Windows 10 Default Settings You Need to Change Right Now

Microsoft launched Windows 11, its latest operating system, last October. The operating system hit a wide rollout earlier this year after a six-month staggered rollout, meaning it’s now ready for everyone compatible computers. (Here’s how to download it If you’re ready.) However, Windows 11 system requirements mean that older computers may need to continue running Windows 10. And like any operating system, Windows 10 has a few default settings that aren’t ideals.

Some are just annoying (you don’t really need Cortana to “get to know you”), while others will slow down your device, show you tons of notifications and ads, and collect more information than you need. think. As long as Windows 10 is still what powers your computer, it’s worth checking out. optimize your settings to make sure your computer runs as best it can.

You’ll want to spend a few minutes reviewing these settings and possibly turning them off, for privacy, speed, and convenience. Here are seven default settings you can disable in Windows 10. (You can also check out some best Windows 10 tips and tricks and how to fix common windows 10 problems.)

File sharing updates

A feature added by Windows 10 is a optimized update delivery system which allows you to download updates from other Windows 10 computers on the Internet (not just from Microsoft’s servers). The catch is that your computer is also used as an update sharing hub for other Windows 10 users.

This feature is enabled by default, but you can disable it by going to Settings > Update & security > Advanced options > Delivery optimization and turns off Allow downloads from other PCs.


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome/CNET

Annoying notifications

The Windows 10 Action Center is a convenient central hub for all your notifications – apps, reminders, recently installed programs. But notification overload is definitely a thing, especially when you add unnecessary notifications (like Windows tips) into the mix.

To control your notifications, go to Settings > System > Notifications & Shares.

Switch off things like “Get tips, tricks, and suggestions when using Windows” or “Show me the Welcome Windows experience after updates and occasionally when I log in to highlight what’s new and suggestions “, as well as any unwanted notifications from individual apps.


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome/CNET

Start Menu Ads

Microsoft pushes its Windows Store apps — so much so that you can see apps you’ve never downloaded in your Start menu. These suggested apps are basically advertisements.

Disable these pesky ads by going to Settings > Personalization > Start > Occasionally show suggestions in Start. For more information see our Windows 10 Start Menu Guide.


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome/CNET

Targeted third-party app ads

Microsoft definitely keeps tabs on your preferences and browsing habits in Windows 10. You even have a unique advertising ID (linked to your Microsoft account), which the company uses to show you targeted ads. Oh, and Microsoft also shares this advertising ID profile with third-party Windows Store apps, unless you opt out of this information sharing.

You can opt out of sharing this type of information by going to Settings > Privacy > General and turns off Allow apps to use Advertising ID to make ads more interesting to you based on your app activity (disabling this option will reset your ID).


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome/CNET

Cortana ‘get to know you’

Cortana, your adaptive personal assistant in Windows 10, gets pretty personal with the information it collects about you, such as speech and writing patterns and typing history, which you may consider a little scary.

You can stop Cortana from “getting to know you” and erase this information from your device by going to Settings > Privacy > Inking & typing and disable the option.


Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome/CNET

Apps running in the background

In Windows 10, by default, many apps run in the background (even if you haven’t opened them). These apps may receive information, send notifications, download and install updates, and otherwise use your bandwidth. and your battery. If you are using a mobile device and/or a metered connectionyou may wish to disable this feature.

To do this, go to Settings > Privacy > Background apps and either deactivate Let apps run in the background or disable each app individually.

win-10 background apps

Screenshot by Alison DeNisco Rayome/CNET

All synchronization

Windows 10 is all about synchronization. Everything (system settings, themes, passwords, search history) syncs by default across all your connected devices. But not all of us want our search history to sync between our phones and computers, so here’s how to turn off syncing.

To disable synchronization of settings (including themes and passwords), go to Settings > Accounts > Sync your settings. You can disable synchronization of all settings or selectively disable specific settings.

To find out more, see the best Windows 11 features and how to use them and everything you need to know upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11.

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Steven L. Nielsen