Get to know your Microsoft Advertising account modes

Compare Smart Mode and Expert Mode.

Your Microsoft Advertising experience will slightly differ depending on the mode that you're in. Each mode represents how much time you're willing and able to devote to advertising, as well as goals you have and features you prioritize. Get familiar with the different modes below, as well as how to switch them.


Please note that the mode you're in upon signing up for Microsoft Advertising may vary depending on your location.

Before you start, be sure to identify whether you're in Smart Mode or Expert Mode. Compare Modes

Smart Mode


Smart Mode is only available in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Smart Mode is a streamlined, simple experience that lets Microsoft Advertising's AI take care of most of the nuts and bolts of ad campaign management. It's a great way for small businesses and novice advertisers to start off advertising on the Microsoft Search Network.

Expert Mode

Expert Mode is the full-featured Microsoft Advertising experience. It gives you more control over campaign management, lets you add more content to your ads, and provides more performance reporting and tracking. Expert mode is perfect for advanced marketers and advertisers who want to fine-tune every aspect of their campaign.

Comparing Smart Mode and Expert Mode

Smart Mode Expert Mode
Content you can have in your ads Text, phone number Text, phone number, images, maps, reviews, prices, and more
Ad campaign types you can use Search campaigns Search, shopping, and audience campaigns
What determines how much you pay for each click Bidding (setting how much each click is worth) is completely handled by Microsoft Advertising. You can set bids manually or choose from several different automated bid strategies.
How you can target your ads Customer location, keyword themes Customer location, day of the week or time of day, device type, age, gender, LinkedIn profile information, past interaction with your website (remarketing), and more
What campaign performance metrics are available Spend, clicks, impressions, search phrases, phone calls, device type, customer action tracking (conversions) Dozens of additional metrics, and the ability to run reports (automatically, if you choose) on any combination of them.
How you create a campaign Specify the campaign basics (goals, website, targeted locations, keyword themes, ads, and budget) with suggestions from Microsoft based on your business website. Specify all details of a new campaign or review all details of an imported campaign. You can also import campaign data from Google Ads and Facebook Ads.
Can use Microsoft Advertising Editor and other third-party tools No Yes
Offers social media management No No

Switching modes

Your business can benefit from any of the campaign modes offered by Microsoft Advertising. However, if you desire a specific mode that best fits your advertising goals, here's how you can switch.

How to switch from Smart Mode to Expert Mode

Once you switch from Smart Mode to Expert Mode, you can't switch back. However, you can always edit your smart campaigns from Expert Mode, just like you would any other campaign.

  1. From the top menu, select Tools > Switch to Expert Mode.
  2. Select Switch to Expert Mode when prompted to confirm that you're sure you want to switch to Expert Mode.

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