How to Balance Privacy on Windows 11?

Despite the fact that Microsoft has had six years to prepare for Windows 11, the company is still having trouble communicating the new hardware requirements. Windows 11 will officially support Intel 8th Gen Coffee Lake or Zen 2 CPUs and higher, throwing millions of Windows 10 PCs out of commission.

Every app, device, and website we use today places a premium on user privacy. Even the most significant tech businesses have been compelled to be more honest about their user data collecting, usage, and eventual distribution due to the desire for tougher data privacy regulations. Microsoft gives Windows 11 users control over their data through a comprehensive set of privacy options.

Windows 11 has some of the most advanced privacy features we've ever seen. Users can customize individual program permissions, data gathering options, and much more. Read more to learn everything you need to know about using Windows 11 to take back control of your privacy.

Do the Privacy Features in Windows 11 Go Far Enough?

Because most users will need a Microsoft account to utilize Windows 11, data harvesting will be part of the bundle. Microsoft constantly claims that this is to improve the user experience, and on the surface, that appears to be the case. Thanks to the new Start Menu's algorithmically populated "Recommended" area, you'll be able to continue editing cloud files with Windows 11. As it already does, your browser history will sync across Edge on PC and Edge on mobile. Your Skype and Teams discussions will also sync as expected, and if you update to Windows 11, your Windows 11 capabilities will migrate to new PCs.

On its account page, Microsoft offers a privacy dashboard to let you manage your search and browsing history, as well as the information Cortana has on you (for all three people who use it).

You may also modify your app data and clear your location history. This dashboard, in my opinion, does not go far enough in terms of allowing you to change all of your privacy settings in one spot. Some must be enabled through the Windows 10 settings menu and cannot be disabled through the web privacy dashboard. It's a pain to dig through each setting to figure out which ones do what, and the privacy part of the Windows 10 settings menu doesn't even contain all you'd need to handle it correctly.

Many of the features and apps in Windows 10 currently communicate with Microsoft, sending diagnostics data and other information.

Privacy Options in Windows 11

Let's look at the different privacy options in Windows 11 now that you've been reminded of the necessity of data privacy.

Privacy Preferences in General

Every Windows user has a unique advertising ID associated with their device; if enabled, this advertising ID allows businesses to exploit the data obtained for their purposes. Removing Windows advertising IDs can prevent personalized and targeted advertisements from appearing in apps.

Speech Recognition

We recommend that customers who use voice recognition on their PC frequently set up the appropriate privacy choices.

Apps and services that rely on Microsoft's online speech recognition technology will not work if you disable it. The Windows Speech Recognition software will be unaffected. Microsoft's online speech recognition can be enabled, allowing the company to develop its technology.

You can also submit your voice clips if you want to. Microsoft and its vendors will review the voice snippets, but Microsoft guarantees its users that their privacy and, ultimately, their identity will be protected.

Data for Diagnosis

Microsoft developers use diagnostic data to improve Windows and ensure it functions properly. You can choose to submit only the needed diagnostic data or optional diagnostic data, such as how you use apps, which websites you visit, and so on.

Permissions to Search

You may configure search settings linked to privacy options on the Search permissions page. It may be found under Settings > Privacy & security > Search permissions. Using SafeSearch, you may control how much pornographic content is filtered in online previews. Strict, Moderate, and filters are available; Strict blocks out adult content, videos, and photos from site results using Windows Search. Windows will hide pornographic videos and images while displaying the text when you choose the Moderate filter.

You may also opt for Windows Search to customize your search results by incorporating content from Microsoft services such as OneDrive, Outlook, and Bing.

Microphone and Camera

You can also control which apps have access to the camera and microphone.

  • Camera access privacy settings can be found in "Settings → Privacy & safety → Camera". Then, under Let apps access your camera, you may specify which apps can use the camera.

  • In the same way, microphone access settings can be set up in "Settings → Privacy & safety → Microphone".

Windows 11 is concerned about your privacy and gives you complete control over your information. This is a good shift for consumers concerned about where their data is going and how it is being utilized. Without the revamped Windows 11Settings app, none of this would be possible.