The wait is almost over. Windows 11 will FINALLY feature an ad for Game Pass in the Settings app next month

Windows 11 Settings app
Microsoft will add an advertisement for Game Pass to the Windows 11 Settings app. (Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft just rolled out a preview update for Windows 11 that includes an ad for Game Pass within the Settings app.
  • If testing goes well, the same update will ship to general users in July 2024.
  • The update also includes some other changes, such as the addition of support for creating 7-Zip and Tape Archive files through the context menu.

Certain as the sun rising in the east, Microsoft ships new updates to Windows each month. Ahead of the usual Patch Tuesday updates, Microsoft rolls out a preview update to Windows. If testing goes well, the company then releases the same update for general users. These preview updates are often minor when it comes to new features and focus on general improvements. There are, however, some preview updates (and following Patch Tuesday updates) with noteworthy additions. That's the case with Windows 11 Builds 22621.3810 and 22631.3810, which just became available in preview.

Starting with those builds, Windows 11 will show a Game Pass recommendation ad within the Settings app. The advertisement will appear on both Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro if you actively play games on your PC. Microsoft lists this feature first under the "Highlights" section of its blog post about the update.

Windows 11 Settings app showing ad for Game Pass

Microsoft began testing an ad for Game Pass within the Windows 11 Settings app in April 2024, and it will now ship that ad to general Windows users. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 11 already includes several ads and Microsoft continues to test new ways to monetize its operating system. We have a guide on how to disable annoying ads on Windows 11 that we'll need to update after July's Patch Tuesday updates ship.

Below are the additions and changes gradually rolling out to all users but that you may not see on your system yet as well as changes that are rolling out normally, as outlined by Microsoft:

Builds 22621.3810 and 22631.3810: Gradual rollout

  • New! This update adds a new Game Pass recommendation card on the Settings home page. This home page shows on Home and Pro editions when you sign in to Windows using your Microsoft account. The card appears if you actively play games on your PC.
  • New! The show desktop button is on the taskbar again by default. To change this, right-click the taskbar and choose Taskbar settings. At the lower part of the page, you will find Taskbar behaviors
  • New! This update affects File Explorer. You can now create 7-Zip and Tape Archive (TAR) files using the context menu. When you right-click a file, a Compress to item gives you ways to compress a file using tools like gzip, bzip2, and more. There is also a new compression wizard in Additional options. It will help you choose more formats and add details. You can use different types of compression to add many files to archives in other TAR formats. You can also change the compression level and choose the types of data to store in each archive.
  • New! This update adds support for Emoji 15.1. Windows supports Unicode symbol-like shapes for family groupings. But Windows will keep using people for them. Also, you can choose the right or left facing direction for some people emoji. The new emoji are:
  • Horizontal and vertical head shake
  • Phoenix
  • Lime
  • Brown mushroom
  • Broken chain
  • New! You can now copy files from the Windows Share window. Just click the new Copy button.
  • New! This update starts the rollout of the new account manager on the Start menu. When you use a Microsoft account to sign in to Windows, you will get a glance at your account benefits. This feature also makes it easy to manage your account settings.

Builds 22621.3810 and 22631.3810: Normal rollout

  • This update addresses an issue that affects Snipping Tool. When you use it to record videos on some PCs, the audio has distortions.
  • This update addresses an issue that affects the touch keyboard. You cannot use it to enter special characters. This occurs when you use the Japanese 106 keyboard.
  • This update addresses an issue that affects USB devices. Ejecting them using the Safely Remove Hardware option fails. This occurs when Task Manager is open.
Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at

  • 1078mac
    Do I still have to see the Ad if I am already a gamepass subscriber? If I already pay for it I should not have to see a BS ad
  • wojtek
    OMG...Microsoft is definitely working hard to make me want to use windows less and less xD
  • naddy69
    So, you are actually waiting to see ads in Windows? Really?
  • Arun Topez
    Why should we get a Game Pass when according to their AI CEO all content online is freeware?