Telemetry -- read tracking -- seems to be everywhere these days. Microsoft pushes it on Windows, and web and software companies use it as well.
While there is certainly some benefit to it on a larger scale, as it may enable these companies to identify broader issues, it is undesirable from a user perspective.
Part of that comes from the fact that companies fail to disclose what is being collected and how data is stored and handled once it leaves the user system.
In the case of Nvidia, Telemetry gets installed alongside the driver package. While you may -- and should -- customize the installation of the Nvidia driver so that only the bits that you require are installed, there is no option to disable the Telemetry components from being installed. These do get installed even if you only install the graphics driver itself in the custom installation dialog.
Most users who use PCs with Nvidia video cards probably don't even know that they are tracked by the software. The Nvidia telemetry service runs in the background on user log on, and additionally once a day.
As is the case with these kind of tracking services, there is little information found on the data that it collects.
You can check the Windows Task Scheduler to list all third-party tasks that run on the system. To do so, tap on the Windows-key, type Task Scheduler, and select Task Scheduler from the list of results.
There you find listed Nvidia tasks, some of which are related to Telemetry (note that the list may look different on your PC based on the driver version and the components that you install).
Disabling the Nvidia Telemetry tasks has no ill-effect on the system. The video card works exactly as before and you can use all of the features that it supports.
Simply right-click on one of the Nvidia Telemetry tasks in the Task Scheduler, and select the "disable" option from the context menu.
This blocks the tasks from being run. Repeat the process for the two remaining Telemetry tasks, and any other tasks that you spot there that you may not require.
It appears that Nvidia has baked Telemetry tracking directly into the NVDisplay.Container.exe process. While you can (and probably should) still disable the scheduled tasks, you cannot defeat Telemetry in its entirety anymore easily.
When you check Services on Windows after installing a recent driver version, you will notice that the Nvidia Telemetry Container service NvTelemetryContainer is not installed anymore. You find a different service there called Nvidia Display Container LS but since it appears to be used for more than just Telemetry, may want to leave it alone. It can be disabled, however, and games will still run (the right-click desktop shortcut to the Nvidia Control Panel is removed as a consequence, there may be other fallout).
The following actions require that you delete files and folders on your computer system. We suggest you create a backup of folders and files before deletion so that you may restore them if the need arises.
We recommend that you use firewall software (such as Windows Firewall Control) to monitor or block any Nvidia process from making outbound connections. Note that this may limit GeForce Experience functionality if you have enabled the feature.
A new report suggests that Nvidia Telemetry still works in the latest drivers even if you follow all the guidelines mentioned above. Nvidia seems to have baked this into the file nvtelemetry.dll which you need to delete to block C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\Display.NvContainer\NVDisplay.Container.exe from connecting to *.gfe.nvidia.com
You need to delete or rename nvtelemetry.dll on the system. Search for the file and rename it in any location you find it.
The installation of Nvidia drivers on a Windows system adds a telemetry service to the device as well which you may want to disable.
This is done in the following way:
Note: These tasks may be re-enabled when you update or Nvidia drivers (for instance after completely removing the drivers). It is suggested therefore to always check the Task Scheduler after Nvidia driver updates to make sure these tasks are not enabled again.
You can use third-party software like the excellent Autoruns as well to manage these telemetry tasks. Simply run the program and switch to the Scheduled Tasks tab when it opens to manage all tasks scheduled on the system. There you find listed the same Nvidia tasks which you can delete or disable. (via MajorGeeks)
Update: A software program has been created that you may use as well to disable Nvidia Telemetry services and tasks on Windows.
Now You: How do you handle Telemetry on your system?Advertisement
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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.