- Microsoft has quietly started placing weird Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, and Word ads in its Windows 10 PC Start menu without giving users a warning in advance.
- These apps are actually links that open the Microsoft Edge browser, but if you don’t know this, you might think you’ve been hacked.
- Fortunately, it is very easy to remove apps from your Windows 10 PC.
Windows 10, for all its flaws, is one of the most stable and usable versions of the operating system Microsoft has ever made. Some of these shortcomings are more awful than others, like the ads that the company manages for its products in the Start menu. As I spotted it Born’s Tech and Windows World (Through Tremors), Windows 10 users are starting to see entries for Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, and Word in the Start menu of Windows 10 version 2004 computers, although none of these programs have been installed manually.
Such as Tremors It shows that there are a number of issues at play here. First of all, Microsoft has never announced that it will put these ads on its Start menu. Given the advancement of malware in recent years, Windows 10 users will be forgiven if they assume that these mysterious, unwanted apps were inherently malicious. Unfortunately, without an official explanation from Microsoft, you need to do some research to see if the apps are safe.
After analyzing each application, Tremors I found out that the publisher is just the name of the app (“Outlook”, “Word”, etc.), rather than Microsoft Corporation. Each app is listed as version 1.0 with the same install date and no size information. And it turns out that all of them are web shortcuts for Edge.
If I went to Control Panel> Programs> Programs and Features, You should see all the apps on that list. If you try to uninstall them, you will get a prompt asking if you want to remove the app from Microsoft Edge. If you opened the Edge browser and typed “edge: // apps”, you should see it installed there as well.
Basically, ads are shortcuts to Office Web Apps that open the app in the Edge window. It is not harmful and is fairly easy to remove. But it is still invasive, annoying, and pointless.
The biggest problem here is that there have been many more clever and ingenious hacks in recent memory. Whether it is a computer or a smartphone, someone is trying to hack it, and we are trained to be especially vigilant of emails, apps, texts, and calls that we do not recognize. The fact that Microsoft would surreptitiously install a bunch of apps on Windows 10 without at least explicitly explaining what was going on and why is incredibly foolish and will undoubtedly freak out a group of unaware users, convinced they’ve been hacked.
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