This Windows 10 privacy guide is a work in progress. We will add new information and make adjustments once they become available.
Yes, that is lots of text even if you only read the summaries that Microsoft provides. Please note that the two documents are not exclusive to Windows 10 but apply to Microsoft.
Tip: Check out our comparison of Windows 10 privacy tools. These help you speed up making privacy related changes to the operating system.
You do find “Windows” listed in the privacy statement.
There you find the following key information:
Core Windows 10 Privacy Settings
You find Privacy settings that Microsoft makes available under Settings. The page is surprisingly large and while it provides you with lots of options, does not give you full control over what is collected and submitted.
Open the Privacy settings with a tap on the Windows-key and the selection of Settings when Start opens. If Settings is not listed there, type Settings and hit enter.
Switch to Privacy once the Settings window opens. There you find listed all privacy related settings. Suggests are in brackets)
Camera and Microphone
Switch these to off if you don’t want apps to use the cam or microphone on your device. You may need it for select services, Cortana for instance or the Skype application.
Speech, inking & typing
Contacts and Calendar
Feedback and Diagnostic
What is transferred if you switch the setting to Basic is listed in the FAQ (when you click on the learn more link):
Basic information is data that is vital to the operation of Windows. This data helps keep Windows and apps running properly by letting Microsoft know the capabilities of your device, what is installed, and whether Windows is operating correctly. This option also turns on basic error reporting back to Microsoft. If you select this option, we’ll be able to provide updates to Windows (through Windows Update, including malicious software protection by the Malicious Software Removal Tool), but some apps and features may not work correctly or at all.
Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update
Changing the Telemetry value using the Group Policy Editor or Windows Registry
This setting is identical to the Feedback & diagnostics setting. There is one difference however which only applies to Enterprise customers. Enterprise customers may turn this off completely, while Home and Pro users may set it to basic only as the lowest level.
To make the change in the Group Policy, do the following:
To make the change using the Windows Registry, do the following:
Use a local account
Windows 10 supports two account types: Microsoft accounts and local accounts. Microsoft accounts are used by default and if you select that option, you sign in to the operating system using your account’s credentials (usually email and the password).
You may use a local account instead for day to day activies. This can be arranged in the Settings under Accounts > Your account.
If you use a local account, you will notice that you cannot use certain features of the operating system. Windows Store and certain applications become unavailable for instance, and account data is not synced across devices.
Misc Group Policy Settings
The following settings are provided in the Group Policy Editor.
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > OneDrive
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Online Assistance
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Sync Your Settings
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Error Reporting
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update
Additional resources of interest
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