A Guide To Windows 10 Privacy Settings

A Guide To Windows 10 Privacy Settings

The latest Windows 10 update, April 1803 came in the last week of April 2018 and with it came a lot of privacy settings changes. Soon, the update will release across the world. A lot of them are pretty significant and you should know about them.

In this post, we have listed step by step guide to know about updated Windows 10 privacy settings as per new update April 1803.

You can access Windows 10 Settings and head to Privacy in two ways:

  1. Press Windows key and I together to open Settings and select Privacy.
  2. Go to Start menu, head to Settings, then select Privacy.

Microsoft has divided the privacy menu into two parts: Windows Permissions, & App Permissions. Windows Permissions gather and use data to smoothen your Windows 10 experience. However, App permissions define how every single Windows 10 app uses data collection and privacy-related app permissions.

A Peek At Windows 10 Privacy Concerns:

Windows 10 came with new features along with the privacy violation features. One of the issues which got highlighted was data collection. Many things such as advertising within File Explorer and rumors about keyloggers added fuel to the fire. It made people think that: Is Windows set to violate your privacy by default?

Many of the data protection authorities, such as the Netherlands’ Data Protection Authority and European Union’s data protection watchdog and French government agree to the notion that Microsoft violates user privacy.  However, there is no clear revelation regarding the same.

Windows 10 Update & Privacy Settings:

Microsoft has never denied collecting data, and also provided a user with more control over how apps and other services connect. You can go ahead turn all privacy settings off or restrict access to your data, but when Windows 10 update resets your privacy settings to default. So, Windows 10 users investigate through the privacy settings to customize them accordingly.

Quick Hacks To Fix Windows 10 Privacy:

Let’s take direct control:

1. Modify Windows 10 Privacy Settings

As we have mentioned that in the basic setting you can do is switch everything off, however, with every update, all the privacy settings will set to default. So, all you need to do is, take out your valuable time and turn off every setting again.

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2. Turn Off Delivery Optimization

Windows 10 has a feature, Delivery Optimization, which utilizes peer-to-peer technology to share updates with other PCs. The default setting allows you to share updates using your bandwidth without your knowledge. If you are willing to share updates within a known network, then keep the settings enabled but if you don’t want that, you can turn it off or change the settings according to your preferences.

To change the setting, you can follow these steps:

  • Go to Start menu and select Settings.
    Turn Off Delivery Optimization
  • Under Settings, select Update & Security.
    Turn Off Delivery Optimization-1
  • Under Update & Security, select Windows Update.
    Turn Off Delivery Optimization-2
  • Now, go to Advanced Options, then Delivery Optimization.
    Turn Off Delivery Optimization-3

Note: You can also type Delivery Optimization in the search box on the taskbar and get to the settings.
Turn Off Delivery Optimization-5

  • In order to modify the bandwidth, you share using Delivery Optimization Advanced Options.

3. Disable Cortana Completely

You can disable Cortana to stop Windows 10 from knowing more about you. So, if you don’t want the virtual assistant, then you can disable without any issues.  Let’s check how to disable Cortana on all Windows 10 versions.

Before going further let’s disable settings that lets Cortana monitor your computer using habits.

  • Locate Cortana icon beside Start button.
    Disable Cortana Completely
  • Open Cortana settings.
  • Once you are on the settings screen, turn off all options.
    Disable Cortana Completely -1
  • Now locate Change what Cortana knows about me in the cloud and click it.
  • Microsoft will show a page from the Internet called Personal information.
  • As the page comes up, scroll it to the bottom, hit Clear.

Moreover, you can turn off the settings, due to which Cortana collects data related to typing and talking. For that, follow these steps:

  • Click Start button
    Disable Cortana Completely -2
  • Locate settings icon.
  • From the settings page, click Privacy.
    Disable Cortana Completely -3
  • Now from the left-hand side pane, locate Speech, inking & typing.
    Disable Cortana Completely -4
  • Click Turn off speech services and typing suggestions.
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Disable Cortana on Windows Pro:

Follow these steps:

  • Type Edit group policy in the search bar beside start button and press enter.
    Disable Cortana on Windows Pro
  • Now locate Computer Configuration.
    Disable Cortana on Windows Pro-1
  • Then click Administrative Templates followed by Windows Components.
  • Under Windows Components, click Search.
    Disable Cortana on Windows Pro-2
  • Navigate to Allow Cortana and double click on it to open.
    Disable Cortana on Windows Pro-3
  • Click Disabled, then click OK.

Disable Cortana on Windows 10 Home:

  • Click Start button, type regedit to open Registry Editor and press enter.
    Disable Cortana on Windows 10 Home
  • Locate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then click on Software.
    Disable Cortana on Windows 10 Home-1
  • Under Software, choose Policies, then Microsoft followed Windows.
    Disable Cortana on Windows 10 Home-2
  • Right-click on Windows and choose New, then key from sub context menu. Type in Windows Search, press Enter.

Disable Cortana on Windows 10 Home-3

  • Now choose Windows Search. Now on the right side of the panel, right-click in the empty area, select New->DWORD (32-bit) value. Type AllowCortana, press Enter.

Disable Cortana on Windows 10 Home-4

  • Double-click Allow Cortana and enter 0 under Value Data.

Disable Cortana on Windows 10 Home-5

4. Opt Out During Windows 10 Installation:

When you install Windows, you can turn off a lot of Windows 10 privacy settings. If you are installing Windows 10, you get to turn off the privacy settings. While installing Windows 10, you will get a screen:

On this page, you will get Use Express Settings button, that on choosing turns on every privacy setting, so that Microsoft and Windows 10 can provide you the “best experience in terms of location, personalization, updates, Internet browsing connecting with friends and more.”

From the above screen, choose Customize settings to make changes in Privacy settings.

You will get Customize Settings page, you will get Personalization and Location, with the options related to Cortana voice recognition. Turning them on will allow Microsoft to gather your data relating to those services.

Turning off all these settings will prevent Microsoft from collecting your data.

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5. Consider Using a Local Account

This step is not that significant but signing in with a local account has various benefits rather than being connected via Microsoft account. Two main reasons are Security and Privacy. Switch to local account by following these steps:

  • Sign in to your Windows computer as Administrator.
  • Take a backup of all your information. As, once the account is switched, all the personalized settings will get deleted.
  • Now go to Start button, click Settings.
    Consider Using a Local Account
  • Under Settings, Click Accounts and then Your Account.
    Consider Using a Local Account-1
  • Click Sign in with a local account instead.
  • Now follow the onscreen instructions and sign out and restart your computer.
  • Log in with your local account, go to Start button then Settings.
  • Under Settings, navigate to Accounts, then Your Accounts.
  • Locate your Microsoft account in Other accounts you use.
  • Click it, then click Remove.

So, these are the ways in which you can control your Windows 10 Privacy settings. To know more about Privacy Settings on Windows 10, read the guide to Privacy settings part 2.

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Srishti Sisodia is a technical content journalist at Systweak Software. Apart from being a capable engineer, her affinity for inscription draws her towards writing interesting content about contemporary technologies and progressions. She is an avid reader and a fare connoisseur. She relishes different cuisines and when it comes to baking, she takes the cake!

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