Microsoft is stuffing pop-up ads into Google Chrome on Windows again


Microsoft is once again injecting pop-ups into Google’s Chrome browser in a bid to get people to switch to Bing. The software giant first introduced malware-like pop-up ads last year with a prompt that appeared over the top of other apps and windows. After pausing that notification to address “unintended behavior,” the pop-ups have returned again on Windows 10 and 11.

Windows users have reported seeing the new pop-up in recent days, advertising Bing AI and Microsoft’s Bing search engine inside Google Chrome. If you click yes to this prompt, then Microsoft will set Bing as the default search engine for Chrome. These latest prompts look like malware, and once again have Windows users asking if they are legit or nefarious. Microsoft has confirmed to The Verge that the pop-ups are genuine and should only appear once.

“This is a one-time notification giving people the choice to set Bing as their default search engine on Chrome,” says Caitlin Roulston, director of communications, in a statement to The Verge. Roulston framed the pop-up as offering perks to Windows users, since they can get more chat turns in Copilot if they accept the notification. “We value providing our customers with choice, so there is an option to dismiss the notification.”

Microsoft used similar pop-ups in Windows last year.
Screenshot by Tom Warren / The Verge

If Microsoft really valued providing Windows users with choice, then it would offer up an easy way to disable these pop-ups for good. There are a variety of ways that Microsoft attempts to prompt Windows users into switching to Bing and Edge, making it difficult to avoid them through tweaking settings.

I’ve been growing increasingly frustrated with Microsoft’s attempts to aggressively push pop-up ads on Chrome users in recent years. Microsoft has been using pop-ups inside Chrome, on the Windows taskbar, and elsewhere to promote its own services. Microsoft even once forced people into Edge after a Windows Update, and it regularly presents a full-screen message to try to get Windows users to switch to Bing and Edge after updates are applied.

Earlier this year, Microsoft even had to fix an issue where its Edge browser was automatically importing browsing data and tabs from Chrome without consent. I personally experienced the bug; after I rebooted my PC for a Windows update, Microsoft Edge automatically opened with the Chrome tabs I was working on before the update.

I wrote in August that I was “counting the days until the next annoying pop-up appears,” and here it is a little over six months later. I’m still hoping Microsoft will eventually give up with these annoying pop-ups and respect Windows users’ choice to pick whichever search engine and browser they wish to use.



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top