News and interesting topics: this is how it works

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After the Windows taskbar function “News and Interesting Topics” was only available to voluntary testers in the Windows Insider Program for months, Microsoft released the “News bar” for all Windows 10 users at the end of May 2021. But while the feature was mostly well received by the testers, many “normal” users were surprised or annoyed – also because of teething troubles that have since been eliminated. In this guide, COMPUTER BILD explains how you can adapt the news bar to your real interests, prevent accidental opening of the widget or completely deactivate the function.

Content:

KB5003214
The news bar update KB5003214 appears after a manual update search.

Install news and interesting topics

  1. Click in the start menu Settings and then on Update and security.
  2. After clicking on Looking for updates the optional update appears as in the picture above.
  3. Then click on Download and install.
  4. After the process, click on Restart now.
Hover effect
The hover effect of the new news bar annoys many users, but it can be switched off.

Prevent accidental opening

The “News and Interesting Topics” feature appears at the bottom right in the taskbar as a button with temperature and weather information – see picture at the top. If you click or point to it with the mouse, the news bar opens and shows all sources of information on weather data, news, sports results, share prices and other news. But there is also a problem here: Because the so-called hovering – moving the mouse over it – is sufficient to display the info widget, it often appears unintentional – and annoying. How to turn off the annoying behavior:

  1. Right click the button News and interesting topics in the system tray.
  2. On the menu that appears, click or point to News and interesting topics.
  3. click on Open on hoverto remove the check mark.

From now on, the news bar only opens after a mouse click on its system tray icon.

My themes
In the “My Topics” area, you can specify which news Microsoft will show you.

Personalize news feed and hide topics

The content shown is based on the Microsoft news feed. As soon as you click on an article, it opens in the Edger browser. Also and with a click on Show more messages takes you to the MSN page. To customize Microsoft News to suit your personal interests:

  1. Click the button on the taskbar News and interesting topics.
  2. In the news widget that appears, click in the top right corner Manage. The current newsfeed then appears in the Edge browser.
  3. In the upper right, click Personalize. As in the picture above, the “My Topics” area appears.
  4. In the navigation area on the left, click on an interesting topic, for example Sports.
  5. Mark all interesting topics by clicking on the plus sign, for example formula 1 and Bundesliga. This way, go through all of the subject categories.
  6. Attention: Microsoft only shows a selection of topics here. If you can’t find something, use the search function by clicking on What should be shown in your feed. After entering “Bundesliga”, for example, you will also find the Second Bundesliga.
  7. The news widget is also adaptive. For example, if you find a particular piece of news in the widget uninteresting, simply close it with a click X, choose Not interested in this article and Update your feed. Microsoft News will remember this and will show you less news of this kind in the future.

Customize and hide info cards

In addition to the selected news, the widget also shows special info cards. This includes the weather map, the finance map with share prices, the sports map and the traffic map with current traffic information at your location. To customize the selection:

  1. Click the button on the taskbar News and interesting topics.
  2. For example, if you want to hide the financial map, click next to “Interesting stocks” on the three dots and in the list on Hide finance card. You can also use the same menu to access the settings for the relevant info card or, in the example, add certain share prices.
  3. To show a map again, click in the top right corner of the widget Manage, then on Page settings and activate the switch under “Finance”.
  4. If the info card does not reappear in the widget, click the round arrow in the upper right next to “Manage” to update your feed.

Correct wrong location

Are the traffic map and weather map showing the wrong location? How to correct that:

  1. Click the button on the taskbar News and interesting topics.
  2. In the news widget that appears, click on the three dots on the top right of the weather or traffic tile.
  3. click on Change location.
  4. click on Specify location.
  5. In the search field that appears, type in the town or postcode and click on the appropriate search result.
  6. This is followed by a click on to save.

The correct dates will now appear. If that doesn’t work or if the content always stays the same, please note the next tip.

Connect the news bar to the Microsoft account

If you want to use your personalized newsfeed across all devices, according to Microsoft, all you need to do is log in with the same Windows account Sign in to Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge. Register directly with Microsoft News is not necessary and only has an effect on the website itself. If you use a local user account under Windows, log in at least in Edge so that the news bar takes over the personal settings. To sign in to Windows and Edge:
  1. If you are signing in to Windows with a Microsoft account, go directly to step 4. Otherwise, click the button on the taskbar News and interesting topics.
  2. In the upper right corner, click the three dots and Connect to a Microsoft account.
  3. click on Add account and sign in to Microsoft.
  4. Start Edge and click the people icon in the top right corner.
  5. click on Log In and log into the same Microsoft account.
  6. Then activate the function Synchronize with a click.

The newsfeed is currently (as of June 8, 2021) updated every 30 minutes, the interval can only be officially extended – and only by one level. To do this, click with the right mouse button on the system tray icon News and interesting topics, again on News and interesting topics and then on Reduce system tray updates. So far, however, this option has not had any effect. Instead, an intervention in the registry is necessary:

  1. Press the key combination Windows Key + R.
  2. Tap regedit and click OK as Yes.
  3. Double click on each HKEY_CURRENT_USER, software, Microsoft, Windows, CurrentVersion, Feeds, FeedRepositoryState and then right on FeedsNextRefreshIntervalMinutes.
  4. click on Decimal.
  5. Change the set value of 30 to 15 or 45, for example.
  6. click on OK and close the registry editor.

Shrink news and interesting topics

In addition to the weather symbol, the function in the Windows taskbar also shows the temperature on site and the weather forecast – but this takes up a lot of space. If the program icons and buttons are already jostling in the taskbar, reduce the display to the icon. It works like this:

  1. Right click the button News and interesting topics.
  2. In the list that appears, click or point to again News and interesting topics.
  3. click on Show symbol only.

Hide news and interesting topics

If you prefer to hide the news bar entirely, proceed as follows:

  1. Right click the button News and interesting topics.
  2. In the list that appears, click or point to again News and interesting topics.
  3. click on Turn off.

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