Microsoft pushed patches to devices running Windows 7 and 8.1 in recent time that collect information and transfer data to Microsoft regularly.
One of the main issues that Windows users may have with telemetry is that Microsoft does not reveal what it is collecting, and what is included when telemetry data is transferred to the company.
The following tutorial provides suggestions on limiting Windows data collecting and transferring. There is no guarantee that nothing is collected and/or submitted after making privacy related changes to the operating system, but a guarantee that data collecting is severely limited at the very least.
Make sure you back up important data before you continue.
Update: Eric @ Tweakhound created scripts that you can download and run. It is recommended that you go through the scripts first before you execute them.
The following Windows updates are related to telemetry and diagnostic data.
You can remove any of the patches using two methods:
Second method uses the command line instead:
Make sure you hide any update that you have removed, as it will be picked up by Windows again the next time Windows Update checks for update.
The CompatTel folder is still there after you remove the telemetry updates on the machine. One change that you may notice is that the older Telemetry client, diagtrackrunner.exe is in that folder, and not the newer compattelrunner.exe.
You cannot remove the folder or files directly, as you need ownership first for that.
We have posted a tutorial already that explains how to turn off the Customer Experience Improvement Program.
Basically, what you do is click on Start, type customer experience, and select the "change customer experience improvement program settings" result. Select "No, I don't want to participate in the program" when the new settings window opens.
Next thing on the list is to remove the Diagnostic Tracking service. It may not exist anymore already, but I suggest you run the commands below just to make sure.
Open an elevated command prompt -- if it is not still open -- and run the following commands:
The first command stops the Diagtrack service, the second deletes it.
Caution: Some servers and IP addresses may be used by other Windows services. If you notice that some are not working anymore, disable them one by one until you find the culprit that you need to exclude from the blocking.
Note: the following servers cannot be blocked using the hosts file. You need to block them using another means, e.g. router firewall or installed firewall.
Other servers you may want to block:
Windows 7 and 8.1 run a lot of tasks that send data to Microsoft.
There is always the chance that new updates will add new services or tasks. This is why it is recommended to set Windows Update to inform but not download and install automatically.
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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.