Stop Microsoft from spying on you in Windows 11/10. Opt out of data collection and personalized ads by Windows 11/10 PC, apps, browser, Bing and Microsoft account. In this article, we will see how to block or disable ads from Cortana, Lock Screen, Start Menu, Action Center, Ink Workspace, Skype, OneDrive and other personalized ads in Windows 11/10and also tighten Microsoft and Bing account settings.
All Windows 11/10 users might not know this, but they are monitored by default. However, Windows 11/10 claims to be a very secure operating system with detailed privacy settings, there are still a lot of things to be aware of. Windows 11/10 actually collects more browsing data, location history, communication history, and contact details from messages and apps than its predecessors.
Every time you visit a Microsoft website, tracking cookies are installed on your PC and track all of your web browsing. This data is then sent to Microsoft servers and used by Bing.com to send you targeted advertisements. It doesn’t matter if you are using Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge or any other browser, Microsoft always follows you.
To disable or remove ads in Windows 11/10 you will need to:
- Visit Microsoft account and Bing dashboard to strengthen your privacy settings.
- Open Settings > Personalization and disable Ads for Lock Screen, Cortana, and Start Menu.
- Follow this procedure to disable ads in Windows Ink Workspace, Skype, OneDrive in Explorer, Action Center, etc.
Stop Microsoft from spying on you in Windows 11/10
In short, Microsoft tracks and adds your data to your Advertising ID. Everything you search for, every program you download, every app you use, and every website you visit is tracked and sent to Bing and the Windows Store.
In fact, if you’re signed in with your Microsoft account, you send a lot of your personal data to Microsoft servers, including the list of devices you use. Microsoft Edge even stores every character you type to search for anything.
Luckily, you can opt out of data collection and personalized ads by Microsoft on Windows 11/10 devices, apps, web browser, and Microsoft account.
Google has its Google Dashboard, which provides a view of data associated with your Google Account and allows you to change your Google privacy settings. You can also manage your Facebook advertising preferences. Microsoft also offers a personal data dashboard, which we covered earlier. Since the launch of Windows 11/10, Microsoft has added more features to it, which we will see now.
Disable Personalized Ads in Windows 11/10
Go to choice.microsoft.com/en-us/opt-out and adjust the settings in the right panel.
You will see three parameters:
- Personalized ads in this browser
- Personalized ads every time I use a Microsoft account.
- Personalized ads in Windows
While you can disable the first even when signed in to your Windows computer using a local account, to disable 2 and 3 you must be signed in using your Microsoft account.
Do not forget that :
“To disable personalized ads in this browser, your browser must allow first-party and third-party cookies. Instructions for enabling cookies may be available in your browser’s settings, privacy or help documentation.
If you want Microsoft to show you ads, click On. To display “generic” ads, click Off.
“To create a more personalized online experience, some of the advertisements you may receive on Microsoft websites and apps are tailored to your previous activities, searches, and site visits. You are in control and this is where you can make the advertising choice that is right for you”.
Lily: Disable Advertising ID to opt out of targeted ads Disable Advertising ID to opt out of targeted ads
Bing privacy settings
The second option is to adjust your Bing Privacy settings.
Go to bing.com/account/personalization and sign in using your Microsoft account.
Clear your saved places, personal information, search history, etc. Go to the link and click ‘Erase everything‘.
Also check your settings with other Microsoft services such as Xbox, OneDrive, Outlook and Microsoft Advertising. Click on the relevant links and adjust the settings according to your own preferences. These Microsoft services also save your data.
If you have Cortana enabled on your devices, you unknowingly give all your personal data such as contacts, locations, calendar and browsing history to Microsoft servers. Click on ‘Clear‘ to clear all your data and you won’t get Cortana’s recommendations on your device.
More tips here: Opt out of data tracking and targeted advertising.
Block Ads in Windows 11/10
Disable Targeted Ads in Windows 11/10 Settings
Ads that appear in settings like these can be turned off-
Open Settings > General > Disable Show suggestions in the Settings app.
That should help.
Lily: How to stop Microsoft from tracking you on a Windows computer.
Windows 11/10 privacy settings
We have already seen how change windows privacy settings in detail. Let’s go back to the one that is relevant here again.
Press Win + I to open Windows 10 Settings. Go to Privacy and change privacy options.
To extinguish Allow apps to use my advertising ID for cross-app experiences. This will also reset your Advertising ID.
On Windows 10 Mobile, go to Settings > Privacy > Advertising ID. Disable Allow apps to use my advertising ID for cross-app experiences.
Lily: Disable ads and tips on the lock screen.
Remove Windows Ink Workspace Ads
To remove Windows Ink Workspace ads, open Settings > Devices > Pen & Windows Ink.
Under Windows Ink Workspace, you will see Show recommended app suggestions. Flip the switch to the Off position.
Lily: Disable Windows 10 Start Menu Ads.
Remove Cortana Ads
To remove ads from the Cortana search box, open Cortana and click on her Settings icon, then click Turn off the toggle switch on the taskbar.
Lily: Disable Onedrive ads and notifications in Windows File Explorer.
Remove Get Skype Notifications
To prevent Get Skype from harassing you, you can open Settings > Settings > Apps & features and uninstall the Get Skype app here.
Lily: Disable Get Office notifications.
Remove Ads in Action Center
To remove ads from Action Center and notifications, open Settings > System > Notifications & actions.
Under Notifications you will see Get tips, tricks, and suggestions when using Windows. Flip the switch to the Off position.
Want to further strengthen the privacy of Windows 10?
Use our Ultimate Windows Tweaker to do it in one click!
Now read: How much data does Microsoft actually collect?