Group configuration: news and interests on the Windows taskbar

Published 04-22-2021 09:05 AM 14.8K Views

News and interests on the taskbar will begin rolling out to Windows 10 users today. We are taking a measured approach starting with the April 2021 Cumulative Update Preview for Windows 10, and broad availability will occur in phases. 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.

Today, on the Windows Experience blog, we announced that news and interests will be available on the Windows taskbar in the coming weeks. Designed to help Windows users stay up to date, at a glance, with weather, news, and more, this experience was first introduced to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel in January and we have since been optimizing the experience based on Insider feedback.

When the experience rolls out to their devices, users will see a personalized weather forecast based on their location on the taskbar. To quickly check in on the latest headlines, weather, sports, and more, they can simply open news and interests, get caught up, and get back to what they were doing.

News and interests on the Windows taskbar offers personalized content at a glanceNews and interests on the Windows taskbar offers personalized content at a glance

The information shown in news and interests is personalized for individual users. Users can customize the content they see, enabling scenarios like the following:

  • Keep an eye on nearby weather and traffic that may impact a commute.
    To change the location shown for weather and traffic updates, select More options (…) on the Weather or Traffic card, and select Edit Location.
  • Follow a topic related to professional or personal interests.
    Follow a specific topic related to an industry, job role, or subject to learn more about. To follow a specific topic, select Manage Interests and select or search for a topic.
  • Get personalized updates on stocks.
    Keep an eye on major market indicators, see top gainers or losers, or create a watch list of stocks to see updates throughout the day.
  • Share, save or see more stories.
    Select More options (…) on headlines and articles in news and interests on the taskbar to share them with others or save them to read later. Users can also request to see more or fewer stories like the ones shown.

In addition, the appearance of news and interests on the taskbar can be customized. Users can choose to right click or long press a blank space on the taskbar and select News and interests to customize. They can choose Show icon and text or, to save taskbar space, select Show icon only. Users can also select Turn off to unpin news and interests. For more information on customizing news and interests, see the Support page

Manage news and interests on the taskbar with policy

In addition to personalization for individual users, Windows and Microsoft 365 IT admins can easily manage the way news and interests on the taskbar is configured for the devices they manage.

To manage news and interests on the taskbar with Group Policy, locate:

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > News and interests > Enable news and interests on the taskbar 

The news and interests setting in Group PolicyThe news and interests setting in Group Policy

Through this policy, you can disable or enable the news and interests experience on the taskbar. If you leave the setting as “Not configured” the experience will be enabled by default.

  • Enabled – News and interests will be allowed on the taskbar. The settings UI will be present in the Taskbar context menu, and users will be able to turn it off or switch modes.
  • Disabled – News and interests will be turned off completely, and the settings UI in the Taskbar context menu will be removed.

Configuring news and interests via Group PolicyConfiguring news and interests via Group Policy

Microsoft Endpoint Manager offers the same policy configuration options:

Configuring news and interests policy in Microsoft Endpoint ManagerConfiguring news and interests policy in Microsoft Endpoint Manager

Learn more

For more information on configuring the news and interests experience for your users, please see the Policy CSP - Experience article in Windows client mobile device management documentation.

 

25 Comments
Occasional Contributor

Where will we get the updated ADMX/ADML files for this?

Regular Visitor
Contributor

Will this be automatically enabled for all Windows 10 SKUs? 

Or will it be disabled for Windows 10 for Education or Enterprise versions? 

Contributor

Hi, is there a registry that we could set as a preference to disable by default, but give the possibility to users to enable if they want it.

 

Please don't enforce by default on Enterprise devices.

Occasional Visitor

This site list the following Reg key

https://www.thewindowsclub.com/enable-or-disable-news-and-interests-on-taskbarhttps://pureinfotech.c...


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Feeds]
"ShellFeedsTaskbarViewMode"=dword:00000002

 

I would also like to know when new ADMX/ADML will be released.

Valued Contributor

Thank you for sharing, I believe this is not applicable in case user is in Tablet mode , so wondering do you have any plan to extend this experience in the Tablet mode too?

It would be nice to have ability to sync this with the customization in the Microsoft Edge too.

Senior Member

Is the group policy only for Enterprise and Education editions? 

 

It's currently not applying to a "Pro for Workstations" edition.

Occasional Visitor

I find a lot of the updates screw up a lot of the configurations which I have set and have to reset over and over again. I also read the new terms which were updated and laughed at the 75k. I think we all enjoy our updates when they do not screw up our hardware issues. I like having the ability to call and ask live people questions too. Last year when we updated a lot of things went dark and then blinked back on. I am the admin for all of my tech and yet... Anyway. I am glad you are still working on things and attempting to keep the world on a level playing field. Keep up the work. No real question as I turn things off and on when I choose to. I just wish sometimes when I am on my desktop and I click a link I am reading it would not automatically take me to my sons account on Google.. that's kind of annoying to me. 

