Group configuration: news and interests on the Windows taskbar

Published Apr 22 2021 09:05 AM 87.6K 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

Update 2021.05.07:  To access the policy for news and interests on the taskbar, on a device that has installed the April 2021 Cumulative Update Preview (or May 2021 quality update), navigate to C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions and locate the file called Feeds.admx. For your convenience, we have also published an updated version of the Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 10, version 20H2 to the Microsoft Download Center.

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.

 

59 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?  

Occasional Contributor

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

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.

Frequent 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.

Thank you all for providing feedback on this new feature and the support you need to effectively manage it for your devices. We have updated the blog post to clarify that, once a device has installed the April 2021 Cumulative Update Preview (or May 2021 quality update), you can configure the policy by navigating to C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions and locating the file called Feeds.admx. As noted above, for your convenience, we have also published an updated version of the Administrative Templates (.admx) for Windows 10, version 20H2 to the Microsoft Download Center.

Senior Member

The v2 updated Administrative Templates for Windows 10 version 20H2 Microsoft has published contains the new feeds.admx. However it has the old version of inetres.admx (without the policy to turn off IE 11 as a standalone browser) , so it is not a reliable collection of up-to-date templates for 20H2. WindowsUpdate.admx is newer than the original release, but earlier than the one I have. This is a real mess.

Frequent Visitor

will that help change the font or...? I'm unsure sorry.

Occasional Visitor

Will someone please help me with something, and I cannot find a thread that addresses it specifically.

 

"News and Interests" appeared on my taskbar after an update, and it was working perfectly. Then (poof) - it was gone. After some research I found how to turn it back on again, and it appears on the taskbar - but when I click or hover on it - all I get is a blank slate and a spinning wheel.  It never shows the news I had on it before. I have enabled the group policy for all users as indicated here, but to no avail. 

 

 

Can someone help me? I have Win 10 Professional. 

Occasional Visitor

Microsoft, with all due respect, what the heck are you guys thinking there?

 

For context, I have just had this feature rolled out to some of our Windows 10 Pro non-domain joined PCs on 20H2.

 

Firstly, how did this feature even pass testing? Whenever you mouse over it, it hijacks 1/4 of the screen real estate, which is very annoying.

 

Secondly, do you care to elaborate how the data gets personalised despite having every privacy setting already enabled and using a 3rd party browser (Firefox) with all of it's privacy settings, including uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger extensions enabled?

 

Thirdly, why has this new feature been pushed out of band and not with the 21H1 update? Isn't the whole point of the 6-monthly feature update to enable the new features? so Why was it enabled outside of the feature update when these kinds of changes could be expected from the feature update? And the Insiders only tested this on 21H1. The correct thing to do would have been to enable it with 21H1 only because this has not been properly tested on prior builds. If someone really wanted it on a prior build (for some reason), it should be a deliberate act to enable this functionality path.

 

Fourth, how is it exactly that features are silently being enabled on our PCs without even as much a log in the Windows Update interface? Is there a log of these silent enablements somewhere? Is there a news feed to subscribe to so that we can be aware of any silent enablements/disablements which could be coming our way or do we need to sign up to every Microsoft blog in existence and hope to stumble upon that information with less than a months notice? If we experience an issue as a result of a change, it makes it a lot harder to troubleshoot when you are not being transparent about the actions you are taking on the state of our PCs.

 

Fifth, from the tone of the most in making it "easily" managed and then providing all these tools for IT admins to disable it, it sounds like you already know and anticipate that most users would not want this useless feature which only gets in the way, so why did you even inflict it on your users in the first place? Thank you for even working new features at all, I'm sure a few fans like it, but I'm sure that anyone who would actually want it could simply just turn it on.

 

Sixth, following from above, what is the setting which we can deploy to disable all feature related enablements similar to this one in the future, so that we don't get a repeat of this where we are forced to react after the fact? I understand that sometimes some performance/compatibility/crash etc. fixes get silently (refer to Point 4 why this is wrong) but those fixes are actually good, I want those fixes to keep coming (just not silently), but we should have more control to be able to prevent the unnecessary/feature related enablements from coming through. You know that we are just going to turn it off anyway, so why do you even waste your time and ours trying to force it on us, when you know that we are going to disable it anyway.

