Microsoft captures a lot of information on your system usage, program usage, visited websites, and so on. Microsoft also collects usage data for Windows 11 via its built-in Diagnostic & feedback system. The Microsoft Diagnostic and Feedback System is an automated process that collects data from a remote source (your computer) and sends it back to Microsoft. The obtained data is used by the company to monitor and enhance the operating system. Furthermore, the data is used by Microsoft to improve security and the overall user experience.
While transmitting usage statistics to Microsoft sounds excellent, it opens the door for the anonymized data to be shared with third parties. If you are worried about Windows automatically transmitting feedback and other diagnostic data to Microsoft, follow the instructions below to disable it. See this detailed guide on how to protect your system against Windows Diagnostic vulnerabilities: Workaround for Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool Vulnerability.
For more on Windows Diagnostic and how they can be beneficial to you, see the following guides: How to Enable and Use Diagnostic Data Viewer in Windows, How to restrict additional Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool download, and How to Delete Diagnostic Data in Windows 10 and Windows 11.
How to Disable Diagnostics and Feedback Collection via Settings on Windows 11
You can disable the amount of diagnostic data collection by Windows 11 via the Settings menu by following the steps below.
Open the Start menu and select Settings.
Next, select Privacy & security. On the right pane scroll down and select Diagnostics & feedback under Windows permission.
Expand Diagnostic data and turn Off the Send optional diagnostic data option.
Disabling Diagnostics and feedback minimizes Microsoft’s data gathering, but it does not stop everything. Scroll to the bottom of the list, open the Tailored experiences section, and turn it Off.
It’s also worth noting that if you’re a member of the Windows Insider Program, you’ll no longer receive updates unless you reactivate it. Being a member of the Insider program entails sending diagnostic data to Microsoft.
How to Disable Diagnostics & feedback Collection via Group Policy
If you’re running Windows 11 Pro or higher, you can disable diagnostic data collection by using Group Policy.
To open the Run dialog, press Windows key + R on your keyboard. Enter gpedit.msc and press OK.
When the Group Policy Editor window opens, go to the following path:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Data Collection and Preview Builds
Double-click Allow Diagnostic Data to open it.
Set the policy to Disabled and click OK, then close the Group Policy Editor.
How to Disable Other Diagnostic Data on Windows 11
Windows 11 captures more than just usage statistics. In Windows 11, for example, you might want to disable a few extra diagnostic data gathering.
Go to Settings > Privacy & security > General. Toggle Off all four top settings. Deactivating these settings disable personalized adverts, website tracking, Windows and search tracking, and suggested content.
Go to Start > Settings and select Privacy & security. In the Windows permissions section, choose Speech and deactivate Online speech recognition.
Next, in the Privacy & security area, turn off Inking & typing personalization.
Finally, select Activity History and click the Clear history button to clear your data, and then toggle it Off.
You may limit or prevent diagnostic and feedback data gathering on Windows 11 by following the methods outlined above. The input data submitted to Microsoft is anonymous, and the company uses it to enhance Windows. However, if you are concerned about the amount of data transmitted by Windows 11, you can disable it.