Stopping Microsoft Windows 10 and Telemetry Updates

The Problem

Windows 10, Microsoft is advertising it everywhere! “Get your free upgrade here*” they keep saying. This all started before its release in the summer when Microsoft started to try and persuade the Windows 7 and 8.x users to upgrade. The nagware was everywhere and since then it has only gotten more persistent. Now it is on almost every web page on Microsoft’s website, the first popup you see on MSN and in the Windows tray.

Why all of a sudden is Windows 10 free? Microsoft appear to be changing their business model, from one that is of making money mostly out of operating systems and office productivity suites, to one of cloud services. This has quite a large implication to the users of its products, because they are now Microsoft’s product. Their cloud solutions allow them to legally extract large amounts of personal information about their users and share that with their partners, marketing, the NSA etc. legally.

This is what Microsoft say they use some of your information for:

Microsoft may use your contact information (i) to communicate with you about your use of the Programme software and services, and (ii) to provide you with additional information, which may be personalised, about the Programme software and services, and other Microsoft and partner products and services.

Microsoft claim they are pushing out telemetry updates out to Windows 7,8.x and 10 to help further improve their software. If you are unfamiliar with telemetry read this. This also allows them to gather massive amounts of potentially personal or confidential information and share that with whoever they like.

The privacy policy for Windows 10 states:

Examples of data we may collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; location, browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; voice, text and writing input; and application usage.

Click here to read the full privacy policy.

Microsoft collect this information using any sensor they wish on your computer. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Keyboard (Keyboard Logger)
  • Mouse
  • Touch screen
  • Pen Input
  • Microphone
  • Webcam

For more information on files, communications and intellectual property rights see this article.

There is a lot more which can be said about Windows 10 and its intrusiveness and lack of consideration for its users. You can read all about that at places like theregister.co.uk.

The Solution

If you already have Windows 10 and intend to stick with it I recommend proceeding with caution and following this tutorial:

If you currently have Windows 7,  8.x, Server 2008 R2, Server 2012 or Server 2012 R2 and would like to keep using them with out Windows 10 nonsense affecting them, remove and hide these updates:

  • KB2952664
  • KB3021917
  • KB3022345
  • KB3068708
  • KB3075249
  • KB3080149
  • KB2976978
  • KB3035583
  • KB3044374
  • KB2990214
  • KB2977759
  • KB3105885
  • KB3112343
  • KB3112336
  • KB3123862

Please note this is a growing list so keep checking. Also, not all of these updates will affect every operating system.

Click here for help removing and hiding updates.

Possibly the best solution of all, but not always possible for some, use Linux Mint Cinnamon! It is user friendly and works great; it even comes with a free version of office. WINE and Play on Linux can be used to run some Windows programs. For help doing this check these out:

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