 

Microsoft, please do better. You are just hurting your customer's trust when you pull stunts like this.

New Contributor

Update KB5003214 (OS Builds 19041.1023, 19042.1023, and 19043.1023) Preview breaks the taskbar.
See this discussion on answers.microsoft.com .

 

You will see this if:

 

- KB5003214 is installed

- News and Interests on the taskbar is turned off, and

- Your DPI scaling (Settings|System|Display|Scale and layout is other (larger?) than 100%

I had experienced the exact same problem when I tried the preview update.

Frequent Visitor

Hopefully the group policy will be enhanced to fine-tune the feature instead of just "off or on".  For example, being able to set "open on hover" off and blocking specific interests and information cards by policy.

Occasional Visitor

Hi, the news and interests just cover other icons in my taskbar. please fix this bug. 

 

news and interests offnews and interests offnews and interests onnews and interests on3.PNG

Contributor

Hi, anyone else got it in Endpoint Manager (M365 Business Premium on Windows Pro) - all devices, not even single error on any other policies (Settings Catalog), just this one.

 

MDM ConfigurationManager: Command failure status. Configuration Source ID: (04462548-B2E3-480A-8969-EB94AE7B504F), Enrollment Name: (MDMDeviceWithAAD), Provider Name: (Policy), Command Type: (Add: from Replace or Add), CSP URI: (./Device/Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/Feeds/FeedsEnabled), Result: (Unknown Win32 Error code: 0x82b00006).

 

MDM PolicyManager: Set policy int, Policy: (FeedsEnabled), Area: (Feeds), EnrollmentID requesting set: (04462548-B2E3-480A-8969-EB94AE7B504F), Current User: (Device), Int: (0x0), Enrollment Type: (0x6), Scope: (0x0), Result:(0x82B00006) Unknown Win32 Error code: 0x82b00006.

 

MDM PolicyManager: Policy is rejected by licensing, Policy: (FeedsEnabled), Area: (Feeds), Result:(0x82B00006) Unknown Win32 Error code: 0x82b00006.

 

Occasional Visitor

Where do I find this policy in Endpoint manager? I have checked under Device restrictions and Templates but cant seem to the find the News and interests policy.

Contributor

@Jay_Shark 

Opti-IT_0-1623245013449.png

Devices -> Configuration Profiles ->Create Profile -> Windows 10 and later -> Settings Catalog

 

 

New Contributor

!@#$%^&^%$#@! Why is Microsoft rolling out "features" like this set as enabled? It is my desktop, not yours. Why is the user not asked if he/she want a sort of tabloid newspaper on his taskbar? Why isn't there a normal setting to disable this and do we have to dig into group policy?

My management is furious about this: "stop making our business desktop look like a budget Android phone!" We want an operating system, not a lifestyle! If want to know the weather or any sort of news there are thousands of easy ways to get that.

Occasional Visitor

Yes thanks Microsoft for keeping me in a job, I now have to disable this because because news article's about and I quote "Jada Pinkett Smith joins daughter Willow and mum for joint vaginal steaming session" is somewhat not really appropriate for the corporate network.

Contributor

I think it shouldn't be installed on Pro and Enterprise version at all, this is something nobody wants except the team or a person who created that.

Occasional Visitor

I'm seeing this start to roll out with my client base now, and while I don't mind the feature, it's struggling with location detection - I'm in Invercargill NZ, the weather app is using Invercargill, but the location in use for weather in News & Interests is defaulting to Auckland. Is there a way to set this in group policy?

 

Also, it might just be me but the text seems fuzzy, like the font has been scaled badly. I'm running 100% zoom and FHD on a 23.8" display so it isn't zoom or high DPI screwing it up.

arjoll_0-1623357267123.png

 

Super Contributor

I noticed the same fuzziness on my parents cheap laptop with 720p i think. Before i went and turned this thing off :D

Occasional Visitor

Hello,

 

My domain controller is a WS 2016. I can't find "News & Interests" in my GPOs. I am in version 1607 14393.4467


why don't I have the option?

 

Thank you.

