Change these 5 Windows settings to enhance your data privacy

The tale of five switches.


If you’re looking to improve data protection without the fuss, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re aiming to shut down ad tracking or simply reduce the amount of information sent to Microsoft, we’ve got all the details below.

All you need to do is flip five switches in your Windows 10 or 11 settings, and voila! It’s as simple as that.

These “switches” can be found in Windows 11. Go to the Windows icon in the bottom left corner of the screen, click on “Settings” (the gear icon), and then select “Privacy & Security.” You should see many switches below “Change privacy options.” Flip all these switches to the “on” position.

1. Allow apps to use my advertising ID for experiences across apps (turn off)

2. Allow websites to access your language list to provide locally relevant content (turn off)

3. Let Windows improve your startup and search results by tracking app launches (turn off)

4. Show suggestions in Settings app (turn off). A quick note on this one. In Windows 10, the settings page is called “Privacy.” The names for other settings might vary slightly, but the actions are the same. There’s a switch after each setting that should be set to the “off” position. The convenience loss from this measure is almost zero. However, the gains in data protection are significant.

5. The fifth setting to be changed can again be found under the Windows icon. Go to “Settings,” “Privacy & Security,” “Diagnostics & feedback,” and then “Send optional diagnostic data.” Disable it. The path in Windows 10 is slightly different, with different menu names, but the basic path is the same.

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