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

Microsoft is once again introducing pop-ups into its Google Chrome browser in an attempt to get people to switch to Bing. The software giant first introduced malware-like pop-up ads last year with a prompt appearing over apps and other windows. After pausing this notification to address “unintended behavior,” the popups returned on Windows 10 and 11.

Windows users have reported seeing the new pop-up in recent days, which advertises Bing AI and Microsoft's Bing search engine within Google Chrome. If you click Yes to this prompt, Microsoft will set Bing as the default search engine for Chrome. These latest claims sound like malware, and it's happened again Windows users ask Whether it is legitimate or evil. Microsoft has confirmed to the edge Pop-ups are real and should only appear once.

“This is a one-time notification that gives people the option to set Bing as their default search engine on Chrome,” Caitlin Rolston, director of communications, says in a statement. the edge. Rolston framed the pop-up as offering perks to Windows users, where they could get more Copilot chat sessions if they accepted the notification. “We value offering our customers freedom of choice, so there is an option to decline notification.”

Microsoft used similar popups in Windows last year.
Screenshot by Tom Warren/The Verge

If Microsoft really valued providing Windows users choice, they would provide an easy way to disable these pop-ups for good. There are a variety of ways Microsoft tries to prompt Windows users to switch to Bing and Edge, making it difficult to avoid them by tweaking settings.

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I've become increasingly frustrated with Microsoft's attempts to aggressively push pop-up ads on Chrome users in recent years. Microsoft uses pop-ups within Chrome, on the Windows taskbar, and elsewhere to promote its own services. Microsoft once even forced people to use Edge after a Windows update, and regularly presents a full-screen message to try to convince Windows users to switch to Bing and Edge after applying updates.

Earlier this year, Microsoft had to fix an issue where its Edge browser was automatically importing browsing and tab data from Chrome without consent. I've encountered the bug personally. After I restarted my computer to get 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,” and it's been just over six months. I still hope that Microsoft will eventually abandon these annoying pop-ups and respect Windows users' choice to choose which search engine and browser they want to use.

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