If you have installed Windows 10, there are a few default privacy settings you’ll want to change.
If you are a Windows 10 user, you may be aware of the concerns people have raised regarding Windows 10’s default privacy settings.
By default, Windows 10 will send speech, typing, and inking input along with your contacts and calendar details to Microsoft.
It will also create an “advertising ID” for you to allow for better-targeted ads from third parties.
Those on capped broadband accounts take note: Windows 10 will use your connection to help distribute updates to other Windows 10 users.
Instructions on how to disable many of these settings are summarised below.
File sharing updates
If you don’t want Microsoft to use your broadband connection to help distribute patches, disable the setting by going to:
Settings > Update & security > Advanced options > Choose how updates are delivered.
Windows 10 will share your Wi-Fi login details with your friends on Outlook.com and Skype.
It will also share your password with your Facebook friends if you give it permission to.
Navigate to Settings > Network and Internet > Wi-Fi, and click on Manage Wi-Fi to disable this.
You can disable annoying notifications on an app-by-app basis in the Action Centre: Settings > System > Notifications & actions.
Start menu ads
Microsoft will suggest apps from the Windows Marketplace in your start menu. You can disable this under Settings > Personalisation > Start > Occasionally show suggestions in Start.
Targeted ads from third-party apps
To avoid targeted ads in your operating system, disable the setting by going to:
Settings > Privacy > General > Let my apps use my advertising ID.
Speech, typing, and inking data
Disable sending your typing, speech, and inking data to Microsoft by going to Settings > Privacy > Speech, inking, & typing, and click “Stop getting to know me”.
The lock screen
Because it runs on mobile devices as well, Windows 10 has a lock screen and a login screen.
If you would prefer to get rid of the lock screen, you can do so if you’re comfortable with changing Windows Registry settings.
Note: please only attempt this if you are familiar with your Windows Registry.
- Right-click the Start menu, select “Run” and type “regedit” in the box. Press Enter.
- Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
- Right-click in the right pane, hover over New, then select Key.
- Rename the folder created to “Personalization”
- In the Personalization folder, right-click in the right pane and create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Rename it to “NoLockScreen”
- Double click NoLockScreen and under value data change it from 0 to 1, then click OK.
Settings such as your themes, passwords, and search history are synced to Microsoft’s servers for use on other Windows 10 devices.
Go to Settings > Accounts > Sync your settings, where you can disable all syncing, or selectively disable sync.
Windows 10 will want to synchronise your documents with OneDrive.
There is no way to uninstall OneDrive, but you can sign it out of your Microsoft account, disable synching, and prevent it from starting up with your machine.
These options are available by right-clicking on the OneDrive icon in the system tray.
Microsoft also has a guide on its support site for disabling OneDrive as much as Windows 10 will allow.
Visual effects on the user interface (optional)
Right-click the Start button and go to System > Advanced system settings.
Under the Advanced tab, go to Performance, click Settings, then uncheck all the visual effects you’d prefer not to see.