Tired of ads in Windows 11? This free, straightforward third-party app might be just what you need to cut down the number of ads on your PC

If you’re a Windows 11 user who isn’t quite ready to leave the operating system behind but would like a break from seeing ads all over the place, I have some news that might make you feel better. There’s a free app that cuts out ads to make your Windows 11 experience a little less frustrating – it’s called OFGB, which amusingly stands for ‘Oh Frick Go Back.’ 

OFGB makes use of your system’s Windows Registry to disable all kinds of ads, including File Explorer ads, Lock Screen tips and tricks, Settings ads, “Finish Setup” ads, “Welcome Experience” ads, personalized ads, “Tailored Experiences, and Start Menu ads. It’s easy to use, and you can pick and pick and choose which of these you’d like to turn off by simply ticking the appropriate boxes (frankly, I’d recommend turning them all off).

How to get your hands on OFGB

You can download OFGB from its official GitHub page, and there are two versions: a self-contained (but larger) version and one that isn’t self-contained (meaning it depends on external software components to run). If you’re not familiar with coding and are unsure which version to get, I’d recommend the first version (OFGB-Deps.exe). 

Also, make sure you get one of the versions of the Source code files (I’d recommend the .zip file). Download these files, and click OFGB-Deps.exe to begin the installation. 

Oh frick, this is perfect

OFGB was created by Arch Linux user (Arch is a customizable version of Linux) xM4ddy on GitHub, who herself has had enough of Windows ads being injected in every nook and cranny of the OS. She gave the following quote about her frustrations with Tom’s Hardware: 

“Windows lost me a long time ago by adding more and more telemetry, ads, and the lack of easily configurable options.”

You can also see a demo and read more from the creator in her Reddit post publicizing the new app.

OFGB joins an existing platoon of third-party workarounds that enable you to make automated edits to the Windows Registry so that you see fewer ads. There’s also Wintoys, an app that recently saw a major update, and Tiny 11 Builder, a tool for creating your own slimmed-down version of Windows 11, which also recently got an upgrade. 

OFGB looks like a clean, straightforward solution if the ads are something that bothers you, but only if you’re confident about trying custom third-party apps – if you’re not, it’s best to stick to using Windows as it comes. 

That said, you might be looking to take the leap, and you wouldn’t be alone – Windows 11 is reportedly losing market share to its predecessor Windows 10, which is set to no longer be supported by Microsoft next year, and many people have been expressing their anger at Microsoft’s ramping up and insistent ads in Windows 11 for a good while now. I wonder if third-party apps like OFGB will continue to work, because I could see Microsoft making every effort to push ads through – as it clearly isn’t paying much attention to the chorus of existing complaints. 

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Tired of Windows File Explorer? This app makes it way easier to navigate everything on your PC

If you think that Windows 11’s File Explorer could be better, you’re not alone – and there’s a popular third party alternative, the Files app. The Files app (which despite its name, has no relation to Microsoft’s own File Explorer) just got an upgrade that makes it an even better tool for navigating your file systems, with the latest version of the app allowing users to navigate big folders more easily. 

The Files app update 3.2 brings user interface (UI) improvements like a list view layout for files and folders, the capability to edit album covers of media files via folder properties, and support for higher quality thumbnails. Along with UI improvements, users can also expect many fixes and general improvements.

According to Windows Central, the Files app’s occasional instability while handling large file folders was one of the biggest user complaints with it and this update addresses that, too. The app should now be more functional when users attempt to use it with bigger file folders.

A young woman is working on a laptop in a relaxed office space.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How the Files app measures up as a file explorer 

Windows Central does state that it doesn’t think the Files app is just ready to completely replace the default Windows Files Explorer, but that “it can be a powerful and useful companion app.” It offers unique features that File Explorer itself doesn’t offer and, to many users, it’s got a sleeker look. This app is available for both Windows 10 and Windows 11, but the app’s performance can vary from system to system. Window Central writes of its own investigation of the File app’s performance and it does report that the app has issues with performance and stability on some PCs. You can check the full change log of what Files version 3.2 delivers if you’d like to know more.

Many users would like to see Windows’ old File Explorer include many of the File app’s features, and maybe Microsoft is watching. It recently released its own proprietary PC Cleaner app, a system cleaner tool that offers lots of the tools of popular paid third-party system cleaners for free. Also, Microsoft’s been at the receiving end of some heat both from industry professionals and competitors, as well as regulators in the European Union with its recent introduction of the Digital Markets Act (DMA). Offering tools like PC Cleaner and a souped-up File Explorer could be a way for it to win back some user trust and goodwill. 

The existence of third-party apps like this is good for users two-fold because it can motivate first-party developers to improve their products faster, and it also gives users more choice over how they use their devices. The Files app looks like it sees regular updates and improvements, and definitely sounds like it could be worth users’ while given that it has no malware issues and if you get good performance upon installing it.

If you’d like to try out Files for yourself, bear in mind that it isn’t free: the app comes with a one-time charge of $ 8.99/£7.49, although thankfully there aren’t any subscription fees. You can download it directly from the Microsoft Store

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