Data privacy is a huge concern in the digital world. When you use the internet, you leak data every step of the way unless you’re mindful about it, and even Microsoft can peek at your data.
Microsoft collects data through its telemetry system that was introduced with Windows 10. Microsoft collects the data to improve your user experience and monitors your Windows settings, the apps you use, and system settings, among other things.
But here’s the good thing: you can disable the telemetry system if you don’t want Microsoft to log your data.
How to Limit What Microsoft Logs Through Telemetry
If you don’t want to disable telemetry entirely, you can allow Microsoft to collect only the most vital data. If you’re running the Windows 10 or 11 Home edition, this is your only option because Microsoft doesn’t allow disabling telemetry for Home edition users. Only users running the 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’ll need to change the settings so that Microsoft stops collecting “optional data.”
Start by pressing Win + I and navigate to Privacy & security > Diagnostics & feedback. Toggle the button beside Send optional diagnostic data off.
Once you do this, 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, websites you access, and other data relevant for troubleshooting.
How to Disable Telemetry Using the Group Policy Editor
While there are several other ways to disable telemetry, this is the simplest one. Of course, this method works only if you’re running Windows 10/11 Enterprise, Education, or Professional editions, or Windows Server 2016 and later.
To launch the Group Policy Editor, press 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 Builds.
Switch to the right pane and double-click Allow Diagnostic Data. Note that if you’re on Windows 10 (and not Windows 11), you’ll see Allow Telemetry as a listed setting instead of Allows Diagnostic Data.
Once you double-click, a window should pop up. By default, it’s set to Not Configured. Select Disabled instead and click OK.
How to Disable Telemetry Using Registry Editor
You can also use the Windows registry to disable telemetry. However, always be sure to back up your registry before making any changes. Fixing registry errors is usually not difficult, but a few errors can render your PC unusable.
Note that, like the previous methods, this method won’t disable telemetry on Windows 10 and 11 Home editions.
To launch the Registry Editor, press Win + R, type regedit, and press Enter. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsDataCollection. Then, right-click in the whitespace in the right pane, and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
Name the value Allow Telemetry. Double-click on the new value, insert Value data as 0, and click OK.
Once you’re done, exit the Registry Editor restart the PC.
How to Disable 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 disable the service, you’ll essentially have disabled telemetry as well.
To launch the Services console, press Win + R, type services.msc, and press Enter. Search for a service named Connected User Experiences and Telemetry. Double-click on the service to launch service properties.
Stay in the General tab and change Startup type to Disabled.
Click OK. Next, look for another service named Device Management Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Push message Routing Service. Disable it the same way. Restart your PC, and you’re done.
You can also use the Command Prompt to disable these services if you don’t want to spend time looking for these services. Press Win + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch the Command Prompt as an administrator.
Then, run the following commands one by one:
sc config DiagTrack start= disabled
sc config dmwappushservice start= disabled
When you’re done, restart the PC, and you’ll have disabled data collection on your PC.
How to Disable Telemetry Using Task Scheduler
Another way to disable telemetry is through the Task Scheduler. All you need to do is disable a few tasks on the Task Scheduler, and you’ll have effectively disabled telemetry.
Search the Start Menu for Task Scheduler and open the Best Match.
From the left sidebar, navigate to Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > Customer Experience Improvement Program. Disable the task named Consolidator. Repeat the process for all other tasks in this location.
Once you’ve disabled both tasks, restart your PC.
Is It Safe to Disable Telemetry?
Yes, there are no inherent risks to disabling telemetry. Microsoft uses telemetry to collect data from users with a goal to improve user experience with future updates. The telemetry system has so far been accepted as a legitimate way of enhancing the Windows experience.
However, it does collect data. If you’re uncomfortable with any type of data collection, disabling telemetry isn’t going to affect your experience in any way. You’ll continue to receive updates like usual. Of course, in some cases, disabling telemetry isn’t an option.
For instance, if you’re on Windows 10 or 11 Home Edition, you can still disable the collection of optional data which means Microsoft will only collect the data it needs to keep the operating system ticking over.
Disabling Telemetry in Windows 10 and 11
It’s important to keep your data private in this new digital age, but it’s hard to do so when even our operating systems are beaming information back home. Now you know how to disable telemetry in Windows 10 and 11. Also, there are a ton of other privacy settings on Windows 11 that you should look at if you want complete privacy.
Windows 11 really cares about your data, and the operating system is packed full of options for the privacy-minded user.
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