In Windows 10, Microsoft collects performance and usage information. This information is known as telemetry data. According to Microsoft, it helps to improve product quality and resolve bugs and issues in the OS faster. In this article, we will see how to change how much diagnostic and usage data will be sent to Microsoft.
Note: This article is about changing the settings in order to keep you aware about your computer's configuration. If you need to disable the telemetry and data collection completely, refer to the following articles:
- How to disable Telemetry and Data Collection in Windows 10
- Stop Windows 10 spying on you using just Windows Firewall
- Telemetry and Data Collection are coming to Windows 7 and Windows 8 too
Another reason to see how much diagnostics data Windows 10 is sending is that the telemetry data can be shared with third-parties.
Diagnostic and usage data options in Windows 10
The options "Diagnostic and usage data" can be set to one of the following levels, as described by Microsoft:
In this mode, Windows 10 will send minimal data to Microsoft. Security tools like Windows Defender and Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) will send a small set of data to the company's servers. This option can be enabled only in Enterprise, Education, IoT and Server editions of the OS. Setting the Security option in other Windows 10 editions has no effect and automatically reverts to Basic.
Basic information is data that is vital to the operation of Windows. This data helps keep Windows and apps running properly by letting Microsoft know about the capabilities of your device, what is installed, and whether Windows is operating correctly. This option also turns on basic error reporting to Microsoft. If you select this option, they'll be able to provide updates to Windows (through Windows Update, including the Malicious Software Removal Tool). However, some apps and features may not work correctly or at all.
Enhanced data includes all Basic data plus data about how you use Windows, such as how frequently or how long you use certain features or apps and which apps you use most often. This option also lets Microsoft collect enhanced diagnostic information, such as the memory state of your device when a system or app crash occurs, as well as measure reliability of devices, the operating system, and apps. If you select this option, Microsoft claims to provide you with an enhanced and personalized Windows experience.
Full data includes all Basic and Enhanced data, and also turns on advanced diagnostic features that collect additional data from your device, such as system files or memory snapshots, which may unintentionally include parts of a document you were working on when a problem occurs. This information helps Microsoft further troubleshoot and fix problems. If an error report contains personal data, they won't use that information to identify, contact, or target advertising to you. This is the recommended option for the best Windows experience and the most effective troubleshooting.
The initial settings can be configured during setup. A special page of the setup program allows the user to specify basic privacy settings. See the following screenshot.
The user can change these settings later, as described below.
To change Diagnostic and Usage Data settings in Windows 10, do the following.
- Open the Settings app.
- Go to Settings -> Privacy > Feedback and Diagnostics.
- On the right, select Basic or Full under Diagnostic and usage data.Note: If you are running an Insider Preview build, the settings are locked as shown in the screenshot above. To change them, you can use one of the following Registry tweaks.
Change Diagnostic and Usage Data settings With a Registry tweak
- Open Registry Editor.
- Go to the following Registry key:
Tip: You can access any desired Registry key with one click.
If you do not have such a Registry key, then just create it.
- There you need to create a new a 32-bit DWORD value named AllowTelemetry and set it to one of the following values.
0 - Security
1 - Basic
2 - Enhanced
3 - Full
Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.
The same can be done with a Group Policy tweak. It will force the data usage to the specified mode. To apply it, go to the following Registry key.
Create this key if it doesn't exist in your Registry.
Then, create a 32-bit DWORD value called AllowTelemetry and set it to the desired value from 0 to 3 as described above.
To save your time, you can download the following Registry tweak for both Group Policy and regular options.