Privacy at Microsoft

Your data, powering your experiences, controlled by you.

Our commitment to privacy

At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. This starts with making sure you get meaningful choices when you share data with us. It also means we’re committed to transparent communication—about why we ask for your data, and how we use the data you share—across all our products and services.

We are working to earn your trust every day by focusing on six key privacy principles:

  • Control: We will put you in control of your privacy with easy-to-use tools and clear choices.
  • Transparency: We will be transparent about data collection and use so you can make informed decisions.
  • Security: We will protect the data you entrust to us through strong security and encryption.
  • Strong legal protections: We will respect your local privacy laws and fight for legal protection of your privacy as a fundamental human right.
  • No content-based targeting: We will not use your email, chat, files or other personal content to target ads to you.
  • Benefits to you: When we do collect data, we will use it to benefit you and to make your experiences better.

These principles form the foundation of the Microsoft approach to privacy and will continue to shape the way we build our products and services.

This page provides links to privacy information and controls so you can make the right decisions for you.

  • In addition, we publish the Microsoft Privacy Report to keep you updated about our privacy work.
  • We also explain how to export or delete personal data—and provide other data subject rights info—in our Privacy FAQs.
  • We’re always working to improve, so if you notice something in our products and services that doesn’t work the way you’d expect when it comes to privacy, let us know.
  • See the Microsoft Privacy Statement to find more in-depth privacy information about our products and services.

For enterprise and business customers

For enterprise and business customers, IT admins, or anyone using Microsoft products at work, check out the Microsoft Trust Center to get information about privacy and security in our products and services.

What kinds of data can you choose to contribute to Microsoft?

Microsoft uses customer data that’s contributed by people like you to improve our products and services and keep them running smoothly, to provide you with personalized experiences, and to help keep you safe. Here are some of the most common categories of data we collect:

Web browsing and online searches

Woman browsing the web and doing searches

To speed up web browsing, we collect and use browsing history to predict where you want to go. To learn more, see Browsing data and privacy.

Read about Microsoft Edge in the Privacy Statement >

Like many search engines, we use your Bing search history, and the history aggregated from other people, to give you better search results.

Read about Bing search in the Privacy Statement >

To view and delete the search history or browsing history that’s associated with your Microsoft account, visit the privacy dashboard.

Places you go

Car driving  by an ice cream store

Location information helps us give you directions to the places you want to go and show you info relevant to where you are. For this, we use the locations you provide or that we’ve detected using technologies like GPS or IP addresses.

Detecting location also helps us protect you. For example, if you almost always sign in from Tokyo, and suddenly you’re signing in from London, we can check to make sure it’s really you.

You can turn location services on or off for your device, choose which apps have access to your location, and manage the location data stored on your device. To learn more, see Windows 10 location service and your privacy.

Read about location in the Privacy Statement >

To view and delete the location activity that’s associated with your Microsoft account, visit the privacy dashboard.

Data that helps us assist you

Man looking at phone on a sidewalk

You can use Cortana to help manage your calendar, keep your schedule up to date, join meetings, find facts and files, and just make things easier. To provide you with personalized experiences, Cortana learns from certain data about you, such as info from your searches, calendar, contacts, and location. To learn more, including how to manage your data, see Cortana and your privacy.

Read about Cortana in the Privacy Statement >

Data we use to show more interesting ads

Woman walking down street

Some Microsoft services are supported by advertising. To show ads you’re more likely to be interested in, we use data like your location, Bing web searches, Microsoft or advertiser webpages you view, demographics, and things you’ve favorited. We don’t target ads to you by using what you say in email, chat, video calls, or voice mail, or in your documents or other personal files.

You can change your ad settings to stop Microsoft from showing you ads based on your interests. You’ll still see ads, but they may not be as interesting to you.

Read about advertising in the Privacy Statement >

To change your ad settings, visit the privacy dashboard.

To choose whether you want to receive promotional emails and newsletters from Microsoft, change your communications settings.

and payment data

Man paying for coffee

We store your Microsoft account sign-in info and your payment instrument info if you choose to associate one with your Microsoft account. We do this to make it easier for you to sign in and pay for apps, games, or media.

To update passwords, security info, and payment options, find info on how to keep your account secure, and to view your recent sign-in activity, visit the Microsoft account website.

Read about Microsoft accounts in the Privacy Statement >

Microsoft products and your privacy

You can learn about managing your privacy settings for Microsoft products and services and find links to support content on the Privacy in our products and services page.

If you are a resident of the state of California, please see our California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) Notice for California Consumers.