The Xbox Metro dashboard has brought lots of shiny new features to the console, but many gamers are troubled by the amount of advertising appearing on there. Never ones to sit on problem, members of the gaming community have come up with a way to block the ads being sent to your Xbox.

While we would not advocate trying this yourself, there are many reports that it works, and helps stop Chuck Norris appearing on your dashboard when you least expect it.

There are two methods of removing the advertising, as detailed on Reddit, and both involve blocking the server that Microsoft is using to deliver advertising –

The first method is to block the domain via your router, if this feature is supported. After doing so, try to access the domain via a computer. If you receive a 404 or “security” error it means the address has been blocked. Receiving a 403 error means the address has not been blocked.

The second method involves using the free OpenDNS service, which can filter your connection and block specific sites. Instructions for doing this are below.

  1. Sign up for a free OpenDNS account.
  2. Add a network for your current IP address.
  3. Go to Advanced Settings and next to ‘Domain Typos’, check the box ‘Enable typo correction’, if it’s not already checked, and apply.
  4. Go to Web Content Filtering settings and set the filtering level to ‘None’, and under ‘Manage individual domains’, put and select ‘Always block’ and then click ‘Add domain’.
  5. On your Xbox, go to System Settings -> Network Settings -> (your connection) -> Configure Network -> DNS settings -> Manual, and enter the OpenDNS IP addresses for the primary and secondary DNS servers: and
  6. You may need to clear your hard drive cache before ads disappear entirely: System Settings -> Storage -> Hard Drive -> press Y -> Clear System Cache (note that you may have to re-download any title updates for any games you play after doing this)

Microsoft is keen for the Xbox to become a ‘true entertainment platform’, and its new dashboard, with its goal of targeted advertising, is a firm part of that plan. It is unlikely that the company will be happy for users to circumvent its advertising delivery system for long, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this workaround being nullified in the near future. Saying that, those gamers are a resourceful bunch.