Disabling "News and Interests" causes entire notification area to go blank

Forgive me if this has already been asked a thousand times before, but I just noticed this:

Issue:

Microsoft won't leave my [censored] computer alone!

(OK, yes, that's the overall issue, but I'm just venting here. ;) )

Microsoft's newest addition - "News and Interests" - which was added to my system despite the fact that I may not want this kind of stuff - apparently by a recent update.

So, not being interested in that cluttering up my "notification area" (system tray), I disabled it.

As soon as I do that, NOTHING in the system tray works anymore. All gone. Blank. Nothing.

No solution I tried will allow me to have my normal system tray icons without the "News and Interests". The only way to get my system tray icons back is to re-enable it and mitigate the damage by turning off ALL interests and setting it to just display a weather icon.

What's interesting is that the usual fixes for a blank notification area suggest disabling the "News and Interests". In my case, disabling "News and Interests" essentially disabled the entire notification area. Sheesh!

Question:

Is it possible to disable the new "News and Interests" feature without resulting in a blank notification area?

This is being posted on 2021-06-10, from a Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Version: 19042.1052, current as of this instant date on a HP ProBook 450 G6.

Thanks!

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Hello Jharris1993,

I'm John an Independent Advisor and a Windows user like you. I'll be happy to assist you today. It seems the recent update caused the issue and I have seen some people reporting the same.

Please try uninstalling the recent update until Microsoft fixes the issue.

Press Start then click Settings(Gear icon)
Select Update and Security > View update history
Click Uninstall Updates
Under Microsoft Windows, select KB5003214 then Click Uninstall
Wait for the updates to uninstall
Restart your computer

If this does not work, please try uninstalling the June - KB5003637 update.

Kindly let me know if this helps or if you have any further concerns.


Kind regards,

John DeV
Independent Advisor

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Hi J,

You are not alone. We have many reports of the same.

Via Taskbar problems kb-5003214 - Microsoft Community

You will see this if:

- KB5003214 is installed (KB5003637 in your case)

News and Interests on the taskbar is turned off, and

- Your DPI scaling (Settings|System|Display|Scale and layout is other (larger?) than 100%

Change any one of those, and the problem goes away.

Sumit

Volunteer Moderator- Microsoft Community
I do not work for Microsoft

Mark the reply as helpful or answered to help others if your query is resolved

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If issue still persists, kindly drop your feedback to Microsoft using Feedback hub so that the engineering team could resolve it in next updates/builds.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Microsoft MVP (Windows IT Pro), since 2014 · Windows Insider MVP · Windows Help (www.kapilarya.com)

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Greetings!

I uninstalled update KB5003637 as you suggested and, yes, the "feature", (and the problem), went away.

Briefly.

It wasn't a matter of five minutes before Windows Update, in it's own infinite wisdom, noticed this (so called) "security update" was missing and proceeded to immediately re-install it.

Image

Note, It's now at "20%" and there appears to be no way to stop or pause the re-installation. Like it or not, need it or not, it appears I am doomed to have this installed regardless of my own desires or the update's effect on the stability of my own system.

How do I build on such quicksand?

How do I tell Windows Update that, no thank-you, I really do not want update KB5003637 installed on my system? I could "hide" updates in Windows 7, but that does not appear to be an option anymore.

Note: It appears that there used to be a show/hide updates tool for Windows 10, (KB3073930) that does not appear to exist anymore as all links to it now go to a generic "what can I help you with today?" web-page.

Additionally, there are articles describing how to do this using a downloaded "module" for PowerShell - dated from 2015. (and setting execution restrictions in PowerShell to "unrestricted" which is scary. . .)

Any ideas on how to make this fix permanent?

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Hi J,

Everything you wrote is correct wrt showhide tool. We also are unaware why MS removed it.

At the time, please pause the update for 7 days - I am hopeful that MS would fix this by next week.

Sumit

Volunteer Moderator- Microsoft Community
I do not work for Microsoft

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Based on the previous behavior, I suspect that the procedure for (ahem!) "disabling" this is:

  1. Un-install the update.

  2. IMMEDIATELY disconnect from the Internet. (Unplug the cable and/or turn off WiFi.)

  3. Pause updates.

  4. Reconnect to the network.

Apparently, Windows is too smart for it's own good.

Corollary question:

Is there a way to limit or forbid updates that are not absolutely essential?

I have real issues, as in the "I can get sued up the wazoo" kind of issues, with Microsoft using my computer as a test bed for whatever new "features" they may want to offer.

Viz.: A corollary posting by me.

It appears that I am not the first person to raise this issue. Is there some way to accomplish this, aside from using a different operating system?

Thanks!

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I'm with you, J.

Still works, but it's only good case-by-case. MS shouldn't be shoving out new features at all in quality and security updates. Never mind something like this that is largely useless and wasn't debugged. Looks like it came from the marketing department rather than the engineering group.

You'll have to stay connected to the Internet long enough for MS update to see that the update you just uninstalled is now missing.

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I am so sick and tired of Microsoft trying to monetized my operating system that I could scream until blood comes out.

I have to date stopped playing any kind of Microsoft casual game because of extreme monetization, I have stopped using Microsoft news because of the same and now this News and Interests, installed without permission (MY DEFINITION OF MALWARE) has got a bug that forces me to leave it in my tray.

HORRIBLE!!!!!!

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Last updated June 23, 2021 Views 266 Applies to: