Data privacy concerns are nothing new and you must know that Microsoft collects your data via Windows 11 telemetry. If you are not comfortable with this, there are several ways you can turn it off to stop Microsoft from continuing to collect and log your data.
Turn off Windows permissions to limit Microsoft’s data access
If you do disable telemetry on Windows 11, Microsoft may claim that you will miss out on “tailored” and “personalized” experiences across the Microsoft ecosystem. Here’s how to check and change privacy settings on Windows 10 or Windows 11.
In this guide, we will walk you through every step needed to disable telemetry on Windows 11 to stop Microsoft from logging so much of your data.
Turn off Windows 11 telemetry
Limiting what data Microsoft has access to is the best way to handle your data privacy. How Microsoft handles diagnostics, feedback, and privacy in Windows is meant to be confusing as possible. The company tries to make it less convenient and harder for you to turn it off.
Here are the settings under Windows permissions you will need to turn off, clear, disable, or delete.
Go to Settings > Privacy & security > General. Turn all of the toggles to Off. These are your most basic privacy settings.
Under Online speech recognition, you want to change the toggle to Off. If you were unknowingly contributing voice clips to Microsoft, be sure to click Stop contributing my voice clips to stop providing Microsoft access to your voice clips.
3. Inking and typing personalization
Turn Personal inking and typing dictionary toggle to Off. It might also be necessary to clear the contents of your Personal dictionary too to stop Microsoft from collecting your inking and typing data.
4. Diagnostics & feedback
This setting used to be the only setting you needed to change to disable Windows telemetry. Turn all of the toggles to Off. Microsoft dedicates up to 1 GB of space on your hard drive for your “diagnostic data.” Be sure to turn off all the toggles as shown.
Click Delete to make a request to delete your data that Microsoft has saved and change Feedback frequency to Never. If you have a Microsoft account, you may need to delete additional data saved online in your account.
5. Activity history
Uncheck the Store my activity history on this device box. Click Clear to clear any previously saved activity history that Microsoft has on file.
6. Search permissions
SafeSearch settings are a personal preference, but it is important to turn off the two toggles under Cloud content search and turn Off the Search history on this device toggle. In addition, click Clear device search history to clear any previously saved data.
Other Windows 11 telemetry options to disable
If you want an iron-clad approach to limiting the data that Microsoft collects, it is necessary to cover all your bases. Here is how you try to stop Microsoft from collecting your data, even after you have made the necessary changes in Windows Settings.
1. Group Policy Editor
In Group Policy Editor, go to the following location: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Data Collection and Preview Builds
Under Data Collection and Preview Builds, disable all of the settings in this location. Restart your PC when finished.
2. Task Scheduler
In Task Scheduler, go to the following location: Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > Customer Experience Improvement Program.
Right click Consolidator and click Disable to turn it off.
If you have any devices connected to your PC via USB, Microsoft is tracking that information too, under UsbCeip, so you’ll need to disable that too. Restart your PC when finished.
In Services, scroll down and double click Connected User Experiences and Telemetry. Disable it by setting Startup type to Disabled from the dropdown menu. Click Apply to apply the changes and then OK. Restart your PC when finished.
Why does Microsoft make it so complicated? Is there a Windows telemetry setting that I missed? Let me know in the comments!