How to disable website recommendations in Windows 11 Start Menu

Starting in Windows 11 Build 25247, the Start menu includes websites in addition to your recent files in the Recommended section. The change is unwanted for many, as the links it shows look like ads or promotions. If you are not happy to see them, here’s how to disable them.


The Start menu in Windows 11 is quite different from what we used to have in its predecessor. It no longer includes Live Tiles. The pinned app area is now much smaller, but can have several pages. So this way you can have as many pinned apps as you want without making the Start pane take the whole screen.

There are also two more sections, Office files and Recommended. The first one displays the files you were working with via OneDrive and online Office apps. Another one shows your local files, frequently used shortcuts, so you can quickly go back where you left of.

At some point someone at Microsoft decided to add to the last section links to websites. Website recommendations perhaps is the least expected thing when you open the Start menu. So the change has caused users to search for a solution in order to remove those links.

Websites In Recommended Section Of Start Menu

Sadly, the Start menu doesn’t include a single option to turn off recommended websites, at least for the moment of this writing. But you can disable them with help of free and open-source ViveTool app.

Starting in Windows 11 Version 22H2, Build 22621.1926, Microsoft has added an option to get rid of link suggestions that are based on your browsing history. To disable the website recommendations, do the following.

Disable Websites in Recommended Section of Start Menu

  1. Open the Settings app by pressing Win + I or any other method you like.
  2. On the left, click on Personalization.
  3. On the right, select Start.
  4. Finally, on the next page, turn off the toggle option Show websites from your browsing history.Disable Websites in Recommended Section of Start Menu

That' it! The Start menu will no longer show you the link recommendations.

However, if your Windows 11 doesn't come with the option reviewed above, you can try with ViVeTool. There's a great chance that it will help you disabling the link recommendations in Start.

Using ViVeTool

  1. Download ViveTool from GitHub, and extract all its files to the c:\vivetool folder.
  2. Press the Win + X keys together on the keyboard, and select Terminal (Admin) from the menu.Open Terminal As Admin
  3. In the Terminal app, switch to PowerShell or Command Prompt, and type the following command: c:\vivetool\vivetool /disable /id:40059556.Disable Website recommendations with ViVeTool
  4. Restart Windows 11.
  5. Now you should not have website recommendations in the Windows 11 Start menu.

Keep in mind that this is an unofficial way to manage the feature. It may stop working at any moment once Microsoft decides to disable this ability for the end user. The commands are tested on Windows 11 Build 25247 and may stop working in forthcoming releases. You can check what build you have installed by pressing Win + R and typing winver in the Run box.

You can restore web links in the Recommended section of the Start menu at any moment later.

Enable web links in the Start menu of Windows 11

You can make the Start menu show web links in the Recommended section of the Start menu by running the following command.

c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:40059556

Enable Web Links In Windows 11 Start Menu

Also, you can make the Start pane show up 2 links instead of the one. The command for that is

c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:40059556 /variant:3

If the above command doesn't work for you, replace 3 with 4 in the variant option. The command will look as follows.

c:\vivetool\vivetool /enable /id:40059556 /variant:4

The last command on Windows 11 build 25247 makes the Start menu look as follows.

Two Websites In The Start Menu

If you are not happy with the Start menu of Windows 11, you can go with the open-source app Open Shell, formely known as “Classic Shell”, or get a cheap alterntive StartisAllBack. Both apps will restore more traditional Start panel for you without extra additions and online links.

Thanks to @PhantomOfEarth

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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