Microsoft introduced the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program in Windows Vista, and has made it a part of any version of Windows since.
Designed to collect information about hardware and how software and services are used, it is used by Microsoft to identify trends and usage patterns.
Microsoft states that personal identifiable information such as names or addresses are not collected.
The scope of the collected information is not clear, a common problem with many Telemetry and "phone home" features not only of Microsoft products but also of other companies.
If you don't want the information to be collected in first place, you can turn off the Windows Customer Experience Improvement program on Windows.
There are several ways to to that, the three most common ones are by using the Group Policy Editor, the Windows Task Scheduler, and the Windows Registry.
The Group Policy Editor is not included in Home editions of Windows. If you run Windows 10 Home, or another Home edition, skip ahead to the Registry section below.
The change is active right after you make it. If you want to undo the change, set the policy to "not configured" or disabled.
If you don't want to or can't use the Group Policy editor to disable the feature, you may use change its state in the Windows Registry instead.
It is recommended to disable the Windows Customer Experience Improvement program using the Group Policy Editor or Registry.
You may stop it dead in its track using the Task Scheduler as well. Basically, what you can do is block the data collection and uploading right there.
You may disable the program using the classic Control Panel as well (for as long as it is there).
Other Microsoft applications may have the Customer Experience Improvement Program enabled by default as well. This is the case for Windows Media Player or Microsoft Office programs for instance.
To give you one example:
Now You: What is your take on the Microsoft Customer Experience program?
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.