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Group Policy Settings

Outside of modifying the registry itself, the Local Group Policy Editor is the most powerful way to change many aspects of your system without installing third-party tools. Changing these settings requires Pro Edition or better.

These settings should be set on a brand new installation of Windows. Setting them on your existing installation should work, but may introduce unpredictible behavior and is done at your own risk.

All of these settings have an explanation attached to them in the Group Policy editor which explains exactly what they do, usually in great detail. Please pay attention to those descriptions as you make changes, so you know exactly what we are recommending here. We've also explained some of our choices below whenever the explanation included with Windows is inadequate.

Administrative Templates

You can find these settings by opening gpedit.msc and navigating to Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates in the left sidebar. The headers on this page correspond to folders/subfolders within Administrative Templates, and the bullet points correspond to individual policies.

To change any group policy, double click it and select Enabled or Disabled at the top of the window that appears depending on the recommendations below. Some group policies have additional settings that can be configured, and if that's the case the appropriate settings are noted below as well.


Device Guard

  • Turn On Virtualization Based Security: Enabled
  • Platform Security Level: Secure Boot and DMA Protection
  • Secure Launch Configuration: Enabled

Internet Communication Management

  • Turn off Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program: Enabled
  • Turn off Windows Error Reporting: Enabled
  • Turn off the Windows Messenger Customer Experience Improvement Program: Enabled

Note that disabling the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program also disables some other tracking features that can be individually controlled with Group Policy as well. We don't list them all here or disable them because this setting covers that.

OS Policies

  • Allow Clipboard History: Disabled
  • Allow Clipboard synchronization across devices: Disabled
  • Enables Activity Feed: Disabled
  • Allow publishing of User Activities: Disabled
  • Allow upload of User Activities: Disabled

Profils utilisateurs

  • Turn off the advertising ID: Enabled

Windows Components

AutoPlay Policies

AutoRun and AutoPlay are features which allow Windows to run a script or perform some other task when a device is connected, sometimes avoiding security measures that involve user consent. This could allow untrusted devices to run malicious code without your knowledge. It's a security best practice to disable these features, and simply open files on your external disks manually.

  • Turn off AutoPlay: Enabled
  • Disallow Autoplay for nonvolume devices: Enabled
  • Set the default behavior for AutoRun: Enabled
  • Default AutoRun Behavior: Do not execute any AutoRun commands

BitLocker Drive Encryption

You may wish to re-encrypt your operating system drive after changing these settings.

  • Choose drive encryption method and cipher strength (Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7): Enabled
  • Select the encryption method: AES-256

Setting the cipher strength for the Windows 7 policy still applies that strength to newer versions of Windows.

Operating System Drives
  • Require additional authentication at startup: Enabled
  • Allow enhanced PINs for startup: Enabled

Despite the names of these policies, this doesn't require you to do anything by default, but it will unlock the option to have a more complex setup (such as requiring a PIN at startup in addition to the TPM) in the Bitlocker setup wizard.

Cloud Content

  • Turn off cloud optimized content: Enabled
  • Turn off cloud consumer account state content: Enabled
  • Do not show Windows tips: Enabled
  • Turn off Microsoft consumer experiences: Enabled

Credential User Interface

  • Require trusted path for credential entry: Enabled
  • Prevent the use of security questions for local accounts: Enabled

Data Collection and Preview Builds

  • Allow Diagnostic Data: Enabled
  • Options: Send required diagnostic data (Pro Edition); or
  • Options: Diagnostic data off (Enterprise or Education Edition)
  • Limit Diagnostic Log Collection: Enabled
  • Limit Dump Collection: Enabled
  • Limit optional diagnostic data for Desktop Analytics: Enabled
  • Options: Disable Desktop Analytics collection
  • Do not show feedback notifications: Enabled

File Explorer

  • Turn off account-based insights, recent, favorite, and recommended files in File Explorer: Enabled


  • Disable MDM Enrollment: Enabled


  • Save documents to OneDrive by default: Disabled
  • Prevent OneDrive from generating network traffic until the user signs in to OneDrive: Enabled
  • Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage: Enabled

This last setting disables OneDrive on your system; make sure to change it to Disabled if you use OneDrive.

Push To Install

  • Turn off Push To Install service: Enabled


  • Allow Cortana: Disabled
  • Don't search the web or display web results in Search: Enabled
  • Set what information is shared in Search: Enabled
  • Type of information: Anonymous info

Sync your settings

  • Do not sync: Enabled

Text input

  • Improve inking and typing recognition: Disabled

Windows Error Reporting

  • Do not send additional data: Enabled
  • Consent > Configure Default consent: Enabled
  • Consent level: Always ask before sending data

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