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  • Win10 telemetry tweaking

    Posted on December 20th, 2016 at 04:57 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Interesting letter from UKBrianC:

    Reading the discussion re. killing Cortana and the suggested tweaks from the WinAero site got me thinking what is the general opinion on the reducing telemetry suggestions on the same site?

    http://winaero.com/blog/how-to-disable-telemetry-and-data-collection-in-windows-10/

    The reduction in CPU activity I have seen has been significant in the “first half hour” after startup but I don’t know if something important is being missed that will cause problems down the line. It has worked well for me so far (updates have been successfully installed/no errors or crashes) but defining what that even means is difficult because how do we really know what is still being collected/sent?

    (I can answer the last question – we don’t have any idea what is being collected or sent.)

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    Home Forums Win10 telemetry tweaking

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    This topic contains 34 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  WildBill 8 months, 1 week ago.

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    • #16629 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Interesting letter from UKBrianC: Reading the discussion re. killing Cortana and the suggested tweaks from the WinAero site got me thinking what is th
      [See the full post at: Win10 telemetry tweaking]

    • #16630 Reply

      ch100

      I have already lost respect for that article after reading this claim that it works on Windows 10 Pro.

      Open Registry Editor.
      Go to the following Registry key:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsDataCollection

      Tip: You can access any desired Registry key with one click.
      If you do not have such a Registry key, then just create it.
      There you need to create a new a 32-bit DWORD value named AllowTelemetry and set it to 0.

      From the equivalent Windows 10 Group Policy Description:

      Setting a value of 0 applies to enterprise, EDU, IoT and server devices only. Setting a value of 0 for other devices is equivalent to choosing a value of 1.

      The whole description of that Group Policy explains all that is to explain in a condensed form of the relevant Technet White Paper about the subject.
      Anything else is just speculation and fluff.

      This policy setting determines the amount of diagnostic and usage data reported to Microsoft. A value of 0 will send minimal data to Microsoft. This data includes Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) & Windows Defender data, if enabled, and telemetry client settings. Setting a value of 0 applies to enterprise, EDU, IoT and server devices only. Setting a value of 0 for other devices is equivalent to choosing a value of 1. A value of 1 sends only a basic amount of diagnostic and usage data. Note that setting values of 0 or 1 will degrade certain experiences on the device. A value of 2 sends enhanced diagnostic and usage data. A value of 3 sends the same data as a value of 2, plus additional diagnostics data, including the files and content that may have caused the problem. Windows 10 telemetry settings applies to the Windows operating system and some first party apps. This setting does not apply to third party apps running on Windows 10.

      If you disable or do not configure this policy setting, users can configure the Telemetry level in Settings.

    • #16631 Reply

      zero2dash

      I primarily use the initial setup OOBE screens to turn everything off, and then (once fully booted), go into gpedit to wrap things up…
      (All under Windows Components)

      Data Collection and Preview BuildsAllow Telemetry – Enabled, set to 1 – Basic

      Data Collection and Preview BuildsDo not show feedback notifications – Enabled

      Delivery OptimizationDownload Mode – Enabled, set to Download Mode: LAN

      OneDrivePrevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage – Enabled (I don’t use OneDrive)

      SearchAllow Cortana – Disabled

      SearchAllow Cortana above lock screen – Disabled

      Windows UpdateConfigure Automatic Updates – Enabled, set to 2 – Notify for download and notify for install

      I used to also Enable both options under Windows ComponentsCloud Content (for not showing Windows tips, and turning off consumer experiences), but they changed that in AU to where those settings no longer apply to Win 10 Pro.

      On my 10 Home machines, I just set what I can in Settings. Most of that is the same as what’s in GP, other than Cortana. I don’t really care per se about leaving her as a ‘dummy’ with a local account and no MS account/privacy allowances, but since I can turn her off outright in GP, I do.

