Update: Xiaomi has released an official statement on the matter and has stated that the ads are here to stay. They claim that they intend for ads to be as unobtrusive as possible and that "users will always have the option of receiving fewer recommendations." Basically, Xiaomi is saying that its phones are, and will remain, ad-supported. At least for the foreseeable future.
A lot of Xiaomi users recently complained of spotting ads in the Settings app of their phone, of all places. As if the online world does not have enough in-the-face ads already!
This was first reported by Reddit user u/chootingfeng, who revealed that his Xiaomi device, which runs the custom MIUI, is showing ads baked on top of the Settings app. As per his post, the user has been using a Xiaomi Mi Max 2, and a Mi Note LTE.
Xiaomi has been known to show ads in apps like Mi Browser, Mi File Manager, Mi Music, and other system apps. However, this never turned into much of an issue, because these are somewhat lesser used apps. But now baking ads in the settings app seems a little too overboard, given that the settings app is tied to the core functioning of the phone, and one tends to visit it on a very frequent basis.
We have reached out to Xiaomi to understand this move, however, the Xiaomi India support page on Twitter tweeted saying that the ads are placed in a “user-friendly” way and it would not conflict with the actual functioning of the OS or app.
We would like to inform you that the ads are placed in a manner to avoid any conflict with the actual functioning of the app. However, we will take your feedback into consideration and will always strive to give our customers the best user experience.
— Mi India Support (@MiIndiaSupport) September 17, 2018
Despite those words of encouragement for the ads by Xiaomi, many users are still upset, after a few also found that these ads were showing up even on the Mi A1 and Mi A2 devices, which run a stock Android OS.
How do I get rid of these ads?
So if you want to get rid of the ads, it is an easy process. Head to Settings > Additional settings > Privacy > Ad services and toggle off the "Personalized ad recommendations" option.
If you are also seeing ads in the File Manager, open the hamburger menu on the app, click Settings > About, and simply turn off "Recommendations". For other system apps like Mi Browser and Mi Music too, you will have to head to the app setting and turn of recommendation.