DoNotSpy78 improve Windows 7 or 8 privacy

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 12, 2016

DoNotSpy78 is a free program for the Windows operating system that brings options to make privacy related changes to Windows 7 and Windows 8.

The program works similar to the popular DoNotSpy10, one of the several privacy programs for Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system.

Note: The free version of the program ships with third-party offers in the installer. An adware free installer is offered to users who donate to the author.

DoNotSpy78 requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 and will prompt for the installation when it is not detected on start.

Last but not least, you may only run it on devices powered by Windows 7 or Windows 8.

The program suggests to create a System Restore point on start. It is recommended to create one as it enables you to go back at any time.


The program has been created partially as a response to Microsoft introducing privacy sensitive features to Windows 7 and Windows 8.

DoNotSpy78 lists all available privacy options when it starts. All options are color coded to indicate their safety rating.

Green items are usually safe to enable, orange and red that the descriptions is read as these settings may have consequences on the system's functionality or may require the installation of alternatives.

A description is displayed when an item is selected which offers some information about the selected tweak. The description is good enough to understand what a preference is about and what consequences activating it may have.

DoNotSpy78 offered the following tweaks at the time of writing

  • Disable automatic handwriting learning.
  • Disable Error Reporting.
  • Disable Handwriting Data Sharing.
  • Disable Help Experience Improvement Program.
  • Disable Infection Reports.
  • Disable Internet OpenWith.
  • Disable Inventory Collector.
  • Disable Media Player Recent files.
  • Disable Media Player Usage Tracking.
  • Disable Media Player User GUID.
  • Disable Sensors.
  • Disable Telemetry.
  • Disable Windows Media DRM Internet Access.
  • Disable Windows Registration.
  • Enable DoNotTrack Header.
  • Prevent Media Player Metadata Retrieval.
  • Disable Biometrics (orange).
  • Disable Location (orange).
  • Disable Steps Recorder (orange).
  • Disable Windows Defender (red).

While you may change each preference individually using policies or the Windows Registry, the main advantage that the software offers is that it makes them all available in an easy to use interface.

It is theoretically possible to run the program, make the changes, and remove it from the system again after you have made sure that the applied tweaks won't cause any issues.

Closing Words

DoNotSpy78 is a handy program to disable several privacy invasive features of the Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating system at once.

It is let down a bit by the fact that it ships with adware and that the list of tweaks is anything but massive.

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  1. Doc said on June 13, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    O&O ShutUp10 works well.

  2. Jim said on June 13, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    I prefer Spybot Anti-Beacon. In addition to being free, it’s portable, so no “third party offers.” Works in Windows 7 and 8 too.

  3. Jack Alexander said on June 13, 2016 at 6:15 am

    DWS lite exe is far better than this. And there is ‘I don’t want windows 10’


    I don’t want win10:

  4. Graham said on June 13, 2016 at 12:16 am

    I’m sticking with Aegis-Voat. I don’t need a dozen random tools to do the same job. Trusting my system security to one total stranger with the peer review power of the internet is enough, thanks.

  5. Doc said on June 12, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    First I’ve heard of DoNotSpy10 – but when I went to download it, Firefox blocked the download page as an “unwanted software risk.”
    The irony…

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 12, 2016 at 10:52 pm

      Probably because of adware.

  6. Jeff-FL said on June 12, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    “The free version of the program ships with third-party offers in the installer.”

    The irony.

    1. Tony said on June 13, 2016 at 3:22 am

      …and the hypocrisy.

    2. Sebby said on June 12, 2016 at 6:49 pm

      Yup, instant disqualification. I’ll just do this manually (GUI and occasionally registry).

  7. CHEF-KOCH said on June 12, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    It’s okay to get such tools, but I’m always skeptical because from the past I learned that they could also be dangerous, coming with own certificates which are installed silently or the tools are faked to infect you with malware (because every of them needs admin rights to e.g change registry related entries).

    There exist a lot of scripts which are more transparent but of course a GUi could be easier and maybe not scares beginners. But just a warning, not blindly trust everything.

    1. Tony said on June 13, 2016 at 1:14 am

      To the Chef: This application modifies 20 settings. Would you consider making a github repo that documents the registry settings to make these 20 changes?

      1. CHEF-KOCH said on June 13, 2016 at 12:58 pm

        There already exist similar projects which are documented and even mentioned on ghacks, imho it’s a bit better.

        An negative example (even if it was open source) was wzor’s DWS (Destroy windows spying) the first version installed a certificate on your systems and I still never got an explanation why. Sadly you need to audit/review today everything to ensure you net get fooled.

    2. barbara streisand said on June 13, 2016 at 12:54 am

      Are you the same CHEF-KOCK that was upset with gorhill at Ublock and if so what was the outcome. Is Gorhill/UblockOrigin no longer the great blocker i thought it was?

      1. barbara streisand said on June 13, 2016 at 1:15 am

        sorry that was a typo @ CHEF-COCH

    3. jmjsquared said on June 12, 2016 at 10:53 pm

      Totally agree. On its face, this utility lacks trustworthiness by bundling PUP’s.

      Btw, thanks for making all of your registry and system tweaks available on Github AND for making what each one does fully transparent. Now, how about a GUI for us n0obs? :)

      [Aside: How does Nvidia feel about your helping disable their (unnecessary) background processes? :-) ]

    4. Your Name said on June 12, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      you’ve got quite nice collection of interesting and useful scripts on github
      thank you very much for that

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