Microsoft started showing more ads in Outlook in iOS and Android

Microsoft started showing more ads in Outlook in iOS and Android

Microsoft has started bringing more notifications to Outlook mobile for iOS and Android in recent months. 

The Outlook mobile app gives users two options for organizing their inbox: a single inbox with everything in it, or a tabbed inbox divided into two categories: "focus" for important messages and "Other" for everything else. Previously, Microsoft only placed ads in the “More” tab for free users, but now Microsoft also adds them to single inbox mode. 

The change has been rolling out over the past few months and basically means that Microsoft is making it harder for free users to avoid ads in Outlook Mobile. No matter which inbox mode you use, there will be ads somewhere in the mix, either at the top of the More tab or at the top of your regular inbox. Indeed, the only way now to avoid ads in Outlook mobile is to pay for a Microsoft 365 subscription.

"For free Outlook users, ads are shown in their inbox, and they can choose to enable the 'Targeted Inbox' feature if they want to see ads only in the 'More' inbox. '," Microsoft spokesman Caitlin Roulston said in a statement. 

Ads appear at the top of the inbox and look like real emails, similar to how  Microsoft and Google to display ads in the web versions of Outlook and Gmail. You can swipe to delete the email-like ads, but they'll soon reappear, and opening an ad will display the ad in the in-app browser. 

No one likes the ads and Outlook Mobile users have left many complaints about the one-star rating for the app on the Apple app store. Some people on Twitter and Reddit also expressed frustration with more ads appearing in Outlook mobile, but the only way to avoid them now is to sign up for Microsoft 365.