Windows 10: Turn off these settings now


Are you using Windows 10? Now change these default settings.

Sarah Tew / topwatchbest

Microsoft Windows 11 still expanding to compatible devices and will be available in all eligible computers by mid-2022. But in case you are wondering if the upgrade is worth it or not you have downloaded a new operating system however, you’re probably running Windows 10. You don’t have to worry about upgrading to Windows 11 as Microsoft doesn’t end of support for legacy operating system by 2025. However, some of Windows 10’s default settings collect information, display more ads and notifications, and can slow down your device.

If you’re a Windows 10 user, for reasons of privacy, speed, and convenience, you’ll want to spend a few minutes reviewing these default settings and potentially disabling them. Here are eight settings that are turned on by default that you can turn off in Windows 10. (You can also check top Windows 10 tips and tricks and how to troubleshoot common Windows 10 problems.)

File sharing updates

An added feature of Windows 10 is optimized update delivery systemthat allows you to download updates from other Windows 10 computers over the Internet (not only from Microsoft’s servers). The catch is, of course, that your PC is also used as an update sharing center for other Windows 10 users.

This feature is turned on by default, but you can turn it off by going to Settings> Update and Security> Advanced Options> Delivery Optimizationand switch Allow downloads from other computers off.


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / topwatchbest

Annoying notifications

this Windows 10 Action Center is a handy central hub for all your notifications – apps, reminders, recently installed programs. But notification overload is definitely a thing, especially when you add unnecessary notifications (like Windows tips) to the mix.

Control your notifications:

Go to Settings> System> Notifications and actions.

Turn off things like “Get tips, tricks and suggestions while using Windows” or “Show me a Windows greeting after updates and occasionally when I log in to highlight news and suggestions” as well as any unwanted notifications from individual applications .


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / topwatchbest

Ads in the start menu

Microsoft makes its Windows Store apps available – so much so that you can see apps you’ve never downloaded in the Start menu. These suggested apps are basically ads.

Disable those pesky ads by going to Settings> Personalization> Start> Show suggestions in Start from time to time. For more information, check out ours Guide to the Windows 10 Start menu.


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / topwatchbest

Targeted advertising from third party applications

Microsoft definitely tracks your browsing preferences and habits on Windows 10. You even have a unique advertising ID (associated with your Microsoft account) that the company uses to display targeted advertising. Oh, and Microsoft also shares this Advertising ID profile with third-party Windows Store apps, unless of course you disable sharing this information.

You can turn this off by going to Settings> Privacy> General> Allow apps to use the ad serving ID to show ads that interest you more based on your activity in the app (disabling this option will reset the ID).


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / topwatchbest

Cortana “gets to know you”

Cortana, your adaptive personal assistant on Windows 10, is, well, very personal thanks to the information it collects about you. Cortana will “get to know you” by collecting information such as speech and handwriting patterns and your writing history that you might find a little scary.

You can prevent Cortana from recognizing you and remove the information from your device by going to Settings> Privacy> Inking and Writing and disable the option.


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / topwatchbest

Background applications

In Windows 10, many applications run in the background by default – that is, even if you don’t have them open. These applications can receive information, send notifications, download and install updates, and otherwise consume bandwidth and battery life. If you are using a mobile device and / or tariff connectionyou can turn off this feature.

To do this, go to Settings> Privacy> Background apps and either turn it off Let applications run in the backgroundor disable each application separately.

win-10-background apps

Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / topwatchbest

All synchronization

Windows 10 is all about synchronization. Everything – system settings, themes, passwords, search history – is synced by default on all your logged in devices. But not everyone wants our search history to be synced from our phones to our computers, so here’s how to turn off syncing.

To turn off syncing for settings (including themes and passwords), go to Settings> Accounts> Sync your settings. You can disable synchronization of all settings or selectively disable certain settings.


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / topwatchbest

Automatic updates

Windows 10 automatically downloads and installs updates, and you can’t really turn them off. And honestly, you shouldn’t disable them – your current operating system is a secure operating system. But if for some reason you want to prevent your computer from automatically downloading and installing Windows 10 updates (perhaps to manually download and install those updates on your own schedule), you can pause updates for a certain period of time. Go to Settings> Updates> Advanced optionsand under Pause updates, select a date within the next 35 days. However, after that point, you won’t be able to stop again until you update.


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome / topwatchbest

For more information, see the best features of Windows 11 and how to use them and everything you need to know upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11.

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