      I’ve somewhat thrown in the towel on worrying what is sent to where. They say that Basic allows the same telemetry that 7/8 do; obviously whether that’s the truth or a lie is anyone’s guess. I’ve somewhat decided that for me personally, it’s easier to just accept 10 with it’s shortcomings than it is to try to fight to keep a 7 box updated.

    • #16632 Reply

      UKBrianC

      Yes I shared that feeling from my non-tech viewpoint. If you follow his registry tweaks the only difference is that the feedback level is set to Basic and that area in Settings is greyed out. Any user can just go and set it at Basic. Mine already was.
      I felt it was a long article that boiled down to disabling a couple of services. Disabling those services certainly seems to quieten down “system activity” during the early period after booting, all other activity being equal of course.
      But I thought that I probably didn’t fully understand any deeper implications.
      I didn’t follow any of the suggestions in the related article re firewalls either.

    • #16633 Reply

      UKBrianC

      I almost totally agree with the sentiment in your final paragraph.

      The only problem it is giving me is that consultancy contracts include commitments as to how client intellectual property, data, commercial information etc etc will be handled by you.

      Microsoft’s opacity as regards exactly what is reported back, and what is done with that data, along with the constant implication that any or all data on Win10 machines may be accessed by Microsoft and may be shared with 3rd parties unknown for purposes unknown at some future time make for an uncomfortable position re local Win10 machines. Real world common sense doesn’t always sit well with legal contracts!

    • #16634 Reply

      ch100

      Excellent summary @zero2dash and almost everything that is required for a normal setup.
      Just few observations in relation to a couple of settings.
      – Windows Update set to 2 appears not to be supported in 1607, although it still seems to work. You may consider the fully supported value of 3 or disabling entirely
      – I am still playing with Delivery Optimization and trying to understand it. The value of 1 (LAN) is useful on wired internal networks and less so on wireless, unless the internet connection is metered or very expensive. There are also the values of 0 (HTTP) and 99 (Simple) for which I can’t understand the difference. The only possible difference is the communication back at Microsoft for 0 and disabling it for 99, while the end result is the same. Do you have any really useful information beyond the confusing information coming from Microsoft in relation to Delivery Optimization?

    • #16635 Reply

      anonymous

      A message of hope:

      There are many settings beyond the overt ones for eliminating unwanted data transmission, and a number of freely available tools for changing them.

      A Windows system (any version) can be set up to avoid all unwanted data transmission by controlling what other systems are allowed to be contacted. Modern computers can do this very well.

      There are specific online systems that have been set up to receive telemetry. The list of such systems isn’t trivial, but neither is it impossible to derive or manage.

      Managing your own DNS resolution and using a restrictive firewall are workable ways to both see and take control of what online commuincations are being attempted. Modern internet server farms and content delivery networks have complicated things, but protective software continues to get more powerful as well.

      My experience is this:

      Restricting what online sites are allowed to be contacted isn’t just good for privacy, it’s also good for improving your computing experience. It’s possible to block sites that send ads, unwanted programs, malware, and other things that you don’t want, and your network access actually speeds up when the junk you don’t want is trimmed off.

      Do NOT feel guilty about wanting your computer not to send data about you behind your back. Even if (as most folks) you’ve nothing to hide, it’s nobody else’s d**n business what you do with your computer! They can’t lose control of your private data and have someone abuse you with it if they don’t have it.

      -Noel

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #16636 Reply

      jelson

      +1

    • #16637 Reply

      jelson

      I’d suggest the scripts created by abbodi that alters Telemetry registry keys and disables/deletes Telemetry scheduled tasks.

    • #16638 Reply

      MrBrian

      The method that I gave (in a comment in post “Care to join a Win7 snooping test?”) for listing what Diagnostics Tracking Service sends in Windows 7 probably also works in Windows 10.

    • #16639 Reply

      UKBrianC

      Thank you to the above, I will dig deeper.

    • #16640 Reply

      Elly

      Thank you for hope… and pointing out what I need to learn about next.

