Windows 10 has some handy new features, but if you believe the rest of the internet, it also comes with features that eviscerate any semblance of privacy. But that view is a little overblown. Let’s take a closer look at what each of these settings actually do—and which ones are actually a privacy problem.
Windows 10 has a reputation for “phoning home” more often than its predecessors, and while that’s primarily true, much of this was already present in Windows 8—and an awful lot of it is present in other products like Android, iOS, and Chrome. That’s not to say all of those settings are good, just that there’s very little new happening here.
You can read the privacy statement for Windows 10 here. It’s not quite as sweeping as the Windows Insider Preview policy that caused so much commotion, but it’s still very broad (as most privacy policies are).
Plenty of sites have published lists of all the features you should turn off in Windows 10 to protect your privacy, but many don’t explain in detail what each of these settings do, which makes it hard to separate FUD from fact. So let’s go through those settings and explain what we know about them, where the real problems are, and how to turn everything off.