About news and interests on the Windows taskbar

Context

Microsoft is about to add a new feature “News and interests on the taskbar” to Windows 10.

“Devices running Windows 10, version 1909 (and later) who have installed the May 2021 Windows monthly update (or later) will be included in this phased rollout.”

While it may be welcome in the consumer space, it could be the opposite in a corporate environment.

Problem

They did not publish up-to-date ADMX templates and don’t tell you in their blog post what’s required in the registry to achieve the same as in the Endpoint Manager agent (a.k.a Intune), especially if you just rely on good old robust Group Policies for your fully managed devices.

Solution

Fortunately Michael Niehaus published the following two posts on this subject and addresses the above shortcoming.

  1. https://oofhours.com/2021/02/07/turn-off-the-insider-news-interests-page/
  2. https://oofhours.com/2021/04/22/turn-off-news-interests-page-via-policy/

That said, you don’t really need to grab the ADMX files from an Insider build or wait for Microsoft to publish the required ADMX templates in any relevant Windows build.

Knowing the registry key and values is what matters.

If you’ve the GroupPolicy module and an existing GPO, you can already populate the registry with these 2 lines of code


# pick the appropriate GPO
$gpo = Get-GPO -All | Out-GridView -OutputMode Single

if ($gpo) { 

Set-GPRegistryValue -Guid $gpo.Id -Key 'HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Feeds' -ValueName 'EnableFeeds' -Type DWord -Value 0

}

Ready for the next brilliant move 😎

Last but not least, if you want to grab the policy templates, Glenn Turner indicated that you can get Feeds.admx and Feeds.adml files by installing the LCU preview KB5001396.

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