    • #16641 Reply

      zero2dash

      Yeah, I’m not sure what the deal is with the WU setting of 2 in Win10….it notifies that “You need updates”, but then installs them once you acknowledge the notification in SettingsUpdate & SecurityWindows Update. In that regard, setting it to 2 seems exactly like setting it to 3 because you do only get 1 notification and even then, you don’t get to pick and choose what is installed (like the good ‘ol days).

    • #16642 Reply

      zero2dash

      And no, to answer your WUDO question – nope, no real ideas. I just set to LAN so it’s not communicating out, acting as a WU seed.

    • #16643 Reply

      jmwoods

      Tools such as O&O ShutUp10 or Spybot Anti-Beacon are probably easier for the average user…

      O&O ShutUp10

      https://www.oo-software.com/en/shutup10

      Spybot Anti-Beacon

      https://www.safer-networking.org/spybot-anti-beacon/

    • #16644 Reply

      ch100

      Disabling those 2 services is a recommendation from VMWare for their VDI offering, so I think it should help with the performance of the machine due to reducing or even cancelling the telemetry traffic. If it is useful or if it creates any problems down the track for a physical machine, I don’t know.

    • #16645 Reply

      Anonymous

      I know this question doesn’t apply to this subject, but being today is Tuesday, shouldn’t the preview rollups have come out today? Why haven’t they been released?

    • #16646 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Yep, they should’ve been released, but almost everybody at Microsoft is on vacation. No idea when it’ll come out.

    • #16647 Reply

      Anonymous

      I see. I should have figured it involved the employees being on vacation. I just thought they were uploaded to the MS servers ahead of time and unlocked at a certain time.

    • #16648 Reply

      MrBrian
    • #16649 Reply

      Carl D

      All of this discussion about tweaking/disabling telemetry and Cortana in Windows 10 reminds of the original series Star Trek episode “The Ultimate Computer”.

      http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/The_Ultimate_Computer_(episode)

      At one point (Act 3), after the M-5 computer goes ‘rogue’, Spock and Scotty spend a considerable amount of time disabling a relay thinking that it will shut the M-5 computer down only to discover that the M-5 had set it up as a decoy to make them waste their time.

      I’m getting the impression the same thing happens with trying to disable telemetry in Windows 10. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #16650 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      They should’ve been. But it wouldn’t surprise me to see them rolling out later this week.

    • #16651 Reply

      Noel Carboni

      +1 on the recommendation for O&O ShutUp10.

      Spybot Anti-Beacon ultimately contributed some suggested entries to my server blacklists, and I have also run W10Privacy.

      I was at one point experimenting with these programs, trying to determine if any one of them covers everything important but that’s a daunting task indeed. This is not a simple realm.

      One real eye-opener is the number of settings in O&O ShutUp10 that get turned back from green (private) to red during an in-place upgrade. Microsoft’s reverting privacy settings – overt or behind the scenes – is unacceptable! But they do it.

      You cannot rest on your laurels with Windows 10.

      -Noel

    • #16652 Reply

      Noel Carboni

      Now if only we could convince Windows 10 that it is illogical, we’d have it!

      But an insane mind cannot sense its own insanity.

      -Noel

    • #16653 Reply

      messager7777777

      Bear in mind that all these phoning-home to M$’s servers for yr Telemetry & Data will also eat into yr Internet bandwidth = may slow down yr web-surfing, file downloading n cost u more money(eg if u hv low Data Caps).
      ……. It may also slow down yr cptrs since they hv to work harder to constantly phone-home to M$.

      Win 10/8.1/7’s Telemetry & Data collection may be an NSA spyware = collaboration by M$ with the US govt.
      .
      M$’s Win 10 = “Windows as a Self-serving Service.?”

    • #16654 Reply

      DewayneH

      Carl I love that episode and yes you know it we are probably all worried about Telemetry instead they are sending everything in One Drive and Outlook direct to the NSA in a data dump ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • #16655 Reply

      Anonymous

      Correct, 2 and 3 seem to do the same thing, but 3 appears to be the only one supported (why?). Even more, both seem to do exactly what 2 should do, because setting Win 10 ENT on 3 does not download the files, only notifies that there is an install to be done.

