprecise term but I will tell you why I object to this:

1. I regard my desktop as private space. If this doesn't track for you, maybe you can think of some other area that you regard as private. Would you be OK if your phone lock screen or home screen could be replaced by an advertisement of your phone vendor's choice at any time?

2. Over my career I have at times been responsible for PCs that serve commercial or industrial purposes. If the PC in question for example was displaying flight arrival times at a busy airport, would you be OK with that information no longer being displayed but instead this ad for Microsoft services, which would remain up for probably many minutes because it would take that long to get word to the right person who could fix it?

3. Another scenario is a machine being driven by automated pre-programmed macro, where keyclicks on certain parts of the screen would now be blocked by this unexpected pop-up.

4. While in this case the message is from Microsoft, if this is not opposed, what's the next step? Can my corporate competitor pay Microsoft to display an ad on the desktops of all my employees trying to recruit them away?

Bottom line, while the PC desktop may be a triviality to some, to others it is an essential and routine part of their business day and/or industrial process. It is not acceptable to have it subject to random alteration by outside parties.
 
I know all my actual work could be done on Linux just fine (better even.) I'm on Windows because 1) I play PC games, and 2) I don't want to look at fonts and other GUI that look like there are from the 1980s.

Is there hope for me being able to escape now or in the near future?

Aside from some Desktop Environments that deliberately try to look retro(like MATE), this is quite easy. In fact, after using Manjaro Gnome as my main OS for a while now Windows looks super dated and lackluster. Plasma is another good DE.

As far as games go, Steam is great on Linux. Basically any game you can get on Steam should play on Linux, even if it was developed for Windows only. I've heard Lutris is an application that can help with non-Steam, non-Linux games. And some games, like Minecraft, just have Linux clients.

So, in my opinion, you probably don't have anything to worry about when it comes to gaming on Linux, and unless you want it to look like it's from the '80s it's going to look more modern than Windows. This does of course vary wildly by which OS you use, and I would highly recommend Manjaro or Ubuntu.

The best part about if it doesn't work is that it's free to use most any Linux Distribution.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,289   +617
"Freak out" is an imprecise term but I will tell you why I object to this:

1. I regard my desktop as private space. If this doesn't track for you, maybe you can think of some other area that you regard as private. Would you be OK if your phone lock screen or home screen could be replaced by an advertisement of your phone vendor's choice at any time?

2. Over my career I have at times been responsible for PCs that serve commercial or industrial purposes. If the PC in question for example was displaying flight arrival times at a busy airport, would you be OK with that information no longer being displayed but instead this ad for Microsoft services, which would remain up for probably many minutes because it would take that long to get word to the right person who could fix it?

3. Another scenario is a machine being driven by automated pre-programmed macro, where keyclicks on certain parts of the screen would now be blocked by this unexpected pop-up.

4. While in this case the message is from Microsoft, if this is not opposed, what's the next step? Can my corporate competitor pay Microsoft to display an ad on the desktops of all my employees trying to recruit them away?

Bottom line, while the PC desktop may be a triviality to some, to others it is an essential and routine part of their business day and/or industrial process. It is not acceptable to have it subject to random alteration by outside parties.
If you think your computer is private, its not. None of them are. We are merely leasing most things these days. There isnt much owning going on.
Oh if you dont like how MS is or does things, then dont use them. Dont forget you agree to MS terms when using any of their software.
 
For playing pc games? no. Windows will likely be the only real platform for gaming. Linux and others just dont have, likely will never get the dev or publishers on board.

Don't need it. Steam, Lutris and Wine bridge the gap pretty well. That said, it would be nice to have more developer interest, which does seem to also be happening.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,130   +1,671
If you think your computer is private, its not. None of them are. We are merely leasing most things these days. There isnt much owning going on.
Oh if you dont like how MS is or does things, then dont use them. Dont forget you agree to MS terms when using any of their software.
Yes. Thank you. I feel that's a much more accurate and appropriate evaluation of present realities and options than pretending it is a small deal and not to be concerned with.

The moving away from MS is no idle threat in the server space, where many prefer Linux for among other things their much greater control over it. Even outside the server space, customers with sufficient power such as large corporate and government clients can and do demand terms different than individual consumers get, but even despite these customizations we will see some large countries just ban the use of Windows in their borders anyway. That may help alternate platforms gain enough consumer volume to eventually replace Windows, so US customers may win that way too.

As to individual customers in the US, you are right about their present lack of power, but I expect legislators and courts to eventually revisit exactly what "agreement" is or isn't happening between large customers and individual consumers. Companies have moved quickly over the last decade or two to end-run around decades or centuries of previous legal history around consumer and individual rights using the "its a license" and "we have an agreement" shams. The law will catch up for all the same reasons it did the first time around, it'll just take a while.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,289   +617
Don't need it. Steam, Lutris and Wine bridge the gap pretty well. That said, it would be nice to have more developer interest, which does seem to also be happening.
There is lil interest overall. Sure some things may happen but no dev or pub at this point cares about Linux. There just isn't enough interest for them to fully support Windows and Linux and since Windows is #1 by a long ways no one is risking losing anything from MS. The hardware also just isn't there for mainstream support.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,289   +617
Yes. Thank you. I feel that's a much more accurate and appropriate evaluation of present realities and options than pretending it is a small deal and not to be concerned with.

