Microsoft has made Windows 10 the most cloud-oriented Windows version so far, as it has provided its user with some handy features. Some of these features in general shares your personal data to the Microsoft servers which means that they can snoop whatever you have been doing regarding some features. Microsoft has been a reliable organization when it comes to manipulating the user’s private data in order to make apps like Cortana more efficient by utilizing their data. Microsoft has provided a statement in their privacy policies which can get a bit concerning because they acknowledge to access, disclose and preserve your personal data and content like email, private communication, and files in private folders. Well, now these type of privacy statements has now been common in most of the tech-related companies so the blame doesn’t only go to the Microsoft and that doesn’t mean that we have to stay put and let them use our private data. Moreover, these features in Windows 10 can affect the performance and battery life of your system so, in this article, I will walk you through each step on how to disable these manipulating features in Windows 10.
So let’s start with the guide…
Disable Ad tracking from Windows Settings
When you search for any information in Windows or even from the web browser, the Windows is busy collecting all the information and making a profile by gathering the information of your interest by the help of its advertising ID feature which then shows you the targeted ads according to the searched information. Now in order to turn off ad tracking feature follow the steps below:
Open up the Windows Start menu by clicking on the Windows icon located on the taskbar. Now from the start menu click on the Settings icon as highlighted above.
From Windows Settings, click on the Privacy settings option as highlighted above.
Now From Privacy Navigation menu, click on the General option. From General Settings, under Change privacy options, turn off the “let apps use advertising ID” option as highlighted above. This will now disable the ad tracking but you’ll still receive only the generic ads as your targeted information tracking has now been disabled.
Turn Off Location from Windows Settings
Whenever you take your Windows 10 PC with you, it can locate where you are as it can track the location. Tracking location helps Windows 10 to provide its user with the relevant information, such as change and identify in time, date and region, weather updates, restaurants nearby etc. Well some people don’t mind this feature but Microsoft still tracking you through its location feature, to turn it off follow the steps below:
Staying in Privacy Settings, form privacy navigation menu, scroll down to the App permissions section and select the Location option as highlighted above. Now from the Location settings, under Location, click on the Change button as highlighted.
Now from the pop-up box, click to turn off the toggle button as shown above. This will turn off the Location feature on your Windows 10.
Disable Activity Timeline from Windows Settings
Windows 10 gathers the information about the activities you perform, it helps the Windows to restore and resume such activities back to what you were doing with apps, docs or other activities. It also synchronizes with your Microsoft Account so you can resume the activities if you log in to your Phone or another PC. To disable tracking of your Activity timeline, follow the steps below:
Staying on the Privacy settings, from the Privacy navigation menu, under Windows permissions, click to select the Activity history option as highlighted above. Now in Activity history settings, make sure to uncheck the checkboxes next to “Let Windows collect my activities from this PC” and “Let Windows Sync my activities from this PC to the cloud” as highlighted. This will disable Windows to gather information about your Activities.
Disable Getting to Know You from Windows Settings
The Getting to know you feature allows Window to track every word you type and every word you speak to its personal assistant Cortana. Which helps windows to identify the way you speak for better speech recognition and to recognize your handwriting and typing styles for improving its dictionary. To disable the feature, follow the steps below:
From the Privacy settings, in the Privacy navigation menu, under Windows permission section, click on the Speech, inking, & typing option as highlighted above. Now in Speech, inking, & typing settings, under Getting to know you, click on the “Turn off Speech services and typing suggestions” link, this will pop up a box as shown above. From the pop-up box, click on the Turn off button as highlighted. This will disable the Microsoft from tracking your Speech, inking, & typing information.
Choose Basic Diagnostic Feedback
This feature allows Windows to collect personal data and send it to Microsoft. Unfortunately, there is no way to disable the whole feature but there is a way to limit the information collected and sent by Windows 10 to Microsoft. In order to do so, follow the steps below:
From Windows Privacy settings, in the Privacy navigation menu, click on the Diagnostics & feedback option as highlighted above. In Diagnostics & feedback settings, click to select the Basic option’s radio button as highlighted. This will limit the Windows to track the information it sends to Microsoft.
Change App Permission from Windows Settings
That’s it! Hope This article has helped you in disabling the features that results in tracking the privacy information and also affects the system performance. If you have experienced any difficulty in following the instructions or you think you have any other option that can be disabled to prevent tracking, please let us know in the comments section below.