Data privacy is a major concern in the digital world. When you use the internet, you are leaking data every step of the way, unless you are aware of it, and even Microsoft can take a peek at your data.
Microsoft collects data through its telemetry system introduced with Windows 10. Microsoft collects data to improve your user experience and monitors your Windows settings, the applications you use, and system settings, among others.
But here’s the good thing: You can turn off the telemetry system if you don’t want Microsoft to log your data.
How to limit what Microsoft logs via telemetry
If you don’t want to turn off telemetry completely, you can allow Microsoft to collect only the most vital data. If you are running Home Edition of Windows 10 or 11, this is your only option because Microsoft does not allow disabling telemetry for Home Edition users. Only users running Enterprise, Education, or Professional editions of Windows 10 or 11 or users running Windows Server 2016 or later can completely disable telemetry.
To limit data collection on Windows, you will need to change the settings so that Microsoft stops collecting “optional data”.
Start by pressing Win + I and navigate to Confidentiality and security> Diagnostics and comments. Toggle button beside Send optional diagnostic data disabled.
Once done, Microsoft will only collect data about your hardware, system settings, and whether your system is functioning properly. On the other hand, if you allow Microsoft to collect optional data as well, it will collect all diagnostic data. This includes the apps you use, the websites you access, and other data relevant to troubleshooting.
How to turn off telemetry using Group Policy Editor
While there are several other ways to turn off telemetry, this one is the easiest. Of course, this method only works if you’re running Windows 10/11 Enterprise, Education, or Professional, or Windows Server 2016 and later editions.
To launch the Group Policy Editor, tap Win + R, type gpedit.msc, and press Enter. Use the left sidebar to navigate to Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates> Windows Components> Data Collection and Preview Versions.
Switch to the right pane and double click Allow diagnostic data. Note that if you are on Windows 10 (not Windows 11), you will see Allow telemetry as a listed parameter instead of Allows diagnostic data.
Once you double click, a window should appear. By default, it is set to Not configured. To select Deactivated instead and click Okay.
How to turn off telemetry using Registry Editor
You can also use the Windows registry to turn off telemetry. However, always make sure to back up your registry before making any changes. Fixing registry errors is usually not difficult, but a few errors can make your PC unusable.
Note that, like the previous methods, this method will not disable telemetry on Windows 10 and 11 Home editions.
To launch the registry editor, press Win + R, type regedit, and press Enter. Move towards HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Policies Microsoft Windows DataCollection. Then right click in the white space in the right pane and select New > DWORD value (32 bit).
Name the value Allow telemetry. Double click on the new value, insert Value data as 0, and click Okay.
Once you are done, exit Registry Editor and restart the PC.
How to turn off telemetry by disabling its service
The telemetry feature relies on a Windows service that starts automatically every time you turn on your PC. When you turn off the service, you’ll also have basically turned off telemetry.
To launch the Services console, press Win + R, type services.msc, and press Enter. Find a named service Connected user experiences and telemetry. Double-click on the service to launch the service properties.
Stay in the General tabulation and modification Start type at Deactivated.
Click on Okay. Then look for another service named Device Management Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Push Message Routing Service. Disable it in the same way. Restart your PC and you’re done.
You can also use the command prompt to turn off these services if you don’t want to waste time looking for them. hurry Win + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch the command prompt as administrator.
Then run the following commands one by one:
sc config DiagTrack start= disabled
sc config dmwappushservice start= disabled
When you are done, restart the PC and you will have disabled data collection on your PC.
How to turn off telemetry using task scheduler
Another way to turn off telemetry is to use Task Scheduler. All you have to do is turn off a few tasks on the Task Scheduler and you will have effectively turned off telemetry.
Search in the Start menu Task planner and open the best match.
In the left sidebar, navigate to Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > the Windows > Customer experience improvement program. Disable named task Consolidator. Repeat the process for all other tasks at this location.
Once you have disabled both tasks, restart your PC.
Is it safe to turn off telemetry?
Yes, there are no risks inherent in disabling telemetry. Microsoft uses telemetry to collect data from users with the goal of improving the user experience with future updates. The telemetry system has so far been accepted as a legitimate way to improve the Windows experience.
However, it collects data. If you are not comfortable with any type of data collection, disabling telemetry will not affect your experience in any way. You will continue to receive updates as usual. Of course, in some cases disabling telemetry is not an option.
For example, if you’re using Windows 10 or 11 Home Edition, you can always turn off optional data collection, which means Microsoft will only collect the data it needs to keep the operating system running.
Disable telemetry in Windows 10 and 11
Keeping your data private in this new digital age is important, but it is difficult to do so when even our operating systems are transmitting information to the home. Now you know how to turn off telemetry in Windows 10 and 11. Additionally, there are a ton of other privacy settings on Windows 11 that you should consider if you want full privacy.
Windows 11 really cares about your data, and the operating system is full of options for the privacy-conscious user.
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