How to Stop Windows 11 spying on you (Windows 11 Privacy Settings)

If you value your privacy and want to limit the data that Windows 11 tracks, here are some steps you can take to disable or reduce the data collection

Windows 11 is the latest operating system from Microsoft, and it comes with many new features and improvements. However, some users may be concerned about the privacy and security of their data, as Windows 11 collects and send various information to Microsoft and other third-party services. If you are using Windows 11, you may be wondering how much data Microsoft collects from your device and how to stop it. This article explores what Windows Telemetry is, and why Microsoft collects it. Also learn how to stop Windows 11 from spying on you, by adjusting Windows 11 Privacy Settings and disabling some features that may compromise your privacy.

What Is Windows Telemetry?

Windows Telemetry is a system that collects diagnostic data from your device and sends it to Microsoft. The purpose of this data collection is to help Microsoft improve the performance, reliability, and security of Windows and other Microsoft products and services. The data collected by Windows Telemetry includes information such as:

– Device specifications, such as model, processor, memory, and firmware.
– Device health and performance, such as battery life, boot time, and error reports.
– Device usage and preferences, such as installed apps, settings, and features.
– Device location and network information, such as IP address, Wi-Fi network name, and signal strength.

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Microsoft claims that Windows Telemetry does not collect any personal or sensitive information that can identify you or your files. However, some users may still be concerned about their privacy and want to have more control over what data is collected and shared with Microsoft.

How to Disable Telemetry on Windows 11

By default, Windows 11 collects both required and optional diagnostic data from your device. Required data is the minimum amount of data that is necessary for Windows to function properly and securely. Optional data is additional data that helps Microsoft improve the user experience and provide personalized recommendations.

Disable Windows tracking your Data

To disable or stop Windows 11 spaying or tracking your data, you need to do is to review the privacy settings during the installation or also change these settings later by going to Settings > Privacy & security > General.

Disable Telemetry on Windows 11

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Online speech recognition: This allows Windows to recognize your voice and use it for dictation, Cortana, and other apps. If you turn this off, you will not be able to use voice commands or dictation, but you will prevent Windows from sending your voice data to Microsoft.

Find my device: This allows Windows to use your device’s location to help you find it if it is lost or stolen. If you turn this off, you will not be able to locate your device remotely, but you will prevent Windows from tracking your location.

Inking & typing personalization: This allows Windows to learn from your handwriting and typing patterns to improve suggestions and autocorrection. If you turn this off, you will not get personalized suggestions or autocorrection, but you will prevent Windows from collecting your input data.

Tailored experiences: This allows Windows to use your diagnostic data to offer you tips, ads, and recommendations based on your usage. If you turn this off, you will not get personalized offers or suggestions, but you will prevent Windows from using your data for marketing purposes.

Advertising ID: This allows Windows and apps to use a unique identifier to show you relevant ads based on your interests and behavior. If you turn this off, you will still see ads, but they will not be tailored to your preferences, and you will prevent Windows from creating a profile of you for advertising purposes.

Disable sending Diagnostics data

The second thing you need to do is to review the diagnostic data settings in Windows 11. Diagnostic data is the information that Windows collects and sends to Microsoft about how your device and apps are working, and how you use them. This data helps Microsoft improve the performance, reliability, and security of Windows and its services. However, some users may not want to share this data with Microsoft, as it may contain personal or sensitive information.

To review the diagnostic data settings in Windows 11, go to Settings > Privacy & security > Diagnostics & feedback. Here you will see two options:

Required diagnostic data: This is the minimum amount of data that Windows needs to send to Microsoft to keep your device secure and up to date. This data includes information about your device, its settings and capabilities, its health and performance, and whether it experiences any problems. You cannot turn off this option, as it is essential for the functioning of Windows.

Optional diagnostic data: This is the additional data that Windows can send to Microsoft to help improve the quality and features of Windows and its services. This data includes information about how you use Windows and apps, such as how often and how long you use them, which features you use most, and how they perform. You can turn off this option if you want to limit the amount of data that Windows sends to Microsoft.

Optional Diagnostic data

Disable Location Tracking

Windows 11 can track your location using GPS, Wi-Fi, cellular networks, or other sensors. This can be useful for some apps and services that need to know your location, such as maps, weather, or local news. However, it can also pose a privacy risk if you don’t want your location to be shared or stored by Microsoft or other apps.

  • To disable location tracking, go to Settings > Privacy & security > Location.
  • Here you can turn off the Location service toggle to stop Windows 11 from accessing your location.
  • You can also choose which apps can access your location under the App permissions section.

Disable Location Tracking

Delete Activity Tracking Data

Windows 11 can track your activity history across your devices, such as the apps you use, the websites you visit, the files you open, and the searches you make. This can be useful for syncing your activity across devices and resuming where you left off. However, it can also pose a privacy risk if you don’t want your activity history to be shared or stored by Microsoft or other apps.

To delete your activity history, go to Settings > Privacy & security > Activity history.

Here you can click on the Clear button under the Clear activity history section to delete all your activity history from your device and from Microsoft’s servers.

Delete Activity Tracking Data

You can also turn off the Store My Activity history on this device and Send My Activity history to Microsoft toggles to stop Windows 11 from collecting your activity history.

Disable Advertising Data Tracking

Windows 11 can track your advertising data using a unique identifier that is assigned to your device. This can be useful for delivering personalized ads that are relevant to your interests and preferences. However, it can also pose a privacy risk if you don’t want your advertising data to be shared or stored by Microsoft or other apps.

  • To disable advertising data tracking, go to Settings > Privacy & security > General.
  • Here you can turn off the Let apps show me personalized ads by using advertising ID.
  • Here Turn off all of the general preferences by using the toggle option.
  • Once you complete the above steps, you will successfully opt out of personalized ads on Windows 11.

Disable Advertising Data Tracking

Disable Your Personal Dictionary

Windows 11 can track your personal dictionary using a cloud-based service that learns from your typing and speech patterns. This can be useful for improving your typing and speech recognition accuracy and providing suggestions and corrections. However, it can also pose a privacy risk if you don’t want your personal dictionary to be shared or stored by Microsoft or other apps.

  • To disable your personal dictionary, go to Settings > Privacy & security > Speech.
  • Here you can turn off the Online speech recognition toggle to stop Windows 11 from sending your voice input to Microsoft’s cloud-based service.

Disable Your Personal Dictionary

Stop Microsoft Edge Data Collection

Microsoft Edge is the default web browser in Windows 11, and it can collect and send various types of data to Microsoft and other third parties. This can be useful for providing personalized features and services, such as autofill, sync, feedback, diagnostics, and more. However, it can also pose a privacy risk if you don’t want your browsing data to be shared or stored by Microsoft or other third parties.

  • To stop Microsoft Edge data collection, open Microsoft Edge and click on the three-dot menu icon in the top right corner.
  • Then go to Settings > Privacy, search, and services. Here you can adjust various settings related to privacy, such as tracking prevention, personalization, feedback, diagnostics, and more.

Stop Microsoft Edge Data Collection

You can also click on the Clear browsing data button under the Clear browsing data section to delete any browsing data that has been stored on your device or on Microsoft’s servers.

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