by Dan Delong
The Windows10 Operating System has scattered many "user control" settings into seemingly unrelated locations inside the user interface. Why? I assume that Microsoft would prefer users stick with the defaults and other suggested settings, often left that way during a hurried installation process. With Win10Privacy, you can easily find those settings, and more - and change them. If this program is installed from an administrator account, users can first set a restore point (prompted during start-up), thereby making it easy to return to the pre-installation privacy settings. If needed by some users, some work arounds are described on the website, along with other technical details about how the program functions.
The tabs across the top break up the types of change operations into these areas of concern: Privacy proper, Telemetry, Search, Network, File Explorer, Services, Edge browser, Internet Explorer browser, One Drive, Tasks, Tweaks, Firewall, Background-Apps, and System-Apps (which need administrator privileges). Each tab controls a screen full of check boxes for various relevant controls. Placing a checkmark in a box activates that control. If a checkmark already exists, it means that activation must have occured before installation of Win10Privacy. But, remember to click on the "Set changed settings" box to secure these changes
A few sample screens are shown here.
Colour coding informs the user of possible risks. Green is for "okay", Red is for "really think about this change because it could have negative consequences", and Orange is for "conditionally approved for change, but it depends on your system and wishes". Fortunately, few "reds" appear, compared to the multitude of other choices. Tool tips appear when hovering over a choice, describing the effect of such change. The directory in which Win10Privacy runs (the unzipped folder location), also contains text files holding current settings, along with warnings and how-tos, for advanced users.
Since W10Privacy is a single executable, the program need not be installed (recorded in the registry). However, it may access and change the registry for some settings to take effect. Despite some users experiencing a virus warning when installing the program, it does not contain any viruses. According to the developer, removing the possibility of triggering such warnings would required removing some of the functionality of W10Privacy, for it must be able to make changes to the Firewall and other system settings. So, every such message is a "False Positive". Without installing this program, there is another way to access many settings in Windows10 - press the Windows key and the letter "i" at the same time, or the Windows key and the letter "u" at the same time. Each will open different aspects of Settings.
Platform: Win10, 8.1, and parts work on Win7
Version: ver 184.108.40.206 November 2017 (still in active development)
Price: Free (donor ware)
Language: German, English, French, Spanish, Russian and Turkish
Download Size: 1.71 MB
Installed Size: 2.5 MB
Download Site: here.