I received a phone call from a client who said that her laptop was running exceedingly slowly — even more so than usual. So I remoted in to take a quick look. I found a new icon on the taskbar that looked like a fat, folded Sunday newspaper. By way of definition, the taskbar contains the Start button, icons for pinned and running applications, and a system tray area that contains notification icons and a clock.
When I hovered my mouse over the icon, the tooltip said it was the Windows 10 News and Interests news feed. Once clicked, it opens a pane that displays various widgets that contain current news, weather, stock prices, and more based on your location. The initial download of all this “stuff” caused my client’s perception of slow response on her laptop.
I searched Google and after reading several articles, I learned how to eliminate this icon from appearing. Therefore, I am writing this article to teach you how to do the same thing when it “miraculously” appears on your computer.
But first, let’s be clear about one thing. Not one of you went and asked the folks at Redmond to install this. You didn’t explicitly agree to get the news, weather, and more on your desktop. And you certainly shouldn’t need to try — on your own — to figure out just how the heck to get rid of this intrusion. I don’t know what they were thinking. (Can you tell I’m annoyed by this nonsense?)
Here are the steps you can take to get rid of this and regain control of your taskbar:
- Right-click on any blank section of your taskbar. This will open the taskbar menu.
- Left-click the News and interests banner. This will open a fly-away menu.
- On the fly-away, left-click Turn off. This should disable this “feature.”
Now, I’ve read reports that the icon just shows up again after the computer is restarted. If you experience that, please let me know.
While you’re at it, if you see an icon that resembles a wristwatch, right-click that and select Hide. I don’t believe anyone needs the Meet Now function, a Skype quick meeting setup feature. If you still use Skype, you are usually talking to one person. When you need to engage with more people for discussions, you are most likely using Zoom (or Microsoft Teams).