Limit Windows 10 Data Collection

Proceed at your own risk! ={D Updated Aug 30, 2019.

THE EASY WAY: DONOTSPY 10

This program makes it easy. You just have make sure you don't install any of the extra software during the installation process. Just one caveat, this is not an open-source program so you really don't know what this program is running in the background. But since it makes everything so easy, I thought I'd include it here anyways. :) You can download the program from this page: http://pxc-coding.com/portfolio/donotspy10/.

During the installation make sure to click on the "Click here to customize the installation" and uncheck all boxes. When running the program, I opted to click on the "Check All" button and then on "Apply." :)

THE MANUAL WAY

For those who like doing everything by hand, here's how to do it all manually. ^_^ Please note, these instructions include disabling Windows updates and the Security Center. After doing so, you might get a popup every time you start your computer asking you to enable the Security Center but you can ignore that message.

SETTINGS Press the Windows key on your keyboard and click on "Settings."

-go to "Settings > Privacy," click on each of the sub-sections on the left and turn everything off

-go to "Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi," scroll down and click on "Manage Wi-Fi Settings," turn everything off

-go to "Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update", scroll down and click on "Advanced options," click on "Choose how updates are delivered," turn it off

GROUP POLICY Press the Windows key on your keyboard and type "Edit group" without quotes and click on "Edit group policy." Go to "Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components" and change the following settings:

-Biometrics > Allow the use of biometrics > disabled

-Data Collection > allow telemetry > enabled > 0

-OneDrive > Prevent the usage... > enabled

-Search > Allow Cortana > disabled

-Windows Defender > Turn off Windows Defender > enabled

-Windows Update > Configure Automatic Updates > disabled

Go to "User Configuration -> Administrative Templates and change the following setting:

-Start Menu and Taskbar > Remove Notifications and Action Center > enabled

TASK SCHEDULER Press the Windows key on your keyboard and type "task scheduler" without quotes and click on Task Scheduler. Go to "Task Scheduler Library -> Microsoft -> Windows" and disable all the tasks inside these folders:

-Application Experience

-Customer Experience Improvement Program

-WindowsUpdate

REGISTRY Press WIN key, type regedit, right click on regedit and select "Run as administrator." Update these registry entries:

-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\DataCollection > create a new a 32-bit DWORD value named AllowTelemetry and set it to 0.

-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\WMI\AutoLogger\AutoLogger-Diagtrack-Listener > change the value of "Start" DWORD to 0

-Reference the "How to disable automatic updates using Registry" section on this page: https://www.windowscentral.com/how-stop-updates-installing-automatically-windows-10

SERVICES Press WIN+R, type in "services.msc" without quotes and press Enter. Disable each of these services (right click > properties > startup type > disabled):

-Background Intelligent Transfer Service

-Connected User Experiences and Telemetry

-Windows Biometric Service

-Windows Error Reporting Service

-Windows Update

TIP: Reference the following page and adopt the "Tweaked" configuration. The table shows the "Tweaked" column all the way to the right which may be hard to see. Click on "show / hide columns" to hide some of the default columns. http://www.blackviper.com/service-configurations/black-vipers-windows-10-service-configurations/

HOW TO DISABLE CORTANA

Scroll down to answer by WernerCD.

https://superuser.com/questions/949569/can-i-completely-disable-cortana-on-windows-10 The part that says "8. Kill SearchUI.exe process" should instead read "8. Left click once on the Cortana process, press the delete key on your keyboard to end the task, then quickly switch back to the permissions dialog box and click on Continue. If you get a permission denied error, that means you're not doing this quickly enough and that the Cortana process was restarted before you were able to hit Continue." Thanks HerrimanCoder for your comment in that thread: "I couldn't find SearchUI.exe in my list of processes, so instead I had to kill Cortana in task manager and then HURRY and move the folder before Cortana restarted itself, and that seemed to work. – HerrimanCoder Jul 30 '17 at 13:34"

HOW TO DISABLE WINDOWS UPDATES

The best way I've found so far is Wu10Man. But it doesn't work all the time. If you folks know of a better way, let me know!

ANTIVIRUS PROGRAM

Be sure to install your own antivirus program. Avast (configurable) and BitDefender (simple and robust) are free of charge.

image: https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2016/04/28/delivering-personalized-search-experiences-in-windows-10-through-cortana

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