Windows 10

How To Turn Off Windows 10 Tracking Feature | Complete Guide

Turn off Windows 10 Tracking

In this article, we will discuss how to Turn Off Windows 10 Tracking feature. let’s start! The Microsoft Windows 10 default privacy settings leave a lot to be begged when it comes to protecting you and your personal data. Whenever you set up a new computer or update a current setup for your family or workplace, you should always carefully go through the privacy settings for each install, making sure to lock it down to make it as private as possible.

Why Privacy is Important?

Why Privacy is Important

Why Privacy is Important

Privacy is a serious concern. Your data could be used to steal your identity, as well as your money. It could also allow evil-minded people to track down you and your family and find opportune to harm. Since Windows 10 operating system is a free upgrade for Windows 7 and 8, Microsoft needs to find a way to generate income, and the best way for them to achieve this is to spy the behavior of Windows 10 users anonymously.

Microsoft’s operating system comes with a range of options and controls you can modify to lock down the use of data, ranging from the information you share with Microsoft to the access that individual apps have to your location, microphone, and camera. Check below privacy settings as soon as you have got your Windows  10 system.

Settings you Should Change in you Windows 10

Below is a list of settings you should turn off in Windows ;

1-      Turn off Cortana

Cortana - Turn Off Windows 10 Tracking

Cortana – Turn Off Windows 10 Tracking

Microsoft offers a digital assistant Cortana that can perform internet searches, set reminders, and do many other useful things for users. However, it also collects data about users. Users can turn it off by below-stated steps;

  • Click on Cortana in the Windows 10 taskbar. A pop-up panel will be open
  • Choose the setting option by clicking on the notebook icon
  • It will display an option saying Cortana can give you ideas, suggestions, alerts, reminders, and more.
  • Turn off the toggle switch

When done, the Cortana option will be gone, and instead, and a search bar will appear. You can use this toolbar to search for things on the web.

2-      Turn off Advertising

Microsoft Windows 10 comes integrated with advertising. If you see personalized ads, it means your data is being tracked. Users can turn off advertising by below-stated steps;

  • Navigate to Settings and go to Privacy section by clicking it
  • Navigate to the General section, and you will see an option saying, “Let apps use my advertising ID for experiences across apps” under the Change Privacy options.
  • Turn this off, and your advertising ID will be restored.
  • Visit the Microsoft Choice website and go to the opt-out option.
  • There will be an option saying Personalized ads whatever I use my Microsoft account
  • Turn it off

This process will stop all targeted advertising, and the user can browse the internet with being tracked.

3-      Avoid Network Sharing

Network Sharing - Turn Off Windows 10 Tracking

Network Sharing

Microsoft Windows 10 features an option Wi-fi Sense. This feature of Windows 10 lets people who are in your contact access your Wi-fi without using the password. So if your friends visit you, their systems featuring Windows 10 will automatically connect to your Wi-fi without entering the password.

If you want to prevent it, you can easily disable it by below-stated steps.

  • Navigate to settings
  • Go to the Network and Internet option
  • Choose Wi-fi option and then Manage Wi-fi Settings
  • A page will open displaying Wi-fi Sense
  • Turn off “Connect to Suggested Open Hotspots” option
  • Turn off “Connect to Networks Shared by My Contacts” option

4-      Dial Back Diagnostic Feedback

Diagnostic Feedback - Turn Off Windows 10 Tracking

Diagnostic Feedback

If you let it open, Microsoft will track the website you browse and the apps you use to personalize your Windows 10 experience. It utilizes browsing data to enhance Bing search results. You can prevent it by following below stated steps;

  • Go to Settings
  • Go to Privacy settings under the Diagnostics and Feedback tab
  • Turn on the option to show diagnostic data
  • Delete everything that Microsoft has collected so far
  • Change the Data Collection from Full to Basic

Now your system will only send back information about your system, its configurations, and whether it’s working correctly. There is no option given to turn it off completely.

5-      Turn Off Activity History

Activity History - Turn Off Windows 10 Tracking

Activity History

Microsoft Windows 10 is curious about what you do on the operating system, and they are tracking it. You can prevent it by following below stated instructions;

  • Navigate to Settings option
  • Go to Privacy section under the Activity History
  • Check to Prevent Sending Microsoft This Data box
  • Check to Stop Collecting it Altogether box

Users won’t be able to utilize the Timeline features of Windows 10. You can read Microsoft Windows 10 Privacy Policy if you can’t decide.

