If we use a computer with Windows 10, we surely know that the Microsoft operating system is responsible for storing a large amount of information about our uses and activities, from location information to browsing history. All the information it collects is stored in a cloud so we cannot delete it, even if we delete it and reinstall it. Therefore, today we are going to see how we can see and delete all the activity history of Windows 10.
And it is necessary to bear in mind that one of the main reasons why many users refuse to use Windows 10 is due to issues related to privacy. Many even prefer to continue working on outdated or discontinued systems like Windows 7, before migrating. It is true that Microsoft itself argues that all these data collection movements are carried out in a totally anonymous way, but with everything and with it, it is still a nuisance.
What’s more, the Redmond thing warns us that this move is more than necessary in order to improve the operating system in the future, since it learns from the failures and problems of its customers. But trying to decorate it as they want, for a good part of the usual Windows systems, this is still a violation of privacy, so we must try to avoid it as much as possible. In fact in these same lines we are going to talk about one of the most interesting movements in this sense that you can perform.
What information Microsoft obtains about us
As we say, Windows 10 is responsible for collecting an “activity history” with all the applications that we use with our computer to later send them to Microsoft. This data is purportedly used to provide relevant results and content that Microsoft believes may be useful to us.
Data collected by Microsoft from our Windows 10 activity includes:
- Using Windows 10 for the timeline feature.
- Data of our location.
- Cortana voice commands.
- Web browsing history.
- Search history in Bing.
How to view all Windows 10 activity history
If we want to see all the history of activities that Windows 10 has collected about us, we can do so by accessing the privacy web of our Microsoft account. From here we can see a series of categories where it will show us all the information that Microsoft has been collecting:
- Browsing history : it handles all the data stored by browsing in Edge, so if it is our main browser, we are likely to find quite a bit of data here. It can be viewed and deleted.
- Search History : Contains information only if we use Bing as a search engine, so it uses our data to get better search results. It can be viewed and deleted.
- Location activity : collects all the information every time we have allowed Windows to access our location. It can be viewed and deleted.
- Voice activity : all the clips saved each time we have used the Cortana voice command, which Microsoft uses to improve speech recognition, are stored here. Can be viewed and erased
- Multimedia activity : with this activity, Microsoft keeps control of everything we enjoy seeing to follow our recommendations. It can be viewed and deleted.
- Activity and performance of products and services : from here we can see how Microsoft products are used, with activities related to the actions we have taken and performance for system logs. It can be viewed and deleted.
- Cortana’s Notebook : this is where Cortana keeps all the records, so if we use it frequently we will find quite a lot of data stored. It can be viewed and deleted.
Delete Windows 10 Activity History
As I have seen, from our Microsoft account it is possible to see and delete the activity that we have registered in each of the categories. This is something that we can do from Windows 10 without having to log in to Microsoft.
To do this we must access the Settings menu, pressing the keyboard shortcut “Windows + I”. Later we select “Privacy” and here we click on the “Activity History”. If we go down the page we will find the option to “Show the activities of these accounts. Here we will see the “Delete activity history” section, so we will click on the “Delete” button. In this way we will erase all the activity history of the account that we are currently using.
Disable the timeline
The timeline for Windows is a timeline where you can go see the web, documents and applications we have used in the last 30 days. This function was added by Microsoft in 2018 and is synchronized between all our devices, so if we do not want Windows to store all our activity we must disable it.
To do this, we must access the Windows 10 Settings menu, for which we will press the keyboard shortcut “Windows + I”. Now we will access the “Privacy” section and here we will click on “Activity history”. Now we must uncheck the boxes for “Store my activity history for this computer” and “Send my activity history to Microsoft”. In this way we will prevent Windows from remembering what we did in its timeline, so we will notice a lack of tracking of our activity from now on.
Keep your privacy while using the operating system
Windows 10 has never been considered an operating system that ensures our privacy, something that has earned it countless criticisms in this regard. If privacy is very important to us, it is likely that we may feel uncomfortable while using the Microsoft operating system.
Therefore, it is advisable to be alert for the configuration of the operating system, from the options that we have configuration during the initial configuration to the installation of all kinds of third-party tools that can control everything. That is why Windows 10 is not the best option to defend our privacy, but now we already know all the data that Microsoft handles about us and how we can erase it.