Data logging is a severe privacy issue and most of the tech giants including Microsoft have been accused of it. So, it’s no surprise that people have been wary of various privacy settings in Windows 10. There have been accusations of Microsoft tracking user’s information in Windows 10. Well, it’s not surprising considering most other tech giants like Google do it but thankfully, Microsoft is transparent about it and has included options to disable all the data logging in Windows 10.
Today, we will let you know everything you can do to disable data logging in Windows 10. Keep in mind though that following these steps will make sure you won’t be able to use various Windows 10 features like Cortana, Store and more. So, if you are still concerned about your privacy on Windows 10 and want a private Windows 10 experience, follow the steps below:
Disable data logging during Windows 10 installation
While there are various settings that allow you to disable data logging, you can choose to disable data logging at the onset itself, that is when you install Windows 10. Here’s how you can do it:
1. When you install Windows 10, you are given an option to “Customize” or use “Express Settings” for the privacy options.
2. Select “Customize” and then turn off the options that you feel will send your private information to Microsoft. You can choose to keep some features turned on that you are okay with.
3. Microsoft will also ask you to sign in with a Microsoft or a Local account. Choose a local account, if you don’t want to send your personal information to Microsoft. For people unaware, a local account is a simple user account created for use on a specific Windows PC. We used simple local accounts to sign into Windows versions prior to Windows 8.
To download and install Windows apps from the Store, you will need to have a Microsoft account. Microsoft account will also allow you to use various Microsoft services like Cortana, Outlook, OneDrive, OneNote and more.
Method 2: Disable data logging through Windows 10 Settings
If you did not pay heed to the privacy settings during your Windows 10 installation, don’t worry, the ship hasn’t sailed for you yet. Windows 10 settings allow you to disable various privacy options that might be logging your data any time you want.
1. Go to “Settings” in Start menu.
2. Click the “Privacy” option.
3. Here you can switch off the various privacy options that send data to Microsoft. You can turn off your advertising id, sending of data to Microsoft on your typing/keylogging, websites accessing your data, apps accessing your data, location and more. You can keep some settings turned on if you feel that’s okay with you.
4. Also, go to the “Feedback & Diagnostics” tab and set “Feedback frequency” as “Never“. Also change the “Send your device data to Microsoft” to “Basic“.
You can also turn off Microsoft’s automatic Windows 10 updates in the Settings, if you are concerned about new Microsoft updates that would change your settings.
1. Go to “Update & Security” in “Settings“.
2. In the “Windows Update” option, click “Advanced Options“.
3. Then, click “Choose how updates are delivered“.
4. Turn off updates.
If you do not want Cortana to use your info, you can turn Cortana off altogether and you can even turn off web search in the search box. Turning off both Cortana and web search will result in the Search box being available only for searching your PC files and settings.
1. Go to the “Speech, inking, & typing” in the “Privacy” settings.
2. Click “Stop get to know me” to clear all your info that Cortana has accumulated on the device.
3. To turn off Cortana and web search, go to Cortana and click the hamburger menu on the top left and click “Notebook“.
4. Then, click “Settings“.
5. Turn off Cortana. When you turn off Cortana, there will be an option to turn off “Search online and include web results“.
6. Some information from Cortana is also saved in the cloud. To clear that, click “Manage what Cortana knows about me in the cloud“.
7. The “Bing-Personalization” webpage will open and you will find a “clear” button at the bottom. Click the “clear” button to clear all the data in the cloud.
Disable data logging in Microsoft Edge
Along with the various Windows settings, Microsoft Edge also works as a data hog for Microsoft due to its various features. You can disable data logging in Edge by the following steps:
1. Open Edge and click the three-dot menu on the top right and go to “Settings”.
2. Scroll down and click “View advanced settings“.
3. In advanced settings, under the “Privacy and services” header, you can turn off features like “show search suggestions as I type“, which records your keystrokes, “page prediction“, “SmartScreen“.
If you don’t use Edge, then there’s nothing to worry about. Even Chrome is a data hog, so you can use various other alternatives.
SEE ALSO: How To Disable Windows 10 Tracking
To sum it up, these are the steps you can take to disable data logging in Windows 10. If you also choose to not use other Microsoft services as well, you can check our list of top video players for Windows to use instead of Windows Media Player along with Windows Image viewer alternatives to use.