The moving away from MS is no idle threat in the server space, where many prefer Linux for among other things their much greater control over it. Even outside the server space, customers with sufficient power such as large corporate and government clients can and do demand terms different than individual consumers get, but even despite these customizations we will see some large countries just ban the use of Windows in their borders anyway. That may help alternate platforms gain enough consumer volume to eventually replace Windows, so US customers may win that way too.

As to individual customers in the US, you are right about their present lack of power, but I expect legislators and courts to eventually revisit exactly what "agreement" is or isn't happening between large customers and individual consumers. Companies have moved quickly over the last decade or two to end-run around decades or centuries of previous legal history around consumer and individual rights using the "its a license" and "we have an agreement" shams. The law will catch up for all the same reasons it did the first time around, it'll just take a while.
The law can do lil to MS. Once they got broke up by the government in '99 so Apple could play in the game, lil can now be done to them. Hell if the government hadn't done anything all those years ago, MS being a major software( not just OS player) and game company likely wouldn't have happened. MS will get slaps on the wrist over things but for the most part the law cant do much to them.
 
"Freak out" is an imprecise term but I will tell you why I object to this:

1. I regard my desktop as private space. If this doesn't track for you, maybe you can think of some other area that you regard as private. Would you be OK if your phone lock screen or home screen could be replaced by an advertisement of your phone vendor's choice at any time?

2. Over my career I have at times been responsible for PCs that serve commercial or industrial purposes. If the PC in question for example was displaying flight arrival times at a busy airport, would you be OK with that information no longer being displayed but instead this ad for Microsoft services, which would remain up for probably many minutes because it would take that long to get word to the right person who could fix it?

3. Another scenario is a machine being driven by automated pre-programmed macro, where keyclicks on certain parts of the screen would now be blocked by this unexpected pop-up.

4. While in this case the message is from Microsoft, if this is not opposed, what's the next step? Can my corporate competitor pay Microsoft to display an ad on the desktops of all my employees trying to recruit them away?

Bottom line, while the PC desktop may be a triviality to some, to others it is an essential and routine part of their business day and/or industrial process. It is not acceptable to have it subject to random alteration by outside parties.
Couldn't agree more.
For those who thought Windows 8 was annoying, welcome to Windows 10 : it spies on you, displays what it wants when it feels like it, resets to update regardless of what you're doing...
I still use Windows 7 90% of the time. I use Windows 10 basically only for VR and some other compatibility stuff.
 

OortCloud

Posts: 751   +685
Couldn't agree more.
For those who thought Windows 8 was annoying, welcome to Windows 10 : it spies on you, displays what it wants when it feels like it, resets to update regardless of what you're doing...
I still use Windows 7 90% of the time. I use Windows 10 basically only for VR and some other compatibility stuff.
Calm down! Windows 10 is a good OS. You need to watch fewer episodes of Mr Robot and get out more.
 

Freddie159

Posts: 107   +72
Like I said, I've seen this screen after every major upgrade for a while now.

For me the problem isn't seeing it it's that the computer stops loading and waits for the user to make a choice! One of my pc's did that last night and I lost over 6 hours of research time because of it. YES updates are turned off but MS still does them anyway!!
 

Freddie159

Posts: 107   +72
Couldn't agree more.
For those who thought Windows 8 was annoying, welcome to Windows 10 : it spies on you, displays what it wants when it feels like it, resets to update regardless of what you're doing...
I still use Windows 7 90% of the time. I use Windows 10 basically only for VR and some other compatibility stuff.

If you did the Windows updates before they stopped for Win7 then alot of the tracking BS is on your pc too.I assume that MS still receives the data as why wouldn't they if they can get it.
 

Underdog

Posts: 262   +157
If you think your computer is private, its not. None of them are. We are merely leasing most things these days. There isnt much owning going on.
Oh if you dont like how MS is or does things, then dont use them. Dont forget you agree to MS terms when using any of their software.

Interesting point of view. I have never paid for an OS or any software come to that. Of course I don't feel the compulsion to play the latest games or do any super techy stuff or video editing that might require paid-for software. Life these days of full of people (and companys) trying to separate you from your money and Microsoft is taking advantage of its position. More Microsoft computing devices in homes all around the world gives them a way to bombard you with ads for crap you don't need.
 
The very first thing I do in Windows 10, on my machine or anyone else I help is to turn off notifications. You still get notices when something important occurs.

That said, to be fair, I see the same thing on my Android phone and my ChromeOS tablet. You also get this sort of nagging from anti-virus software and others. Does that mean Microsoft should follow suit? No. However, if you are going to write an article like this, why not call out everyone, or at least as many that you can think of.