Feedback, diagnostics, and privacy in Windows 10

Together, feedback and diagnostics are how you and your Windows 10 device tell Microsoft what's really going on.

As you use Windows, we also collect diagnostic and usage information which helps us find and fix problems, improve our products and services, and provide you with personalized experiences. Also, to make sure we're listening to you, our customer, we've built ways for you to send us feedback anytime, and at specific times, like when Windows 10 asks you specific questions about how something is working for you.

Whenever we collect feedback, usage info, or other data, we want to make sure it's info you're OK with sending. That's why we provide choices, like the controls described on this page.

What data is collected and why

Performance, diagnostic, and usage information is collected based on the setting you choose: Basic, Enhanced, or Full. This data is transmitted to Microsoft and stored with one or more unique identifiers that can help us recognize an individual user on an individual device and understand the device's service issues and use patterns. You can select which level of diagnostic and usage data to provide, but some diagnostic data is vital to the operation of Windows and cannot be turned off. Full is the recommended setting because it gives you the same benefits of Basic and Enhanced, plus all the most effective troubleshooting of Enhanced and Full.

  • Basic sends data that is vital to the operation of Windows. It helps keep Windows and apps secure, up to date, and running properly by letting Microsoft know the capabilities of your device, what is installed, and whether Windows is operating correctly. Basic includes basic error reporting back to Microsoft. Basic data consists of:
    • Configuration data, including the manufacturer of your device, model, number of processors, display size and resolution, date, region and language settings, and other data about the capabilities of the device.
    • The software (including drivers and firmware supplied by device manufacturers), installed on the device.
    • Performance and reliability data, such as which programs are launched on a device, how long they run, how quickly they respond to input, how many problems are experienced with an app or device, and how quickly information is sent or received over a network connection.
    • Network and connection data, such as the device's IP address, number of network connections in use, and data about the networks you connect to, such as mobile networks, Bluetooth, and identifiers (BSSID and SSID), connection requirements and speed of Wi-Fi networks you connect to.
    • Other hardware devices connected to the device.
  • Enhanced includes everything in Basic, plus data about how you use Windows, including Microsoft and third party software (apps, drivers, etc.) that run on Windows. This data includes which apps you use most often, how long you use certain features or apps, how often you use Windows Help and Support, and which services you use to sign in to apps. Enhanced lets us collect diagnostic data related to system or app crashes. If you select this option, we'll also be able to provide you with an enhanced and more personalized Windows experience.
  • Full includes everything in Basic and Enhanced levels, plus additional diagnostic data including the memory state of your device when a system or app crash occurs (which may unintentionally include parts of a document you were using when a problem occurred). It also turns on advanced diagnostic features that can collect additional data from your device, which helps us further troubleshoot and fix problems. When we learn that devices are experiencing problems that we have trouble diagnosing or replicating internally, we will randomly select a small number of devices from those at the Full level that are experiencing those problems from which to gather the data needed to diagnose and fix the problem (including user content that may have triggered the issue). If an error report contains personal data, we won't use that information to identify, contact, or target advertising to you. Full is the recommended option for the best Windows experience and the most effective troubleshooting.

How we help keep your data safe

As we describe in the Microsoft Privacy Statement, we limit the number and role of employees who may access this data and regularly review employee permissions to access such data. We share this data with vendors or agents working on our behalf; in such cases, these companies must abide by our data privacy and security requirements and are not allowed to use personal data they receive from us for any other purpose.

We provide limited pieces of error report information to partners (such as PC manufacturers) to help them troubleshoot products and services which work with Windows and other Microsoft product and services. Those partners are only permitted to use this information to repair or improve those products and services.

If an error report ever contains personal data, we don't use that information to identify, contact, or target advertising to you.

How to control your feedback and diagnostic settings

When your Windows 10 device is first set up, opting to Send full diagnostic and usage data to Microsoft sets your Diagnostic and usage data setting to Full. If you turn off Send full diagnostic and usage data to Microsoft, Diagnostic and usage data collection will be set to Basic.

To change the performance, diagnostic, and usage data setting:

  1. Go to Start  windows logo, then select Settings > Privacy > Feedback & diagnostics.
  2. Under Diagnostic and usage data, select the option you prefer. If the options are grayed out, you may be using a device managed by your workplace or organization. In that case, you'll see Some settings are managed by your organization at the top of the Feedback and diagnostics screen.

To change how often we ask you for feedback:

  1. Go to Start  windows logo, then select Settings > Privacy > Feedback & diagnostics.
  2. Under Feedback frequency, select the option you prefer.

To send us feedback when we didn't ask:

  1. Type Windows Feedback in the search bar.
  2. Type some keywords from your issue in the box marked Search for feedback, and press Enter.
  3. If you find your issue, upvote it. If you don't find it, select Add new feedback, then fill out the form.