How to configure Windows 10 Privacy settings & options using Settings app

This post shows you how to configure Windows 10 Privacy settings & options using the built-in Windows Settings app, with a special focus on the new settings introduced under the General tab in Windows 10 Anniversary Update v1607.

Windows 10 users has always been concerned about the way Microsoft gathers feedback, information and usage statistics from their Windows 10 v 1607 PC – and it won’t be wrong to say the fact that Microsoft has also not been very transparent about this. It is true that Microsoft needs user feedback to improve the OS and deliver – but there are many who do not want to share even this information.

Hence, in this guide, we will be discussing the several built-in privacy options that are available in Windows 10 Settings, using which you can configure the way Windows 10 shares information with Microsoft.

Read: How much data is Microsoft really collecting.

Configure Windows 10 Privacy settings

Windows 10 has particularly enhanced regarding privacy by giving you the power to choose which apps can access your Account info, Contacts, Call history, Emails, etc.

You can access it all under Windows 10 Privacy Settings available in Settings app.

How to configure the way Windows 10 share information with Microsoft

Press Windows Key + I on your keyboard to open Settings app. Click Privacy to open privacy settings for your PC. All privacy settings should appear on the current Settings leaf.

We have seen broadly how to change Windows 10 Privacy Settings. and taken a look at the several free tools to tweak Windows 10 Privacy settings. Today I will talk about the six key privacy settings which appear under the General tab you need to configure.

Under General section on the left pane, you can see some options listed on the right side with a toggle button beneath them. These options envelop the other privacy settings available and enable you to control how privacy plays its part on the top level.

configure Windows 10 Privacy settings

Let apps use my advertising ID for experiences across apps

When you install Windows 10 and log in using a Microsoft Account, an advertising ID is automatically assigned to your PC which is used to keep track of your product preferences and other relevant information. Apps can request access to this ID and it can then be used by App Developers and Advertising Networks to provide more relevant advertising to you by understanding what apps you use and how you use them. This works the same way how YouTube suggests videos based on your watch history and subscriptions.

Turning this off possibly won’t do much. Your advertising ID will be turned off, and you’ll be shown generic advertisements.

Turn on SmartScreen Filter to check web content (URLs) that Windows Store apps use

This particular option protects you from malevolent and malicious content on the Internet. When you open any URL from a Windows Store app, this filter scans for any source that might potentially affect your data and privacy and filters it. It also warns you before trying to install any unrecognized apps downloaded from the Internet that could potentially be harmful. You’d certainly want to keep this toggle On to enhance your security environs.

How to configure the way Windows 10 share information with Microsoft

Send Microsoft info about how I write to help us improve typing and writing in the future

Windows 10 has been put on a continuous development mode and at the same time, devices are also being subsequently improved to accommodate more revolutionary touch screen technology. Microsoft, for some reason, needs information about how you interact with and write on your PC. We all know about Windows Ink Workspace released with Anniversary Update. It has certainly augmented the way you interact with your touch screen PC using a stylus or pen.

While there’s not much insight to how this information is exploited at Microsoft’s end, I personally do not find anything harmful in keeping this toggle On. It may seem a vague attempt in luring you to hand over your information, but it’s not baleful to believe that this data is collected by Microsoft to possibly understand your writing behavior and improve the experience in future.

Let websites provide locally relevant content by accessing my language list

Microsoft uses this option to seek access to your language list so that it can be used by websites to provide content that is locally apropos to your location and language. You can choose to turn this toggle Off in order to prevent Microsoft from utilizing your information.

Additionally, you can view and add the languages that you want in Region and Language settings under Settings > Time & language > Region & language > Languages.

How to configure the way Windows 10 share information with Microsoft

Let apps on my other devices open apps and continue experiences on this device

This option was added in Windows 10 with Anniversary Update. This primarily improves the synchronization between apps installed on your different devices. For instance, if you have opened a movie booking app on your Windows 10 PC and bought a ticket there then later you can carry along your Windows Phone which has the same app installed and access the ticket from there. Summing it all up, Microsoft may use this data to help improve the user experience by syncing between your devices.

Let apps on my other devices use Bluetooth to open apps and continue experiences on this device

As the second option being added in Windows 10 with Anniversary Update, this option enhances the operational hold of the above option. Apps on your other devices can use Bluetooth to connect with your Windows 10 PC to sync and continue experience between different devices where the same app is installed.

You can explore the additional link provided down there to understand advertising and other personalization info.

Let us know your thoughts on the same.

Looking for more? This post will show you how to manage Windows 10 Telemetry and Data Collection settings.

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Driven by my immense passion for Windows & other Microsoft technologies, I love to keep myself abreast of the latest strides and swings in the world of technology. I am fond of traveling to mountains & love to help others with their technical or non-technical setbacks.