Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system ships with quite a few default settings that users may find invasive. We have listed them all in our Windows 10 privacy overview, and if you went through the long guide, you may have noticed that it takes quite a bit of work to adjust them all.
That's where the free program DoNotSpy for Windows 10 comes to play. It provides you with options to set privacy settings from within its interface with just a couple of clicks.
Note: Windows SmartScreen protection may display a warning when you run the program. You need to click on the "more info" link and then on the next screen on "run anyway" to install the program.
Note 2: The program ships with third-party offers. Make sure you decline those if you are not interested.
Note 3: The program page is in German, the program itself is in English and German. Just click on the download link on the page to proceed.
Once you start the program you get a list of tweaks that it supports in an easy to use interface and a prompt about creating a new system restore point. It is recommended to set one as it allows you to go back should things go wrong.
Each entry is listed with its name and state (a checkmark indicates that the feature is disabled), and a description on the right when you highlight it.
If you are in a hurry you may use the check all button to check all items but that is not recommended as you may disable features of the operating system that you want to use.
Here is the list of features that you control with the app:
- Defer Windows Upgrades
- Disable Access to Language List
- Disable and reset Advertising ID
- Disable and reset Cortana
- Disable app access to Account Info, Calendar, Camera, Location Info, Messages, Microphone, Radios
- Disable App Notifications
- Disable Automatic Driver updates
- Disable Automatic Windows updates
- Disable Biometric
- Disable enabling Lock Screen Camera
- Disable Getting to know me
- Disable Handwriting Data Sharing
- Disable Inventory Collector
- Disable Location
- Disable OneDrive
- Disable Password Reveal Button
- Disable sending Writing Info
- Disable Sensors
- Disable SmartScreen Filter for URLs
- Disable Steps Recorder
- Disable Telemetry
- Disable Web Search
- Disable WiFi Sense
- Disable Windows Defender
- Disable Windows Feedback Requests
- Disable Windows Media DRM Internet Access
- Disable Windows Update for other products
- Disable Windows Update sharing
The program seems to have issues detecting the current state of a feature. On the Windows 10 machine I ran it on, Web Search was already disabled but the program did not indicate that.
The app makes the changes in the Registry in the background. Please note that you may need to restart the system before they take affect.
Once you have restarted the PC you will notice that the changes have been made, for instance by opening Settings > Privacy where you find many of the options the program supports listed.
Microsoft contacted us shortly after publishing the review with the following statement:
“We strongly suggest customers do not install applications of this nature. These types of third-party apps can alter the way the system operates, creating future problems and changing important settings and features.”
The main advantage that DoNotSpy offers is convenience. Instead of having to hunt down the locations to change these settings by yourself, you find most privacy related settings in the program interface.
The downside is the adware offer and the fact that DoNotSpy10 needs to be installed before use. (via Deskmodder)