    • #16656 Reply

      ch100

      You would be surprised to find that WUDO reports home even on the LAN setting. It is part of the telemetry and collecting of statistics for various configurations implemented by users or administrators.
      The only settings which I understand do not report home are the newer 99 – Simple and 100 – Bypass, the last one trying to emulate the BITS functionality from the previous versions, but it is still not clear if the behaviour is identical.
      What I said before is based purely on my understanding of the existing documentation as I didn’t spend the time to do actual monitoring to identify the exact behaviour.

      To me, the description in the Group Policy below says that only setting 99 does not report home, although I believe 100 does not report either.

      *************************************
      Specifies the download method that Delivery Optimization can use in downloads of Windows Updates, Apps and App updates. The following list shows the supported values: 0=HTTP only, no peering. 1=HTTP blended with peering behind the same NAT. 2=HTTP blended with peering across a private group. Peering occurs on devices in the same Active Directory Site (if exist) or the same domain by default. When this option is selected, peering will cross NATs. To create a custom group use Group ID in combination with Mode 2. 3=HTTP blended with Internet Peering. 99=Simple download mode with no peering. Delivery Optimization downloads using HTTP only and does not attempt to contact the Delivery Optimization cloud services. 100=Bypass mode. Do not use Delivery Optimization and use BITS instead.
      **************************************

      Also https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/itpro/windows/manage/manage-connections-from-windows-operating-system-components-to-microsoft-services

      In Windows 10, version 1607, you can stop network traffic related to Windows Update Delivery Optimization by setting Download Mode to Simple (99) or Bypass (100), as described below.

      Lets you choose where Delivery Optimization gets or sends updates and apps, including

      None. Turns off Delivery Optimization.

      Group. Gets or sends updates and apps to PCs on the same local network domain.

      Internet. Gets or sends updates and apps to PCs on the Internet.

      LAN. Gets or sends updates and apps to PCs on the same NAT only.

      Simple. Simple download mode with no peering.

      Bypass. Use BITS instead of Windows Update Delivery Optimization.

    • #16657 Reply

      ch100

      Good question, but aren’t the preview patches due in Week 4 for the month?

    • #16658 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      Historically the Previews arrive in the “C” week – which is the third week.

      Still haven’t seen them for this month.

    • #16659 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      ๐Ÿ™‚

    • #16660 Reply

      The Real Allan

      +1 for the last paragraph.

    • #16661 Reply

      ch100

      This was me but the post went under anonymous for some reason.

    • #16662 Reply

      Ascaris

      zero2dash wrote:
      “Iโ€™ve somewhat decided that for me personally, itโ€™s easier to just accept 10 with itโ€™s shortcomings than it is to try to fight to keep a 7 box updated.”

      I don’t really understand that. If you’re willing to accept Win 10 and its forced updates that often break things, you can just as easily put Windows 7 on “automatically download and install updates” and have roughly the same situation, though with no new features (fingers crossed) being added to Windows 7, the odds of having things truly borked is less than with 10.

      The challenge in keeping 7 updated isn’t that it’s hard to download and install everything MS pushes out (as is the only official option with 10). It’s trying to maintain some semblance of control over your own system and defending yourself from Microsoft’s inadequately tested patches that’s hard (by design). It’s even harder on Windows 10!

    • #93707 Reply

      WildBill
      AskWoody Lounger

      The method that I gave (in a comment in post โ€œCare to join a Win7 snooping test?โ€) for listing what Diagnostics Tracking Service sends in Windows 7 probably also works in Windows 10.

      It works in Windows 8.1 the same as Win 7. However, Diagnostic Tracking Service has been renamed in Windows 10 (probably to confuse & hide). Here’s a link explaining & how to disable: http://www.ghacks.net/2015/11/19/microsoft-rena-and-telemetry/

      Wild Bill Rides Again...

      1 user thanked author for this post.

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