Configure Telemetry settings on Windows 10 devices

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 12, 2018
Updated • Sep 24, 2019
Windows, Windows 10

Windows 10 was not Microsoft's first operating system that collected Telemetry data but Microsoft changed what is collected and the control users have over the functionality significantly in Windows 10.

The move to Windows as a Service played a major role in the decision as Microsoft's decision to switch from a "one major new version of Windows every three years" to "two not so big but still significant updates per year" release scheme.

Telemetry, or how Microsoft likes to call it these days, diagnostic data, is important to Microsoft because the company uses diagnostic data in the decision making process.

All editions of Windows 10, with the exception of selected Enterprise editions, collect Telemetry by default. In fact, most versions of Windows 10 come without options to disable the collecting of diagnostic data.

While it is possible to limit the collecting of data to what Microsoft calls a basic level, it is not possible to block the collecting using the preferences of the operating system.

Windows 10 Telemetry settings

Windows 10 supports four different Telemetry settings. Only two of those, Full and Basic, are visible in the Settings application. The two remaining diagnostic levels are Security and Enhanced, and they can only be set using the Group Policy or Registry.

Here is the order based on how much data is collected: Full > Enhanced > Basic > Security

Note: I'm not 100% sure that Enhanced is used for anything as it is not displayed during setup or in the Settings app as an option. It is likely that Microsoft will remove Enhanced eventually.

The Settings app

diagnostics windows 10

The Settings application gives you the same control over privacy that you get during initial setup of the operating system.

  1. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows-I to open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Privacy > Diagnostics & Feedback.

The default Telemetry level is Full. Windows 10 collects a lot of data at this level and transfers the data to Microsoft regularly.

You can switch the diagnostic data level to basic using the Settings app to limit data collecting. Basic is the lowest level available for all consumer versions of Windows 10.

The only exception to the rule is if the device is linked to the Windows Insider Program. Insider Program devices are set to Full data collecting and this is one of the requirements of participating in the program.

Tip: Microsoft revealed what data Windows 10 collects at what level in mid-2017. The first feature update of Windows 10 in 2018 introduces options to view the collected Windows 10 data on the device, and to delete collected data.

The Group Policy

allow telemetry

The Group Policy Editor lists all four available Telemetry levels but only three of them are available on consumer devices.

Do the following to open the Group Policy Editor. (Note: not available on Windows 10 Home devices).

  1. Tap on the Windows-key to open the Start Menu.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and hit the Enter-key.

Navigate to the following key using the folder structure on the left: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Data Collection and Preview Builds.

Double-click on the Allow Telemetry policy to display it.

The policy is not configured by default which means that the value set during setup or in the Settings app is used. Disabled has the same effect, it does not disable Telemetry collecting completely on the device.

Consumers and small businesses may set Telemetry to Basic, Enhanced or Full only. While it is possible to select Security, that is not advised because the setting is switched internally to Basic automatically, and because it may interfere with update delivery on the system.

The Telemetry levels

The following values are available:


A value of 0 (Security) will send minimal data to Microsoft to keep Windows secure. Windows security components such as Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) and Windows Defender may send data to Microsoft at this level if they are enabled.


A value of 1 (Basic) sends the same data as a value of 0, plus a very limited amount of diagnostic data such as basic device info, quality-related data, and app compatibility info. Note that setting values of 0 or 1 will degrade certain experiences on the device.


A value of 2 (Enhanced) sends the same data as a value of 1, plus additional data such as how Windows, Windows Server, System Center, and apps are used, how they perform, and advanced reliability data.


A value of 3 (Full) sends the same data as a value of 2, plus advanced diagnostics data used to diagnose and fix problems with devices, which can include the files and content that may have caused a problem with the device.

Setting Telemetry in the Windows Registry

windows 10 set telemetry level registry

You may set the diagnostic data level in the Windows Registry. The method has the same effect as setting the Telemetry level using the Group Policy.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key to display the Start Menu.
  2. Type regedit.exe and hit the Enter-key on the keyboard to start the Registry Editor.
  3. Confirm the UAC prompt.

To configure Telemetry, go to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\DataCollection and change the value of the Dword AllowTelemetry to one of the supported values:

  • 0 -- Security (Enterprise only)
  • 1 -- Basic Telemetry
  • 2 -- Enhanced Telemetry
  • 3 -- Full Telemetry


If DataCollection does not exist, right-click on Windows and select New > Key to create it.

If the Dword value AllowTelemetry does not exist, right-click on DataCollection and select New > Dword (32-bit Value) to create it.

Telemetry FAQ

Here is a quick list of common questions and answers:

What is Telemetry in Windows 10?

Telemetry, or diagnostic data, is data that Windows 10 collects automatically to send it to Microsoft servers. Microsoft states that the data is anonymized and helps the company develop Windows 10.

How do I turn off Windows 10 data collecting?

The short answer: you can't using built-in functionality. What you can do is change the level of Telemetry from Full to Basic to limit what data is collected and transferred to Microsoft.

Is there really no way?

There is a way, but it may limit other functionality if you are not careful. You need to block Microsoft servers so that connections to these servers is blocked. Check out a script like Debloat Windows 10 which does that but create a backup of the system first.

What's the difference between Telemetry and other Windows 10 privacy settings?

Telemetry refers to the automatic collection of diagnostic data. The remaining Privacy settings control what apps may do for the most part. These settings are not considered Telemetry but they are still privacy related.


Check out the following Resources if you want to know more about Telemetry and diagnostic data in Windows 10:

Configure Telemetry settings on Windows 10 devices
Article Name
Configure Telemetry settings on Windows 10 devices
Windows 10 supports four different Telemetry settings. Only two of those, Full and Basic, are visible in the Settings application. The two remaining diagnostic levels are Security and Enhanced, and they can only be set using the Group Policy or Registry.
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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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