You need to disable this Windows 10 setting immediately


Do you use Windows 10? Change this default setting now.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Windows 11 may be on the way, but more than One billion people They still use Windows 10, and many have no idea of ​​the default settings that collect information, make you see more ads and notifications, and may slow down your device. (Will be free to upgrade to Windows 11 if you are already using Windows 10, here it is how to download Windows 10 for free if you haven’t already. And here how to know if you can upgrade to Windows 11.)

If you’re a Windows 10 user, you’ll want to spend a few minutes examining these default settings, and potentially turning them off, for the sake of privacy, speed, and convenience. Here are eight settings that are on by default that you can disable in Windows 10. (You can also refer to the best Windows 10 tips and tricks and how to fix common Windows 10 problems.)

File sharing updates

One feature that Windows 10 added is a optimized update delivery system, which allows you to download updates from other Windows 10 computers over the Internet (not just from Microsoft’s servers). The problem, of course, is that your computer is also used as an update clearinghouse for other Windows 10 users.

This feature is enabled by default, but you can disable it by going to Settings> Update & Security> Advanced Options> Delivery Optimizationand toggle Allow downloads from other PCs off.


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / CNET

Annoying notifications

the Windows 10 Action Center is a handy central hub for all your notifications: apps, reminders, recently installed programs. But notification overload is definitely a thing, especially when you add unnecessary notifications (like Windows hints) to the mix.

Control your notifications by going to Settings> System> Notifications and actions and turning off things like Get tips, tricks, and tips when using Windows or Show me the Windows welcome experience after updates and occasionally when I log in to highlight what’s new and tips. and individual app notifications.

win-10 notifications

Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / CNET

Start menu ads

Microsoft pushes its Windows Store apps so much, in fact, that you may see apps you never downloaded in your Start menu. These suggested apps are basically ads.

Turn off these annoying ads by going to Settings> Personalization> Start> Show suggestions occasionally on Start. For more information, see our Windows 10 Start Menu Guide.


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / CNET

Targeted ads from third-party apps

Microsoft is definitely monitoring your browsing habits and preferences in Windows 10. It even has a unique advertising ID (linked to your Microsoft account), which the company uses to show you targeted ads. Oh, and Microsoft also shares this Advertising ID profile with third-party Windows Store apps, unless of course you disable this information sharing.

You can disable this by going to Settings> Privacy> General> Allow apps to use advertising ID to make ads more interesting to you based on your app activity (disabling this option will reset your ID).

win-10 app tracking

Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / CNET

Cortana ‘getting to know you’

Cortana, your adaptive personal assistant in Windows 10, gets pretty personal with the information it collects about you. Cortana “gets to know you” by gathering information like typing and voice patterns and typing history, which you might find a bit creepy.

You can prevent Cortana from knowing you and erase your information from your device by going to Settings> Privacy> Inking and writing and disable the option.


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / CNET

Apps running in the background

In Windows 10, many apps run in the background, that is, even if you don’t have them open, by default. These applications can receive information, send notifications, download and install updates, and consume your bandwidth. and The battery life. If you are using a mobile device and / or a measured connection, you may want to disable this feature.

To do this, go to Settings> Privacy> Background apps I have already paid Let apps run in the backgroundor disable each application individually.


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / CNET

All sync

Windows 10 is all about syncing. Everything (system settings, themes, passwords, search history) is synced across all devices you are signed in to by default. But not all of us want our search history to sync from our phones to our computers, so here’s how to disable syncing.

To disable syncing of settings (including themes and passwords), go to Settings> Accounts> Synchronize your settings. You can disable synchronization for all settings, or you can selectively disable specific settings.


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / CNET

Automatic Updates

Windows 10 downloads and installs updates automatically, and you can’t really turn them off. And honestly, you shouldn’t turn them off – an up-to-date operating system is a secure operating system. But if for some reason you want to prevent your computer from automatically downloading and installing Windows 10 updates (perhaps so that you can manually download and install such updates on your own schedule), you can pause the updates for a set period of time. I have to Settings> Updates> Advanced options, And below Pause updates, choose a date within the next 35 days. However, you won’t be able to pause again after that point until you update.


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / CNET

For more information, see the the best Windows 11 features we’ve found so far and how to use themand everything there is to know upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11.

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