There's been heaps of controversy associated with Microsoft's latest operating system Windows 10 since it was launched, but the latest issue takes the cake – apparently Windows has been quietly logging every single keystroke users make on their keyboards from the beginning. Even better, that data is being constantly sent to Microsoft's servers on a regular basis.
We're not sure why on earth Microsoft would want users' keystrokes, as this data is only really useful to cybercriminals seeking to crack passwords to steal sensitive data, and IBTimes UK has asked the computing giant to clarify, but in the meantime, it is possible to solve this problem.
Here's advice on how to turn off the Windows 10 keylogger:
Concerned about privacy? Then always say no
If you haven't yet installed Windows 10 but are thinking of upgrading, then your road ahead is simple. When you install Windows 10, make sure that you select 'custom install'.
Read all the options on the installation window carefully, and make sure you always select 'no' for all options relating to sending data to Microsoft. It is also safe if you simply choose to just say 'no' to all options – it will not affect your usability on Windows 10.
I have Windows 10. What should I do?
If you have Windows 10 installed, then you need to go to the Start menu and then select Settings > Privacy > General. Turn off the option that reads, 'Send Microsoft info about how I write to help us improve typing and writing in the future'. To be safe, restart your computer after selecting this option.
I have technical knowledge. Is there anything else I can do?
Yes, there are several things you can do to prevent being tracked. The problem is that even if you turn tracking options off, if in the future Microsoft decides that it wants the options to be turned back on for any reason, it can easily do so during the monthly Patch Tuesday through the automatic Windows Updates function.
There are ways that you can prevent this from happening, however, please be aware that these methods come from the user community, and some of these fixes could potentially cause problems to your PC. We've listed possible options ranked from "harmless" to "most likely to mess up your computer".
Method One: Windows Update MiniTool
The Windows Update MiniTool freeware by MajorGeeks allows users to check for Windows Updates and see a description of what they do. You can decide whether you want to install the available updates, hide the ones you don't like and even delete updates that have been installed that you disagree with.
This software explains what the updates do with a user-friendly interface, and if you are not happy with the changes, you can easily search for and reinstall them.
Method Two: Set up a metered connection to reduce updates
If you don't think you have the time to review incoming Windows Updates, you could also choose to set up a feature in Windows 10 that was designed by Microsoft to help users who have low internet bandwidth.
Instead of receiving all Windows Updates, Microsoft cuts out updates that are unimportant, and only send you priority updates that fix critical security problems (to keep the hackers out) or stability problems affecting the operating system.
Please note however that this will only work if you are on a Wi-Fi connection, but not if you're using an Ethernet cable to connect to the internet.
To do this, go to the Start menu and then select Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi.
In Wi-Fi, click 'Advanced Options' and then select 'on' for the option 'Set as metered connection'.
Method Three: Turn off Windows Updates completely
Rank: Not advisable
If you think you know better than Microsoft, then you could just choose to disable Windows Updates completely. Some people with advanced technical knowledge have done this, and they routinely check for important updates, but we wouldn't advise it, as this means you could risk missing critical patches from Microsoft.
However, this is how you do it:
Go to the Start menu and type 'Run' in the search field. Click on the program, type "services.msc" and then click 'OK'. Look in the list of services, find the 'Windows Update' listing and double-click on it. Click on the drop down menu for 'Startup type' and select 'Disabled', then click OK to confirm and restart your computer.
You can change this back at any time using the same method and selecting 'Automatic' or 'Manual' from the drop down menu.
You may be interested in:
- How can you fix Windows 10 driver problems? Microsoft solves issue with this bizarre solution
- Vivaldi CEO accuses Microsoft of forcing Edge browser onto Windows 10 users
- Microsoft releases patch to fix Windows 10 update that kicked users off the internet
- Windows 10 keylogger: How to stop Microsoft from tracking everything you type