Popular Windows XP privacy tool is making a comeback

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 3, 2024
Windows software
|
11

If you have lived through the Windows XP era of computing, you may have used a program called XP-AntiSpy back then. Yes, even then it was useful to run a privacy tool to limit Microsoft's hunger for data.

The last time we heard from XP-AntiSpy was when it was released for Windows 10. That was back in 2015.

Serial program creator Belim has now forked the classic XP-AntiSpy application. XD-AntiSpy is the name of the fork, and it is now available as the first stable version.

The core idea behind the app has not changed: give users a straightforward and convenient way to manage certain settings on Windows.

XD-AntiSpy review

XD AntiSpy interface
XD-AntiSpy software helps you tweak (mostly) privacy settings on Windows 11

XD-AntiSpy is developed for Windows 11. The latest version is available on GitHub. It has a size of less than 350 kilobytes and can be run without installations. Yes, that was normal back in the days.

Note: Windows may throw a SmartScreen security warning when you execute the application on Windows 11. The app is not malicious; the warning is shown because it is a new application.

The interface displays tweaks in a long list sorted into categories like Adblock for Windows 11, AI/Copilot and Recall, or Microsoft Edge.

Clearly, XD-AntiSpy has been modified to provide Windows 11 users with the tweaks they need to tame the operating system as best as possible.

Enabled tweaks display with checkmarks, which is mighty useful as you can focus your attention on the tweaks that are not enabled yet.

Most of the tweaks are self-explanatory. You can hover over a tweak to get a description, which usually offers additional details on what it does.

All you have to do is go through the list and check or uncheck the tweaks. Once you are done, hit the apply settings button. This makes the changes on the Windows 11 system, a restart is still required to complete the process. You can also use Tools > Restart Explorer for the same effect.

The app does not suggest to create a system restore point or another form of backup. You can import and export settings, however. It is recommended to create a system restore point or, better, a full system backup before using any app that makes changes to the system.

Verdict

XD-AntiSpy is a lightweight tweaking tool for Windows 11. While it is not the most complete, it is still a useful and promising tool. It remains to be seen what Belim has in store for it.

Do you use tweaking tools or do you prefer to modify the operating system manually?

Summary
software image
Author Rating
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4 based on 11 votes
Software Name
XD-AntiSpy
Operating System
Windows 11
Software Category
Tweaking
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Comments

  1. Mr said on July 7, 2024 at 1:43 am
    Reply

    I gave up on windows and use linux and its been amazing. i have not trusted microsoft for a long time.

    1. Allwynd said on July 7, 2024 at 6:18 pm
      Reply

      Me too. I have began trying Linux since 2008 and never managed to stick to it. The longest was maybe a month around 2010-2011 on a laptop, but I played too many games at the time and that made me go back to Windows.

      But now Windows has become such an unbearable (and overbearing) garbage, that I finally decided to move to Linux. At first I was anxious, because last few attempts, I couldn’t get my drivers to work, I was concerned if I can’t get games X, Y, Z to work, will I give up and move back to Windows.

      Long story short, I got my drivers to work, I got 95% of the games I threw at Linux to run, there were a few exceptions, but I decided I’d rather not play the games that move away from Linux and since then everything has been fine. I’ve already used Linux for over 3 months and I don’t see myself using that piece of sh*t trash Windows ever again.

      Unless hell freezes over and XP, Vista and 7 get re-released with modern hardware support and no additional changes, I’m sticking to Linux until I die.

  2. webfork said on July 5, 2024 at 2:15 am
    Reply

    I was a huge fan of that program but there are already a good group of tools out for Windows including O&O Shutup 10, WPD, and privacy.sexy. But hey one more certainly won’t hurt.

    I do agree with one of the other comments suggesting kind of thing sort of begs the question: why are you running an operating system you’ve got to constantly swat at with security/privacy tools?

    1. assburger said on July 10, 2024 at 2:42 am
      Reply

      WPD is abandonware… app last updated 2021, and the crazymax rule set it uses last updated 2022. I wish it weren’t so; it was my favorite of the Win 10/11 privacy apps.

      O&O gets good reviews on ghacks but I’ve had very bad luck with it. Will check our privacy.sexy

      1. webfork said on July 12, 2024 at 5:09 pm
        Reply

        > WPD is abandonware

        Thanks for that.

        W10Privacy is another option I hadn’t tested in some time but does appear to be in development.

  3. samurai cat said on July 4, 2024 at 10:20 pm
    Reply

    I used to use Game XP and Safe XP from Theorica Software back in the Windows XP days.
    https://www.theorica.net/2020/game-xp/
    https://www.theorica.net/2020/safe-xp/

  4. Tachy said on July 4, 2024 at 2:18 am
    Reply

    Nothing in your screenshot of the program is related to privacy.

    I use WinAeroTweaker as well as GPEdit and manual registry edits.

    Win 11 Pro 23H2

    1. Anonymous said on July 5, 2024 at 8:05 am
      Reply

      It is there if you scroll about, but mostly it’s a tweaking tool, lacking a lot of detail about what it does. Presumably, some of the changes are a what the author thought may be a more convenient way to set things than delving into Windows settings, editing Registry, etc.

  5. [email protected] said on July 3, 2024 at 11:41 pm
    Reply

    As usual with Bel, descriptions about what each check mark does are scant. For example, Telemetry is a single check box with not detail about which of the many, many Telemetry features it disable, nor how. Does the checkbox block via firewall; disable services; disable scheduled tasks. I am guessing the answer is ‘a combination’ but what exactly does it switch off? Why not separate what it does into each category?

  6. There are people in the walls! said on July 3, 2024 at 10:55 pm
    Reply

    Such “tools” led me to Linux. Well, that along with all of the privacy/security BS involved with AV and other proprietary scanners.

    Everyone [should] knows how much you can tweak the various desktops and window managers in Linux, if one so chooses.

    In regards to the second point above, there should come a time in a Wind0z3 user’s life when they finally have that moment of clarity and decide to switch to Linux because of all of the scanners and privacy lock down attempts they have to juggle. When you realize you’re having to “protect” your system from the proprietary Operating System doing whatever it wants and snitching on you that is an important realization. Listen to your gut — switch!

    So yeah back in XP/7 days it was somewhat interesting, but really once you go Linux you can configure to your heart’s content. And you’re not stuck with one lame/crippled desktop environment.

  7. John G. said on July 3, 2024 at 8:41 pm
    Reply

    I can’t believe how amazing still useful are all these privacy programs around all Windows, whatever the numbering, whatever the year, whatever the distance and so forth. Thanks for the article! :]

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