As for using microsoft...always and forever...even if the affordability becomes an issue at times. Cheers!

Contributor
@sgl76 thank you for the reg key, but I'm wondering if just creating a GPP that deletes this registry key if Windows will put it back again.
 
 Guess we'll have to test and/or hope MS stops from doing this change like they did for the Bing Bar and leave it as on option.
 

 

Super Contributor

Will this eventually be configurable to only consume company Intranet news from a SharePoint communications site?  

New Contributor

When you create the new profile under configuration policies you can get access to these settings by selecting Settings catalog under Profile Type.

Occasional Visitor

OMG, stop pushing your bull**bleep**. Updated this morning and have researched for 40 minutes to find a way to disable this **bleep**. Right click blank space and select News and **bleep**s. I don't have it. What should i do now? Leave a **bleep**load of news I donmt need on my taskbar?

Regular Visitor

@MaderFakers simmer down.

Senior Member

I can confirm this group policy works in all editions of Windows 10, but does require to either restart the explorer.exe process, sign out/in, or restart the computer to apply.

 

https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/178178-how-enable-disable-news-interests-taskbar-windows-10-a.ht...

Super Contributor

For enterprises we need updated admx for that. I wonder when they are going to update them (still 10/8/2020 the latest). I fear they will only update admx when 21H1 is released, which might happen later than this widget is enabled everywhere. Microsoft, any news or ETA on when admx might be available?

New Contributor

Microsoft never seems to get the message that enterprises DON'T WANT them to make decisions about "helping" our employees.  Like others have posted, we need group policy available BEFORE the changes are implemented and then WE will decide what is enabled on our PCs after we have a chance to measure the impact.  Heck, most of the features Microsoft implements are indeed helpful, but decisions have to be made at the local level.

What are the endpoint URL for Windows feeds ? Some users are using VPN, so we may need to use split tunneling to avoid having the wrong location.

Senior Member

Although Microsoft hasn't published a download of updated ADMX files since last year, you can get them by updating a Windows 10 to the latest patch level, going to Windows/PolicyDefinitions on that machine, sorting by date and copying the new ADMX files (and the ADML files in the language sub-folder). The file for News and Interests is called Feeds.admx and will carry the date on which you patched the machine.

Occasional Visitor

While it is a good feature for consumer, what is in it for Companies? Companies always worry/deny about access content outside their organization even if it is News. If this feature can be made to be able configure to showcase Company news/notification/information this would be USP for companies otherwise mostly this would be disabled as they worry about opening public internet. 

Super Contributor

Do you mean new admx will be added with May monthly update? Because i don't see Feeds.admx on my up to date 1909 or 20H2 machines.

New Contributor

We have 20H2 and no feeds.admx., yet.  I guess it's supposed to become available with the May CU?  Very low quality process for businesses, who must update at least one PC before any others, search for the policy files, and copy them up to our Domain Controllers.  If there are new Group Policies, they should be distributed as templates, not picked out of individual PCs.  Inefficient and unprofessional, as far as I'm concerned.

Senior Member

@rejohnson That seems to be exactly what they expect you to do: update one PC and search for the ADMX files to copy to the domain controllers. They did the same thing with the feature to turn off Internet Explorer 11 as a standalone browser (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/deployedge/edge-ie-disable-ie11), where you had to patch Windows and copy inetres.admx. I have feeds.admx with a computer patched with KB5001391, the preview build for the May updates. Interestingly it there is no sign of News and Interests being installed, so I'm not sure what they mean by "phased rollout". Does that mean one day, unpredictably, it will just appear?

Super Contributor

Yes, they are doing this often now. They push updated bits in monthly update but with a switch being off and then they send ON signal from their servers to selected machines in waves.

 

I guess i have to wait until next week Patch Tuesday (we don't usually install previews) or download and install preview update manually to get the admx.

Super Contributor

I have installed preview of May update and copied out Feeds.admx with adml. Will ask our AD team to import and maybe do a change next week.

Occasional Visitor

This up date is pretty cool If I'm honest, being able to make this easier is a good idea. Normally I'll just enter microsoft edge and see what's happening in the weather or just use the weather app but I have a question... This update is cool like I said but when can my friend change her font...? Literally we both like this font called

"UD Digi kyokasho NK-B" but we don't want to use commands and then get a bigger issue so please make a feature where we can change fonts and btw I'm just a translator so don't mind me, I'm just typing what she said.

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‎Apr 22 2021 10:59 AM
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