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Controlling data that Windows 10 phones home to Microsoft


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I passed on Windows 10 as I'm happy enough with my old version 7 on my old hardware but I found this when looking for suggestions for a friend who was wanting to tweak his v 10 settings.





If you don't know how to control the information Windows 10 sends back about you to Microsoft, the Redmond giant has updated its guide on how to do so.

Snappily titled "Configure telemetry and other settings in your organization", the page was tweaked on Tuesday, and some corners of the web are rather excited by this development. The guide was first published around the middle of last year. You may not have seen this page before, but if you have: you can safely go back to your coffee.
The document applies to Windows 10 build 1511, which was released in November. It goes over what Microsoft says Windows 10 collects about you and sends back to Redmond's servers via encrypted HTTPS transfers. This telemetry allows the software giant to analyze the types of computers running Windows 10, exactly how programs are used by people, and why apps and services crash.
Some will call that spying, others will call it harmless diagnostic data. However you want to label it, it's possible Windows will send back your files, or fragments of files, from your system to Microsoft engineers investigating programming bugs in their code. That may be a surprise to you, it may not.


They continue with a short version of the Microsoft guide that will help you pick the settings you are comfortable with. The even shorter version:



In short: if you value your privacy, you'll want to select Basic. If you're super-paranoid, you can select Security, and if you can't do that due to your Windows 10 edition, well, Basic will have to do. If you don't want your documents flung back to Redmond, don't use the Full setting.

Microsoft urges you to not opt out of this telemetry collection because it has been used to debug nasty errors and catch early malware infections ? attempts to exploit vulnerabilities trigger weird new crashes that engineers haven't seen before.


Read it and decide what your comfort level is.

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In looking through the articles mentioned I didn't find any specific directions on how to switch the telemetry setting to basic.


I did use the search function in my Win10 for telemetry and it took me to "privacy" and "feedback & diagnosis" which I changed to basic. Is this the setting which needs to be changed?

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This has the change methods, the registry method is pretty straightforward.





Manage your telemetry settings


You can manage your telemetry settings using the management tools you’re already using, such as Group Policy, MDM, or Windows Provisioning. You can also manually change your settings using Registry Editor. Setting your telemetry levels through a management policy overrides any device-level settings.


You don't need the file steps shown on the linked page to do just a couple machines so this should do it. Save a registry backup before you make the edits just to be safe.



Open Registry Editor, and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\DataCollection.


Right-click DataCollection, click New, and then click DWORD (32-bit) Value.
Type AllowTelemetry, and then press ENTER.
Double-click AllowTelemetry and set the value to one of the following levels, and the click OK.
0. This setting maps to the Security level.
1. This setting maps to the Basic level.
2. This setting maps to the Enhanced level
3. This setting maps to the Full level.


Just be sure to pick a level your version of Win 10 supports, so "Security" may not be an option for your system.



Security (only available on Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 Education, and Windows 10 IoT Core (IoT Core) editions)

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I'm confused. It seem the warning in the original posting is saying that ALL computers with "Windows 10 build 1511, which was released in November" will have telemetry turned on.


On my computer telemetry seem to NOT be turned on. I went through the group policy sequence


  1. From the Group Policy Management Console, go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Data Collection and Preview Builds.

  2. Double-click Allow Telemetry.

  3. In the Options box, select the level that you want to configure, and then click OK.

and "allow telemetry" is "not configured".


Am I missing something????? BTW my windows updates are up to date.

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Al, I don't know the friend with Win 10 has moved on so I have no access to it or another win 10 system.


Thanks for the original posting. I figured you probably wouldn't have a ready answer, but I was hoping one of the Win 10 guru's would chime in with an answer.

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