Part 1. Outlook.com Personalized Ads - What, Where, Why?
Microsoft has started the conversion from Hotmail / Live Mail
as you have certainly already heard and read. The switch over is quite painless from the user's point of view; the only change most of normal Hotmail users will see is the new look and design of the
There's no need to change your current Hotmail email address, it will work on Outlook.com as before. This applies for all possible variations of Hotmail accounts, be it type @hotmail.com
, or even a branded Live Mail @Your_Domain.org
. All Hotmail / Live / MSN email addresses are valid Outlook.com addresses.
One change Outlook.com will bring is it will be more ad oriented. It might be you are still not receiving ads on your free Outlook.com web interface but trust me, the ads will come. You've seen the movie Field of Dreams
? "Build it and they will come", or in Outlook.com's case "Convert to it and ads will come". However you are given options to make them almost totally disappear, to modify which kind of ads you will receive.
Of course if you choose to use your Outlook.com only with an email client application you will not receive any ads. You have also the opportunity to buy Outlook / Hotmail Plus
service ($19.95 a year). Plus accounts will always be ad free.
This tutorial will tell you how to Opt-Out
of receiving personalized ads on your Outlook.com
email. The tutorial will also show you how to set those personal interests if you decide to Opt-In.
Every now and then we normal PC and web services users have to give up and admit the reality. One of the realities is that a company, however big and financially stable cannot offer unlimited free services. Someone has to pay, sooner or later.
As many other web services, Outlook.com
lets you continue using your Hotmail
for free as long as you accept that it contains at least a limited amount of advertising. Luckily Microsoft does not want to lose you or your account, so opting out has been made possible, in which case you only receive Microsoft's own ads which look and feel more than links to different settings and options than ads.
I have opted out on all of my Microsoft email accounts and I have to say what remains is really only a small annoyance, mostly going unnoticed.
Whether you convert your Hotmail to Outlook.com willingly already now or wait until later this spring when Microsoft does it for you, it is something you cannot avoid if you want to continue using Hotmail / Live Mail / Outlook.com. Microsoft has made their mind, Hotmail is dead, Long Live The Outlook.com
In the beginning you might not get any ads. If and when you start getting ads they will be located on the right sidebar of the web interface of the Outlook.com
(Click to enlarge.)
Let's modify those ad settings now. Start by clicking AdChoices
at the bottom right corner as shown in screenshot above. Part 2: Opt-Out or Opt-In for Personalized Ads
You enter now a Personal User Control Panel
for your Microsoft Account
. Here you can select your Personal Data Dashboard
which is still in beta at the time I am writing this but already completely functioning, Opt-Out / In
options and get more information on Microsoft Privacy and Advertising policies
Click Microsoft opt-out
. Now select your opt-out
You can select different options for:
- This browser on this computer
- This selection applies only for your current browser, the one you are using now browsing this page, and only on this computer
- AND -
- Any browser on any computer
- This selection applies for all browsers on any computers you use to login to Outlook.com
on both counts if you do not want to get personalized ads on all browsers on any computers you will be using.
Logout from Outlook.com and if you are using Windows 8, log out from your Windows Microsoft Account. After logging back in the changes you made should be activated. Part 3: Set your Personal Details and Interests
On User Control Panel
(see above) or Microsoft opt-out
page, click Personal Data Dashboard
. Here you can edit / remove / add personal details and interests. My Profile
is as already known to you from Hotmail. Edit your details, profile picture and so on:
In My Data
you can set your personal likes and dislikes:
might be the most important decision you have to make. By default Microsoft has selected a different policy than the worst concurrent Gmail: Outlook.com does not go through your email to search keywords to find out your interests
. But the option is there; if you want to get ads and you want them to be really "tailor-made" for you, according to your interests, you can opt-in here to let Microsoft dig your mail for any possible keywords. Microsoft assures this information will only be used to collect data to better target the ads. Personally I could never allow them to do it, which is also the main reason why I dislike Gmail:
That's it. Your old Hotmail has got new clothes. Opting out of receiving personalized ads as I have done gives you information, tips and links to Microsoft services and programs instead: