Microsoft SpyNet is an online community that helps Microsoft develop new spyware detection methods and improve Windows Defender’s effectiveness. You can change Microsoft SpyNet settings at any time. The information collected is automatically sent to Microsoft SpyNet (if you participate), and in some cases, personal information may be inadvertently sent to Microsoft.

Microsoft promises not to use the collected information to identify you or contact you. There are three options for participating in Microsoft SpyNet: Basic (the default setting), Advanced (collects more detailed information about any spyware detected and how it affects your computer), and None. Follow these steps to change your Microsoft SpyNet setting:


Click the Start button and type Defender in the Search Programs and Files text box.

A list of search results appears.


Click Windows Defender in the search results.

Windows Defender is launched and the Windows Defender window appears.


Click the History button at the top of the window.

The History screen appears.


Click Change Settings in the blue bar (midscreen) that states You’ve Joined Microsoft SpyNet. Choose the desired membership option and click the Save button.

You can choose between these options: Join with a Basic Membership, Join with an Advanced Membership, or I Don’t Want to Join Microsoft SpyNet at This Time. Windows Defender saves your changes.