One of the most precious things, nowadays, is data and one of the most controversial questions is “Is my data safe?”. Privacy is a major concern and almost all companies, be it Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc are guilty of data collection. We have already seen how you can change Windows 10 Privacy settings – that should suffice for most but if you are looking for more ways to stop Microsoft from tracking you on your Windows 10 PC, then this post will help you.
Stop Microsoft from tracking you
According to Microsoft, your data is collected in order to personalize your experience and if you don’t want to do that, you can disable certain settings from the Settings app to stop Microsoft from tracking you. You may or may not want to disable all of them, as some of them are useful for you. These are the things we are going to do to stop Microsoft from tracking you.
- Disable Personalize ads
- Disable Diagnostic & Feedback
- Disable Activity History
- Disable Location Tracking
- Disable Microphone and Camera
- Stop Contributing your Voice Clip
Let us talk about them in detail.
1] Disable Personalize ads
The first and foremost thing you need to do to stop Microsoft from tracking you is disabling Personalize ads.
This you can do by launching Settings > Privacy and disabling required toggles. You can disable all the toggles if you want, but if you just want to disable Personalize ads, disable the toggle of “Let apps use advertising ID to make ads more interesting to you based on your app activity (Turning this off will reset your ID).
This will not disable ads but the ads won’t be based on your data. So, your privacy will be secured.
2] Disable Diagnostic & Feedback
Microsoft tends to take your data in order to make the components of Windows better. The sad part is, you can not disable this feature completely, but there are some things you can do to improve your privacy.
So, open Settings and click Privacy > Diagnostics & feedback.
Now, to know more about this policy, click “Get more info about these settings” from the Diagnostic data section.
Select “Required diagnostic data” to only give Microsoft, information about your device and its settings, which won’t completely stop Microsoft from spying on you but it is the best we can do.
You can even check diagnostic data, to know what information of you Microsoft has.
To do that, just click Open Diagnostic Data Viewer from “View diagnostic data” or wipe it entirely by clicking on the Delete icon from the “Delete diagnostic data” section.
3] Disable Activity History
Another feature that can be a bit of a concern if you want to ensure privacy is Activity History. “Activity History” is used by Microsoft to help you to jump back into what you were doing if you log in to some other device.
So, if you want to stop Microsoft from tracking you, untick the “Send my activity history to Microsoft” option from Settings > Privacy >Activity History.
4] Disable Location Tracking
If you want to go complete anonymous, disabling Location in Settings can help.
The easiest way to disable Location is by Action Center, just click on the Notification icon from the Taskbar and disable Location. If you are not seeing the option there, launch Settings, click Privacy > Location > Change and use the toggle to disable it.
5] Disable Microphone and Camera
Many companies are found doing shady stuff by accessing the Camera and Microphones of a user without their consent. Therefore, you should always keep your Camera and Microphone and disabled and only enable them when needed.
To disable Camera, open Settings, click Privacy > Camera > Change, and use the toggle to disable it.
To disable Microphone, open Settings, click Privacy > Microphone > Change and use the toggle to disable it.
6] Stop Contributing your Voice Clip
Microsoft tends to take your Voice Clip in order to improve its Voice Assistant. This is not shady as Microsoft clearly mentions that it is doing this. However, if you don’t use Microsoft’s Voice Assistant Cortana or just don’t want to give your Voice Clip, disable this option.
To do that, launch Settings and click Privacy > Speech > Stop contributing my voice clip.
Hopefully, we have helped you to stop Microsoft from tracking you.