Worried about Windows 10 privacy? Discover the free and easy way to manage privacy settings

Windows 10 doesn't hide its privacy settings away, but some aren’t that easy to find and change. Ultimate Windows Tweaker is a free app that solves the problem.

For all its great new features, Windows 10 isn’t without a few problems and the one that’s on many people’s minds is privacy.

By default, Windows 10’s privacy settings share rather too much personal information than many people are comfortable with. The settings can be changed, but making sense of what each one does and how it affects the way Windows works isn’t easy. Some settings are also less than straightforward to access, which only complicates things further.

Fortunately there is a solution. Ultimate Windows Tweaker is a free third-party app that puts all of Windows 10’s various settings in one place. It can be used for changing more than just privacy settings, too, making it a worthwhile download.


Step 1: Download Ultimate Windows Tweaker

You can read more about Ultimate Windows Tweaker at The Windows Club web site. Scroll down to find the download button, or you can just download the tool directly.

1. Download Ultimate Windows Tweaker


Tip 2: Unzip the downloaded file

The download is a compressed file called UWT4.zip. Find this in your Downloads folder, select it and click the Extract option on the Finder window toolbar — it’s under the pink Compressed Folder Tools heading — and then click the Extract all button.

2. Unzip the downloaded file


Step 3: Run Ultimate Windows Tweaker

Accept the default settings in the next window that opens and click the Extract button. A new window will then open that contains the uncompressed Ultimate Windows Tweaker folder. Open the folder and double-click the Ultimate Windows Tweaker program file to run it. The program doesn’t need to be installed, so you can move this folder and its contents to any folder on your PC.

3. Run Ultimate Windows Tweaker

[Read more: Windows 10: 5 new things you’ll notice after installing the Anniversary Update]

Step 4: Create a System Restore point

Click the Yes button when Windows asks Do you want to allow this app from an unknown publisher… and wait while the app creates a System Protection Restore Point for you. Finally, click the OK button to use the app.

4. Create a System Restore point


Step 5: Understand the app window

Ultimate Windows Tweaker provides shortcuts to a host of useful Windows 10 information and settings, all accessed via the list of options in the left of its window. There’s quite a lot to take in, so it’s worth investigating the various options at your leisure. Hold the mouse pointer over any option to see a short description about what it does at the bottom of the Ultimate Windows Tweaker window.

5. Understand the app window


Step 6: Select Security & Privacy options

We’re interested in the Security & Privacy options, so click that entry to see what’s available. There’s little of interest in the Security Settings tab and disabling many of the features here will make Windows 10 less secure. So instead click the Privacy tab.

6. Select Security & Privacy options


Step 7: Disable Privacy settings

You safely can tick the box for all options on the Privacy tab, but Disable Taskbar Bing Web Search and Disable Cortana will arguably make Windows 10 less useful. As for the rest, read the explanation for each to decide if you want to disable them. Click the Apply button when you’re done to make any changes take effect.

7. Disable Privacy settings

Step 8: If something goes wrong…

Although Ultimate Windows Tweaker doesn’t allow you to change anything that’s likely to stop Windows 10 from working, that’s still always a risk with this kind of app. If that happens, simply restart your PC in Troubleshooting mode and restore Windows using the previously created Restore Point.

8. If something goes wrong…

Are you concerned about privacy in Windows 10? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Read more: How to restart Windows 10 - and whatever happened to Safe Mode?

Article updated by Jamie Harris on 16/12/2016

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