How to Disable Telemetry System Usage Data Collection in Windows 11

Microsoft collects your usage data in Windows 11 for its telemetry system. With some knowledge, you can stop the data collection process.

Image: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Microsoft systematically collects usage data from each user of Windows 11 Where Windows 10. This is standard operating procedure. Microsoft uses this data about the apps you use, the settings you choose, and the websites you visit to better understand how their customers use their operating system. Presumably, Microsoft does this so it can make improvements. Data is collected through the telemetry system.

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While the intent of this data collection for system telemetry is generally harmless, it still involves collecting and storing your personal and private data regarding how you interact with your PC. By using standard settings, you cannot prevent Microsoft from collecting data for its telemetry system. However, if you have the right version of the operating system, a quick Windows registry file hack can completely protect you and your private usage data from Microsoft.

Disable Telemetry Data Collection in Windows 11 Home

Unfortunately, Microsoft does not allow Windows 11 or Windows 10 Home Edition users to completely disable telemetry data collection. However, these users can still limit certain optional data collection through system settings.

Open the Windows Home start menu and select the Settings app. On the left navigation bar, select Privacy & Security, then scroll down the list of items on the right to find Diagnostics & Feedback, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

On the left navigation bar, select Privacy & Security, then scroll down the list of items on the right to find Diagnostics & Feedback.
Image: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Windows 11 Home edition users can limit certain telemetry data collection by disabling the Send optional diagnostic data setting.

Disable telemetry data collection in Windows 11 Pro

Users running Enterprise, Education, or Professional editions of Windows 10 or 11, or users running Windows Server 2016 or later, can completely disable telemetry through a Windows Registry file edit or through the Group Policy Editor.

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To disable telemetry data collection in Windows Pro through the registry file, type “regedit” in the desktop search tool and select Registry Editor from the results. Navigate to this key as shown in Figure B:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsDataCollection

Figure B

Access the key.
Image: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Right-click the DataCollection key and select New | DWORD (32-bit) Value in the context menu. Name your new key Allow Telemetry. Double-click the new Allow Telemetry key and change the Value data to zero as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Double-click the new Allow Telemetry key and change the Value data to zero.
Image: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

When it’s done, click OK and quit Regedit. Restart your Windows PC for the new setting to take effect.

To disable telemetry data collection in Windows 11 Pro through the Group Policy Editor, type “group policy” in the desktop search box and select the Edit Group Policy item from the results. Use the left navigation bar in the Group Policy Editor to find this item, as shown in Figure D:

Computer Setup | Administrative Models | Windows Components | Data Collection and Preview Builds

Figure D

Use the left navigation bar in the Group Policy Editor to find this item.
Image: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

In the right pane, find the entry Allow diagnostic data and double-click it. To disable data collection for System Telemetry, click the disabled radio button (Figure E) and then click OK.

Figure E

To disable data collection for the telemetry system, click the disabled radio button.
Image: Mark Kaelin/TechRepublic

Once the procedure is complete, exit the Group Policy Editor, then restart your PC.

To reverse the setting and allow usage data collection for System Telemetry again, navigate to the same key in the Windows Registry file or entry in the Group Policy Editor and change the values ​​to 1 or enabled, respectively.

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