10 Settings In Windows 10 You Should Disable

If you have installed Windows 10, there are a few default privacy settings you’ll want to change.

Windows 10 logo

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 Settings - Choose how updates are delivered

Wi-Fi Sense

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.

Windows 10 Settings - Wi-Fi Sense

Annoying notifications

You can disable annoying notifications on an app-by-app basis in the Action Centre: Settings > System > Notifications & actions.

Windows 10 Settings - Notification settings

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.

Windows 10 Settings - Start menu ads

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.

Windows 10 Settings - General privacy options to disable targeted ads

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”.

Windows 10 Settings - Getting to know you

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.

  1. Right-click the Start menu, select “Run” and type “regedit” in the box. Press Enter.
  2. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows
  3. Right-click in the right pane, hover over New, then select Key.
  4. Rename the folder created to “Personalization”
  5. In the Personalization folder, right-click in the right pane and create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  6. Rename it to “NoLockScreen”
  7. Double click NoLockScreen and under value data change it from 0 to 1, then click OK.

Windows 10 run regedit

Settings sync

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 Settings - Sync your settings


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.

Windows 10 OneDrive system tray icon

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.

Windows 10 Settings - Performance options



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