On the very same dialog box, you can turn activity tracking off for multiple accounts, as well as clear all the history.

6-      Turn Off Camera Access

Camera Access - Turn Off Windows 10 Tracking

Camera Access

Any system with a webcam comes with the concern that somewhere, someone is tracking you through your camera. You can stop worrying about this by blocking access to the apps that want access to your camera. You can disable it by following below stated instructions;

  • Navigate to Settings
  • Go to the Privacy section
  • Click Camera link located to the left
  • Turn off toggle switches to select which app can access your camera

You can also block your camera access entirely or can give Windows 10 access to your camera. It is worth checking inside the apps you use daily for extra access regarding your webcam.

7-      Disable Microphone Access

Microphone Access - Turn Off Windows 10 Tracking

Microphone Access

Although you aren’t worried about being tracked by your webcam, but what about people tracking you by using your microphone? Microsoft Windows 10 restricts you about which app can use the microphone, and you can even disable it completely. To turn off this, you have to follow the below steps;

  • Go to Settings
  • Go to the Privacy section
  • Go to Microphone
  • To go for app-by-app control, go down of apps and turn microphone access off or on as per your preferences.
  • You can turn it off entirely by turning off the toggle switch located above the list.
  • For turning it off for all the apps and Windows 10, go to the Change icon at the top.

8-      Control Contacts Access

Contact Access - Turn Off Windows 10 Tracking

Contact Access – Turn Off Windows 10 Tracking

The contact number and email addresses you have related with your family, relatives, friends, and co-workers represent a chunk of the private data on your system, and you want to make sure that these details aren’t leaking to areas they shouldn’t.

Windows 10 enables you to manage all theses, and you can manage them by below steps;

  • Go to Settings
  • Go to Privacy
  • Go to Contacts
  • Turn the toggle switch off for apps you don’t want to share your contacts with.

9-      Disable Location Tracking

Location - Turn Off Windows 10 Tracking

Location

Microsoft Windows 10 is also tracking down your location, and you surely want to prevent that. To do this, you can follow below stated instructions;

  • Go to Settings
  • Open Privacy section
  • Go to Location settings
  • Click the change button to turn off your device location. Note you won’t be able to use maps and mapping apps.
  • Scroll down to the page, and you can grant access to your selected apps

10-  Multiple User Accounts

Accounts - Turn Off Windows 10 Tracking

Accounts – Turn Off Windows 10 Tracking

You can protect your privacy from Microsoft and apps running on your system, but what about people who are sharing your computers, such as co-workers and housemates?

The best way to keep your stuff to yourself is to create a separate account for everyone who has access to Microsoft Windows 10 system. You can create a new account by below steps;

  • Go to Settings
  • Go to Accounts
  • Go to Family and Other Users option

There you can create multiple user accounts and grant access as per your preferences.

Multiple user accounts mean everyone’s apps, settings, files, browsing history, and more will get separated.

11-  Turn Off One Drive

OneDrive- Turn Off Windows 10 Tracking

OneDrive-

If you don’t want to store your data in Microsoft cloud servers, you have an option to turn off One Drive to stop it. For this, you need to follow below-stated steps;

  • Click on the upward arrow in the tray icon to the right of the taskbar
  • Click on One Drive
  • Click on Settings
  • A new window will open
  • Uncheck the box that says Start One Drive automatically when I Sign in
  • Uncheck the other two checkboxes as well that says Let me use One Drive to fetch any of my files, and Use office to work on files with other people.

Conclusion

Privacy is a more pressing concern than most of us realize. Leakage of personal data can do serious harm. Privacy enables us to set boundaries and protect ourselves and our loved ones from unwanted interference in our lives. These were some useful tips that can protect your personal data being leaked.

Also check:

FAQ

Below are some most asked questions by multiple users;

Q: Is Windows 10 has privacy issues?

Ans: Yes, Windows 10 certainly has privacy issues. It gathers and sends to its servers a wide range of your personal data.

Q: What should you turn off in Windows 10 privacy?

Ans: Go to settings, click Privacy, and then click the General tab. Under the General tab, you will see a list of settings, and you can turn off certain features.

Q: Is Microsoft Shutting down the Cortana?

Ans: Yes, they are shutting down Cortana everywhere except the United States.

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