Windows 10 now comes with the telemetry feature enabled by default which collects all sorts of user activity and sends it to Microsoft. Unfortunately, Microsoft has provided no way to disable it completely using the Settings app for Home and Pro editions of Windows 10. Only Enterprise users can turn it off. Here is a solution for editions other than Enterprise to disable Telemetry and Data Collection in Windows 10.
Before we start, I definitely should mention one fact. Beware Windows 7/Windows 8 users, your operating system might be spying on you as well! See the following article: Telemetry and Data Collection are coming to Windows 7 and Windows 8 too
Please find time to read the following article: Stop Windows 10 spying on you using just Windows Firewall. This might be interesting and useful for you. You can combine all mentioned tricks below with the Firewall tip.
As you use Windows 10, Microsoft will collect usage information. All its options are available in Settings -> Privacy - Feedback and Diagnostics.
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 the capabilities of your device, what is installed, and whether Windows is operating correctly. This option also turns on basic error reporting back to Microsoft. If you select this option, we'll be able to provide updates to Windows (through Windows Update, including malicious software protection by the Malicious Software Removal Tool), but 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 us 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, we’ll be able 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 occurred. This information helps us further troubleshoot and fix problems. If an error report contains personal data, we 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 usage data monitoring setting can be set to Full out of the box, which is not acceptable for many users. Those users might want to turn off the data collection in Windows 10. This can be done with a Registry tweak. To disable Telemetry and Data Collection in Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro, you need to do the following:
- 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 0.
Now, you need to disable a couple of Windows services. Right click the File Explorer item in Windows 10 Start menu and pick Manage from its context menu:
Go to Services and Applications -> Services in the left pane. In the services list, disable the following services:
Diagnostics Tracking Service
Update: Windows 10 version 1511 changed the Diagnostics Tracking Service to Connected User Experiences and Telemetry service. You will need to disable
Connected User Experiences and Telemetry
Double click the mentioned services and pick "Disabled" for the startup type:
You need to restart Windows 10 for changes to take effect.
Tip: it is a good idea to check out rest of the options in the Settings app - >Privacy.
This should prevent Windows 10 from spying on you. If you have a more elegant solution for this or any questions, feel free to write a comment.