Windows Phone Privacy Settings

Smartphone adoption has increased substantially in the last few years. We use the Smartphones to talk, text, click pictures, access the Internet, check emails and more. We usually have a lot of our personal information stored on our Smartphones and hence it is imperative that we take certain steps the Microsoft privacy experts are concerned greatly about the safety and privacy in your Windows Phone. In this article we will discuss about the privacy settings in Windows Phone 8.1.

Privacy Settings in Windows Phone

Location services on Windows Phone 8.1

Windows Phone Privacy Settings

Locations services are always very useful. It helps adding locations to your photos, post your locations on social networking website and  more. To use the location services on your Smartphone, you first need to allow the app to access your device’s location. You can always turn in ‘ON or Off’ at your own preferences.

Screen Lock

A screen lock comes first when we talk about our phone’s privacy settings. To lock the screen of your Windows Phone, go to Settings >
Lock Screen and go to the Password option at the bottom.

To turn location services on or off

You can turn the location services ‘On or Off’ from your phone settings. Settings > Location > Turn On/Off. You can also show or hide the location icon on your device. Hiding or showing the icon won’t make any different to the location services.

Using the location services might be risky at times. The location app might sell your location data to the advertisers who then might deliver ads to your device according to your location. In worse case, sharing your location on social networking website may lead some serious criminal activities like spying or stalking.

Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone

While using Internet Explorer on your Windows Phone, it is important to keep the privacy settings intact. Never forget to delete the search history, and for better protection start using SmartScreen Filter option.

  • Go to Internet Explorer->More
  • Tao on the ‘Delete history’ tab. It will delete all your search history, browsing history, cookies, saved passwords and temporary internet files from your device.

Tap on ‘Advanced Settings’ and adjust the settings like this:

  • Allow access to your location
  • Get suggestions from Bing
  • Show pictures
  • SmartScreen Filter
  • Send a ‘Do not track’ request
  • Manage storage
  • Reading style
  • Block cookies from specific websites
  • Allow websites to store files on your phone


Don’t Save Passwords

Saving the passwords may let others intrude in your privacy. From the Settings option of your Windows Phone go to Applications > Internet Explorer > Advanced Settings and check on ‘Don’t Remember’ under Website Passwords.

Cortana Settings

With a few settings, you can have total control over your personal assistant Cortana. To open Cortana, simply tap on the search button of your Windows Phone or you can launch it from the Cortana icon on your phone.

Cortana Settings tab is on the upper right corner on your Windows Phone screen.

Turn Cortana On or Off

Just open Cortana’s Notebook Turn Cortana off > Settings, turn Cortana off Cortana’s Notebook, and then restart your phone.

Manage data in Cortana

  • Tap on ‘Delete Phone Data’ to clear data from Cortana’s Notebook.
  • Tap on Manage Cloud Data to clear the saved places, Cortana data, and interests.

Look for flights

Cortana can help you looking for suitable flights and gives you a detailed information on your flight’s progress. Furthermore, Cortana also sends you an alert when your flight is delayed.

To let Cortana detect your flights automatically, you need to check ‘Track flights and other things in your email’ on your phone check box.

The default Windows Phone settings are safe, but going through these settings and hardening them may help you making your Windows Phone safer and private.

Posted by on , in Category Phone 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.

One Comment

  1. Moulian

    Nice post… I love my Nokia phone with Win 8.1 on it. I learn more about it every day. Thanks!

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