A lot of software includes some sort of diagnostic feedback to the developers. A lot of the time this is obviously useful information like details of a crash, so bugs can be fixed, however, some developers choose to include less important information such as hardware details (information about the parts of your computer) and usage statistics (information on how, when, and for what you use their software).
This data is generally anonymised as well as possible, but it is possible for some potentially sensitive details to be included in the diagnostic information – not to mention that you may just not want people to have access to that sort of data.
As such some people choose to limit diagnostic reports where possible. In Windows 10 you don’t have too many options when it comes to diagnostic reports. This guide will detail the options that are available.
The diagnostic settings can be found in the Settings app, in the Privacy section. To get to the right page, press the Windows key, type “Diagnostics & feedback settings” and hit enter.
There are two main choices for levels of diagnostic data, “Basic” and “Full”. Basic is the least amount of data you can send Microsoft. It covers information about your device, its configuration, and some performance metrics.
The “Full” setting includes all basic data, along with a lot more usage data, including information about what websites you browse with Edge (but not other browsers).
The “Improve inking and typing” setting specifically covers inking and typing data. This data is used to improve language recognition services on Windows. If you’re using the “Basic” diagnostic detail level this setting will be disabled.
“Tailored experiences” uses the diagnostics data to personalise ads and tips to you in Windows 10. “View diagnostic data” installs an app designed to help you browse locally saved diagnostic data. “Delete diagnostic data” removes all diagnostic data from your device and instructs Microsoft to delete their copies of your diagnostic data too.
If you’re concerned about the privacy risks and implications of the diagnostics data, it’s recommended that you choose the “Basic” detail level and disable everything else (with the potential exception of the Diagnostic Data Viewer) by clicking the sliders so they are in the “Off” position.
If you don’t think this measure goes far enough, it is possible to disable the diagnostic data collection service. However, this may cause some unintended side effects and issues in how some other apps run.
Tip: Be careful when modifying Windows services as you could cause system stability issues. This step is not recommended as disabling the Connected User Experience and Telemetry service can cause issues with the operation of other apps that rely on it.
To do this, open the Services app by pressing the Windows key, typing “Services” and hitting enter. Double-click on the diagnostics service titled “Connected User Experience and Telemetry”.
Once in the Connected User Experience and Telemetry service settings, change the “Startup type” to Disabled and click “Apply”. Once you’ve stopped the service from being able to restart, click “Stop” to stop the service.