The description sounds scary, but Wi-Fi Sense does not share passwords
automatically—while it's enabled by default (so you can access shared
passwords), you have to explicitly choose what passwords to share.
So if you'd like to disable Wi-Fi Sense, open your Start menu and launch the
Settings app. From here, choose the "Network & Internet" option to begin.
Next, click the "Manage Wi-Fi settings" option on the following page.
From here, the Wi-Fi Sense options will be displayed at the top of the screen.
Basically, you want to disable every last option in this menu.
At this point, you'll no longer be participating in Microsoft's Wi-Fi sharing
program, but your passwords may still be stored remotely. To disable Wi-Fi Sense
altogether, you'll have to add a suffix of "_optout" to the end of your Wi-Fi
network's name (SSID) through your router's settings menu.
Disable Bandwidth Sharing for Updates
In another strange act of opt-out data sharing between users, Windows now uses a
sort-of peer-to-peer network for downloading updates. Similar to a torrent
program, this means that when you download a Windows update file, you're also
uploading parts of it to other users.
Since unnecessary bandwidth usage can be costly, you'll probably want to disable
this one. Again, start by heading to the Settings menu, but this time open the
"Update & Security" section.
From the "Windows Update" tab on the next screen, click the "Advanced options"
button to find the setting we're looking for.
Next, scroll down to the bottom of this page, then select the option labeled
"Choose how updates are delivered."
Finally, turn off the toggle switch directly beneath the excerpt about "Updates
from more than one place." They really buried this one deep, didn't they?
Disable Automatically-Applied Updates
On the subject of updates, Windows 10 now automatically applies updates by
default, which is a nice feature on the surface. The downside here, though, is
that while they say it'll only restart your device while you're not using it, I
can personally attest that this is not always true.
So if you don't want to run the risk of losing unsaved data when Windows decides
it needs to update itself, head toSettings,
& Security, and select the "Advanced options" entry again. From here, click
the drop-down menu directly beneath the "Choose how updates are installed"
Finally, set this option to "Notify to schedule restart." This will ensure that
Windows at least gives you a warning before restarting itself to apply updates.
Another disturbing feature that is meant to streamline your Windows 10
experience is called "Getting to know you." This one logs your typing history,
saves recordings of your voice, collects information from your contacts,
calendar, and even your handwriting—all in the name of giving you a more
personalized experience with Cortana.
In addition to options for the "Getting to know you" feature, each of these last
4 sections will be dealing with options in Windows 10'sPrivacymenu—so
open your Start menu and launch the Settings app, then select "Privacy" to
From here, select the "Speech, inking & typing" category in the left-hand menu,
then click "Stop getting to know me" to take back a bit of privacy.
Disable Targeted Ads
With Windows 10, you've now been issued a unique advertising ID to help "serve"
you with more targeted ads. This ID cannot be removed permanently, but at the
very least, you can prevent 3rd-party apps from accessing this data.
To begin, head to the "General" tab in Windows 10'sPrivacymenu.
From here, make sure to disable the topmost toggle switch, labeled "Let apps use
my advertising ID for experiences across apps."
Disabling this setting won't affect Windows apps likeMicrosoft
Edge, so you may want to take this a step further. To disable targeted ads
in Edge, use the browser to navigate tothis
link, then turn any available options off.
Prevent App-Access to Your Location, Microphone, & Webcam
In Windows 10, third-party apps can access your microphone, webcam, and
location. While this makes sense for some apps—for instance, a video-chatting
app needing access to your microphone and webcam—not all apps absolutely need
these permissions. Additionally, apps accessing your location too frequently can
lead to a reduction in performance and battery life, so you should at least
familiarize yourself with these menus.
First up, head to the "Location" tab in thePrivacymenu,
then scroll down to the bottom of the page to review the apps that have
permission to access your location. To block any of these apps from accessing
your location, simply toggle the adjacent switch to "Off."
In the same vein, head to the "Camera" tab to check on apps that can access your
webcam. Again, scroll down to the bottom of the list, then turn off the toggle
switches next to any unnecessary apps in this list.
Finally, head to the "Microphone" tab in thePrivacymenu
to view apps that can access your microphone. Again, simply turn off any
switches here if you don't want an app to access your microphone.
Disable Unwanted Background Apps
This last option is a bit less privacy-oriented, but it can make a big impact in
terms of battery life and performance. Many "Universal" Windows apps are set to
start up alongside your computer, and this is a drain on your computer's
again, scroll down to the bottom of the menu on the left side of the page, then
select the "Background apps" option. From here, simply use the toggle switches
to prevent these apps from running on startup and staying open in the