Better Privacy Settings

How to clear data Microsoft collects about you using the privacy dashboard

Your Microsoft account now includes a better way review, manage, and delete activity data on Windows 10 and Microsoft services.

Microsoft privacy dashboard

It’s not a secret that Windows 10 is constantly tracking and collecting data about where you go, things you do online, and how you use different products and services.

Although Windows 10 offers a number of options to control your privacy settings, it was never really clear exactly what information Microsoft collects and how this can benefit you for a more personalized experience on Windows 10.

For that reason, Microsoft has created a new privacy dashboard on your Microsoft account, which is a new page online that you can use to view and clear your activity data the company collects about you from Windows 10 and other products and services.

Take control of your data

When you sign in with your Microsoft account on Windows 10 and other products, you can now go to account.microsoft.com/privacy to review and clear your activity data, including browsing history, search history, location activity, and Cortana’s Notebook information.

  • Browsing history: When you use a Microsoft account with Windows 10 and turn on browsing history in Cortana, your browsing activities on Microsoft Edge will be sent to Microsoft. This way Microsoft products and services can use your activity to improve your experience with more proactive suggestions.

    If you want to review and clear your data, click the View and clear browsing history button, and then click the Clear browsing history button.

    Clear browsing history
    Clear browsing history
  • Search history: Bing saves your searches to improve your results and incorporate autosuggest. Cortana also uses this data to give answers more quickly, personalize suggestions, and complete other tasks on your behalf.

    If you want to review and clear your data, click the View and clear search history button, and then click the Clear search history button.

    Clear search history
    Clear search history
  • Location activity: For directions and show you relevant information at your location, Microsoft uses the location you provide or automatic using GPS.

    If you want to review and clear your data, click the View and clear location activity button, and then click the Clear location activity button.

    Clear location activity
    Clear location activity
  • Cortana’s Notebook: The Microsoft digital assistant collects information about your interests automatically and manually provided by you to help complete tasks on your behalf. In addition, Cortana even tracks your speech and handwriting patterns to help translate what you say or write.

    If you want to review and clear your data, click the Edit Cortana data button. Then you can review and clear your data from each interest individually, or you can click the Clear Cortana data to delete everything the assistant knows about you.

    Clear Cortana data
    Clear Cortana data
  • Health activity: If you use a fitness tracking device, such as a Microsoft Band, Microsoft also collects some of your health data, such as heart rate and daily steps you take.

    If you want to review your health data, click the Edit data on Microsoft Health button, or click the Manage your HealthVault account online button.

The privacy dashboard also includes a number of links to change the privacy settings in other products and services, such as on Xbox, Skype, Office, and Windows 10.

Additional privacy settings
Additional privacy settings

In addition, there is a link to manage apps and services that allows you to control how they access your data. And you can even control whether or not to allow Microsoft to customize your ad experience on Microsoft websites and apps by delivering targeted ads based on your browsing patterns.

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