How to turn off 'Featured Content' ads on your PlayStation 4 X-bar

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

As you might know (if you read last weekend’s Open Forum), I got the kids a PlayStation 4 for Christmas. What a fun experience that was, until I got around to setting it up for them.

The TL;DR version goes: Four hours of tinkering on family accounts ironed out most (not all) of the problems encountered during installation. My advice, don’t even call Sony tech support on Christmas Day.

In any event, after the hassle of setting up their new console last night, I discovered this morning that one of them had apparently bought Destiny 2. Of course, they both swore it wasn’t them.

Right. Well, it sure wasn’t me.

So I figured that since one of them had bought it on my dime (intentionally or not), I’d go ahead and play it for a minute. However, when I went to the icon to start it, instead of saying “Start,” it said, “Buy Now.”

Wait. Was this an ad?

I go fire up my Pro, and sure enough. There is a Destiny icon on my home screen too. Apparently, Sony has found it fit to begin placing ads, on my crossbar (X-bar) even though I have a subscription to PlayStation Plus.

Not cool Sony.

My home screen already has so many applications that they don't all fit on the X-bar. Ads just take up space and make me have to fetch content from the library. Fortunately, this annoyance is straightforward to remove.

Go to your settings and select “System” (second option from the bottom). On the next screen click on Automatic downloads.

On that screen you will see a selection at the top that says, “Featured Content: Automatically add download links for featured content to the home screen.”

I'm not sure if this was there before, but if it was, it is now checked by default. Just uncheck it.

When you are back on the home screen delete the ad icon and things will go back to normal.

Thanks goes out to Jason Schreier at Kotaku for the tip.

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m4a4

TS Evangelist
TBH, if it advertises games I might like, I don't mind (and MAYBE other media). If it advertises anything else, then I'll turn it off in a heartbeat.
 
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Why is PS+ even a thing?
Same reason why Xbox live is a thing... Greed.
Why is PS+ even a thing?
Same reason why Xbox live is a thing... Greed.
Same reason why we have anything, stores, cars, computers. smartphones. Greed is good
You clearly believe in the religion of capitalism. Shame you believe nothing good comes without greed, must be a sad life.
 
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I have marketing restrictions and the agreements with sony don't hold in our court as I haven't signed anything. Hope they remove these or I have to start some class action lawsuit bullshit. I don't want ads, I have took every possible step to avoid them and every time I see an ad I boycott the product as if it wont sell without ads it's a scam. They only harm their selves and I can't understand how much money activision must gave them for them to do this, bad PR isn't free. No surprise this came after christmast, if this happened before lots of people would buy something else for their kids.
 

Skjorn

TS Guru
Same reason why Xbox live is a thing... Greed.
If PC ever goes pay2connect then I will just play single player games like I used to.
Xbox uses the subscription money to better their services, you didn't know? Everyone knows. That's why their community was always better.
I'd still be on console probably if it was free2connect.
 

Reehahs

TS Guru
If I paid for it then I don't want any adverts. That is why I hated the cord, that despite payment you still ended up with ads. Thank you Netflix for keeping your content ad free and providing the bonus of even skipping intros.
 

frostyshield

TS Booster
If PC ever goes pay2connect then I will just play single player games like I used to.
Xbox uses the subscription money to better their services, you didn't know? Everyone knows. That's why their community was always better.
I'd still be on console probably if it was free2connect.
Except that's just profit money for them lol, Their community wasn't always better UNLESS they paid the community to be nice or speak about other peoples moms then I can see how.
 

Skjorn

TS Guru
Except that's just profit money for them lol, Their community wasn't always better UNLESS they paid the community to be nice or speak about other peoples moms then I can see how.
When PSN was free, the XBOX kids would always say its better paying, made the community and online environment better. When they are the fking same. Same 12 yr olds telling mom jokes on both networks. Nothing was different. Maybe the colors and prices? It sucks I know.