How-to: Block Telemetry from Windows 10

My son has a BootCamp partition on his MacBook Pro to let him play one of his favourite games that had originally claimed to be working on a Mac version but has recently scrapped it. The Windows partition was to only be a stop-gap until the Mac version came out, and would then be obliterated and no longer seen or heard from again.

After a recent automatic update to Windows <insert inanely and confusingly named Edition name here>, I noticed that the privacy settings had been reset back to “tell Microsoft everything” mode after having set them to “no damn way” mode when I first (begrudgingly) set up Windows 10.

There are a plethora of settings in Windows 10 Home, Pro and other non-Enterprise editions that let you shut off certain data settings, Cortana’s nosiness and camera/microphone access. However in these non-Corporate versions, there is not (supposed to be) a way to fully turn off all telemetry going back to Microsoft.

They seem to think that because you are a mere and lowly home or small business user that you don’t have the right to cut them off from their God-given data firehose of info on how you use your computer. Luckily, there is a way to use our friend the Registry and killing some services to keep telemetry from being reported back, even on Home and Pro editions of Windows 10.  Thanks to an excellent post on Winaero, I was able to update these items and confirmed that telemetry is no longer being sent out.

Of course, this could break in the next Windows 10 update due in October 2017, lovingly called the Fall Anniversary Satya Creator Major Nelson Update, but for now, it is working as planned.  Please take a look at the Winaero post (and they have one for disabling Windows 7 & 8 Telemetry too!)

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