How to delete Windows 10 diagnostic data collected by Microsoft

With Build 17083, Windows Insiders can now delete the data collected by Microsoft for diagnostics. Here's how.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • A new feature in Windows Insiders Build 17083 allows users to delete the diagnostic data that Microsoft collects.
  • Windows 10 has been criticized for privacy issues, and being able to delete diagnostic data could win more users over to the OS.

Microsoft has released a new feature in the Windows Insiders Build 17083 that will allow users to delete the diagnostic data stored by the firm. Here's a simple process for deleting your diagnostic data:

  1. Open the Start Menu at the bottom left of the home screen.
  2. Click Settings, and then click Privacy.
  3. Click Diagnostics & feedback.
  4. On the following pop-up window, click the grey Delete button, and you're all set.

If you're wondering if you've followed the steps correctly, you should see a pop-up window in the last step that looks like this:

Image: Microsoft

SEE: Windows 10 power tips: Secret shortcuts to your favorite settings (Tech Pro Research)

Windows 10 has had a rocky relationship with privacy-conscious users since its release in 2015, due to the system's default settings around collecting data. However, the ability to delete diagnostics data may be one step toward earning the trust from some of those users back.

Diagnostic data is information collected to do just that: Diagnose problems with your system. It is usually collected anonymously and sent back to a vendor so they can use it to tweak their OS for the next release. However, some users are more cautious than other when it comes to the collection of any data.

As part of its transparency efforts, Microsoft also released the Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer—available in the Microsoft Store—to show users exactly what data is being collected. Data around connectivity, performance, usage, and more are stored in the cloud and are searchable, according to Microsoft press release.

It's important to note that the Data Viewer is different from the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard. The Microsoft Privacy Dashboard is the tool that will actually allow users to change or limit the data collected by Microsoft, the release said.

In addition to the new dashboard, Windows Insiders Build 17083 brings graphics improvements, a new authenticator app, eye control, security improvements, and updates to Bluetooth, Microsoft Edge, and more. Check out this Microsoft press release for the full list.

Also see

Image: iStockphoto/wildpixel

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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