Windows 10 Privacy Options on Your PC

By Dan Gookin

The Windows 10 Settings app features a long list of privacy settings on your PC. These allow you to control which programs or apps have access to specific PC features as well as how your personal information is shared between apps.

To view the slate of privacy settings, heed these directions:

  1. Press Win + I to open the Settings app.

  2. Click the big and obvious Privacy button.

In the Settings app, categories appear on the left side of the window, and individual settings appear on the right. For Privacy, the top category is General, and it lists several settings on the right, each of which is an on-off toggle.

If privacy is a concern to you, you may want to deactivate every setting in all the privacy categories: Choose each category in turn, and then reset any On toggles to the Off position.

For some settings, you may see a prompt when a program or an app attempts to access a feature you’ve flagged as private. For example, some Windows apps use the microphone. Only by enabling the microphone hardware privacy setting can those apps actually use the PC’s microphone.