Change Privacy options and settings in Windows 8.1

Very few of us may have bothered to have a look at these settings, but Windows 8.1 does offer some privacy control options that let you control how applications can access your information, which ads can be shown, and more. Let us have a look at these settings, so that you can change the defaults, should you wish to.

NOTE: This post will show you how to harden Windows 10 Privacy Settings.

Privacy settings & options in Windows 8.1

Privacy Options in Windows 8.1

To change the privacy options and settings in Windows 8.1, open Charms > Settings > Change PC settings. Select Privacy from the left side, and you will see the options displayed in the image above.

Once here, under the General sub-heading, you will be able to change your privacy settings for the following:

  1. Do you want applications to access your personal data like name, picture, etc?
  2. Can apps use your advertising ID?
  3. Do you want the SmartScreen Filter to check web links that the Windows Store or Universal apps use?
  4. Would you like to see text suggestions as you type?
  5. Do you want to allow websites to provide you with locally relevant content?

You will also see a link to the Microsoft Personal Data Dashboard. Clicking on Manage my Microsoft advertising and other personalization info will take you there.

Microsoft Personal Data Dashboard

Here you will be able to manage your Interests, set which Microsoft ads you want to see, subscribe to or unsubscribe from Microsoft newsletters, configure Bing Search results and more. In short, it lets you manage how Microsoft can use your information.

microsoft personal data dashboard

Apart from this, you will also be able to see various other Privacy settings and sub-headings like Location, Webcam, Microphone and Other devices. You can chose whether you want Windows and apps to use your location information and let apps use your webcam, microphone, etc.

Hope you find this bit of information useful.

Stay private, stay safe!

Now read: Harden Windows 8 safety settings.

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Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. Judy

    Hello Anand! I’m having a problem I hope you can help me with. While setting my privacy options (I don’t recall exactly where I was), I deleted an “unknown” file that I think is the same as “Account Unknown S-1-15-2-1” which I found mentioned in a forum discussion talking about this problem. My computer had been acting strangely and I was convinced this file might be the culprit. But now I can’t open any of the items on my Windows 8.1 Start Menu. They will start to open, but after a few seconds, close and appear below on the task bar. I’m afraid I deleted a necessary file. (I should have known better!)

    Right now I am running “Recuva” from Piriform to try to locate this file. It is still running and hasn’t given results yet. Am I doing the right thing to try to find this deleted file? Are you familiar with this issue?

    Any suggestions you can provide will be very much appreciated. I have been dealing with this off and on for a few weeks, and have not found the solution. I am only afraid that if I Recuva finds it and I reinstall it, I will open a new can of worms. Please advise! Thanks so much for your help!

  2. Yes, you could use Recuva and see if you can recover and restore the file.
    Using the System Restore function to restore you computer back to a prior goot date would be another option.

    Run System File Checker and see if it helps.

  3. Arun Kumar

    Am not sure but you should run the Windows Repair Disk. It will restore important files that you may have deleted. Otherwise too, it should fix the problem.

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