Super Contributor

You need to import relevant admx files for current Windows 10 versions. This feature is not included on the servers. Look for feeds.admx in the comments. You can get it from a machine that updated or download latest admx files package from MS.

Occasional Contributor

How did this get passed insider builds? Within the first 5 minutes of using it I noticed several issues major issues. Why is Microsoft constantly releasing features that are barely completed and broken? Even though this feature is disabled in group policy it corrupts our system tray and clock. Is there anyone left in the Windows team with common sense? Why are new features included in cumulative updates? I miss Windows 7 where I didn't have to deal with Microsoft's useless broken features getting slipped into my computers without notice like its some sort of malware.

Super Contributor

What do you mean by corruption of system tray and clock? We have group policy since beginning of May and i haven't noticed yet any problems (already installed June updates). Using 1909/20H2 versions.

Occasional Visitor

Ok, so most of the time if my bugs get too overwhelming I pick up the phone and call someone for help. However I also first shut down and reboot- I also unplug everything sometimes and leave it for a day or so. And I check for any updates and or notes I may have missed. I do not use azura but edge- I tried explorer 15 and it was not really any different than any of the others- at least not from my view point. I do note that office keeps trying to put me back to 2016 which I laugh at- I was using word, a free app until something popped and it kept trying to get me to pay for a year- Son is still in College and gets it free and sometimes uses my pc even though I have attempted to stop him and told him to use his own... SIGH- I also note- I go to google and use Drive now when word gives me grief. I am not a bot- I do not want to have to use my typewriter but will if I really have to and or when I want to and really do not want the thought police giving me grief. 

As for bugs and updates- I update and then the computer in my room wants to control stuff- pass. Microsoft wants to save my passwords- pass. Google wants to save my passwords. Pass... There is a reason we have passwords- and its not so the platforms can control them even though if you read the fine print, they save them anyway- I just like to think its not my stuff thats being hacked as much as its Microsofts or Googles- I mean, how many times do you hear about people getting hacked on facebook and other places? So, yeah... face and voice- can't seem to turn it off- Am still trying and have not given up. I have never given Samsung permission or Bixby but it still thinks it can save my voice and or listen to my phone calls- thats rather annoying to me. 

Do I send emails? rarely- and only if I just do not want to deal with the phone- Do I send letters? Yes. And I hand write them most of the time so yeah... the internet is a great place to have fun and learn new things however privcy is never there- NEVER. Everything you say or do is public. I have deleted myself at least five times off of some platforms, how much do you want to bet they are still there? I have a dollar- So, updates can also destroy your systems if you do not have a strong enough hard drive- So yeah.. thats what I have to say today. Cheers!

Super Contributor

Now we are starting to get reports from users that systray is broken after June updates. Seems to affect only 1909 version. News widget blocked via GPO since beginning of May. Don't see it happening on 20H2 or 21H1. But we have 10k on 1909 and won't move to later version soon. Sure hope MS will stop screwing around and start working on fixing this stuff.. It looks like backporting this "feature nobody asked for" to older versions was not a good decision. Or maybe just lack of testing. "Heck, it works on the latest, should be fine.."

Occasional Contributor

I submitted a change request to our team and our IT team voted unanimously to eliminate this bandwidth sucking, time wasting, taskbar distorting garbage.

 

This should not have defaulted to on.  What a waste for business and enterprise customers.

 

taskbardistortion.jpg

Super Contributor

Is it with widget on? We are getting reports with this issue and we already have blocked this in GPO in advance. So now i am pushing back the enable widget GPO to affected users. All on 1909 so far. I have read that this issue was noticed in preview update and it still shipped as final...

Occasional Contributor

I changed it to disabled, rebooted, and voila, taskbar is back to the way it was for the last 10 working years.  I can now access my tray icons, adjust volume, notification, see the date and time clearly, and right-click shows no evidence that this feature ever rolled out.

 

I would suggest other IT departments do the same.  Can't wait to see what "Windows 11" is going to look like on June 24, 2021 at 11 AM.

Super Contributor

What do you mean by "disabled". Via GPO, registry or manually? It works ok if you don't disable it via GPO, but manually turn it off. But if you disabled it via GPO in some cases it brakes taskbar (systray).

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Last update:
‎May 07 2021 01:02 PM
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