Microsoft stoops to a new low with ads in Windows 11

May 23, 2024

More ads for Microsoft products are finding their way into Windows 11: Microsoft utility PC Manager is now telling some users their systems need to be ‘repaired’ if Bing isn’t set as the default search engine.

As Windows 11 users are becoming accustomed to more ads in key places of the operating system, Microsoft is seemingly experimenting with adding yet another advertisement covertly presented as a recommendation.

The PC Manager app has been kicking around the Microsoft Store since late 2022, but it’s an optional download and not something that comes pre-installed with Windows 11 – YET. It hasn’t exactly been a mainstream hit. Overall, PC Manager is considered a pretty good app, but as with a lot of its products, that’s not enough for Microsoft – it’s also increasingly in the business of turning various products and features into ad vehicles (especially if they’re free!).

Windows 11 has already seen ads introduced in parts of the interface like File Explorer, the Settings app, and, most recently, the Start menu. That roster is being expanded, to include PC Manager, which recently got the addition of a ‘Repair Tips’ section and a Files Cleanup feature (which can detect duplicate files and more…).

Are you looking for potential repairs? Microsoft has a suggestion
The advertisement was discovered when users checked out the new ‘Repair Tips’ section of the PC Manager app, which suggested that the PC be ‘repaired’ by switching the default search engine back to Bing (which is the Windows pre-installed default) from Google Chrome or whatever other browser you’ve set as default.

People who use Windows have picked up on Microsoft’s persistence when it comes to ads, for example the ‘promoted’ third-party ads beginning to show up in the Start menu’s ‘Recommended’ section. The suggestion that switching back to Bing is a ‘repair’ is a new low, though, as it’s effectively implying that using another search engine is actually a fault with your PC. Switching to Bing search is not going to improve your PC’s performance.

While the Redmond giant has never been shy about promoting its products and services within Windows, nudging people to switch from Google Chrome to Bing under the guise of a system optimization tip is an ‘innovative’ way of marketing, to put it mildly.

Having Google Chrome as your default search engine isn’t something that needs fixing, of course. But the app makes it seem that way, prompting us that the “default settings have been changed” and pushing the user to restore them, like it’s a bad thing.

To be fair to Microsoft, they aren’t being truly deceptive here. The PC Manager app is upfront that it will reset your browser defaults to Bing if you “accept the repair.” But touting the Google-to-Bing switch as some kind of system optimization is a bit over the top.

Here’s a link to the PC Manager download
Antivirus, Cleanup PC, protection for your computer | Microsoft PC Manager

Extreme Tech article on MSN:
Microsoft PC Manager App ‘Fixes’ Your PC By Restoring Bing as the Default Search Engine (

Windows Latest
Microsoft PC Manager wants you to ‘repair’ Windows 11 by turning on Bing search (

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