5 Best Windows 11 Privacy Tools

As technology becomes more ubiquitous in our daily lives, so do new forms of intrusive data collection. iOS or Android apps on smartphones and web browsers like Chrome have always been notorious for their data collection policies, but your PC’s service providers aren’t innocent either.

Microsoft collects its users’ personal information in the name of diagnostic data and builds an advertising ID for each Microsoft account. Whether you are using Windows 10 or have upgraded to Windows 11, your personal information is constantly monitored and collected.

And the worst part is that you can’t stop it easily. Windows 11 settings do not include an option for Windows users to disable telemetry, even if you have TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module) Secure Boot enabled on your computer. Fortunately, there are some great third-party settings apps that you can use to adjust security settings and ensure your privacy.

While the problem also plagues Apple devices (both iPhones and macOS PCs), we will focus only on Windows in this guide. Here are the best tools to manage privacy settings on your Windows PC.

Probably the easiest to use of the bunch, O&O ShutUp10 provides all of your computer’s privacy settings in a single, easy-to-read interface. Each item tells you what the setting does, with a simple toggle switch to turn it on or off.

Since the list is extensive, it might be easier to use the Actions menu from the top. It allows you to disable entire categories of settings at once with one click. It is recommended that you leave the red and yellow icons alone for now, as they can affect important Windows services, and only apply the recommended settings.

You can then go through the list to manually disable services you don’t need, such as Bing or Cortana. You can also restrict essential Windows security features such as Windows Defender, although this is not recommended. Since O&O ShutUp10 works on both Windows 10 and Windows 11, you can use this free tool to secure your PC without much effort.

O&O ShutUp10 is certainly a nice and easy tool to use, but sometimes you want something more powerful. If you’re looking for comprehensive privacy protection software for disabling telemetry and restricting app permissions, Privatezilla is right for you.

Privatezilla checks the digital signatures of the websites you visit and the apps you use, and shuts down any suspicious activity before it can steal or damage your data. This makes it effective in protecting against spyware and malware apart from telemetry from Window services.

It also provides a categorized list of security settings you can change, ranging from privacy options to removing bloatware from your Windows 10 installation.

WPD is a full-fledged privacy dashboard for your Windows computer. Not only can you disable telemetry and disable data collection, but it also provides options to remove pre-installed Microsoft Store apps and configure your firewall settings.

It may be a lightweight tool, but it is quite powerful. You can even disable Windows Updates through the Firewall settings. There are also quite a few web-facing options, from blocking websites to hiding your browsing history.

Since WPD is a portable app, you don’t even need to install the application to use it. Carrying a flash drive with WPD on it is highly recommended to adjust privacy settings every time you perform a clean install of Windows 11 on a computer.

Windows 10 (or Windows 11, for that matter) doesn’t expose privacy settings directly. The way privacy apps usually work is to change registry values ​​directly. The problem with this is that there are dozens and dozens of privacy-related variables in the registry. How much does an app let you change?

For W10Privacy, the answer is them all. The software displays an absurd amount of privacy settings, giving you granular control over every aspect of your operating system’s data collection policies. Whether it’s Windows services or individual system apps, you’ll find settings to disable telemetry and permissions for all of them.

The options are neatly categorized in different tabs and are color-coded according to their impact on your system. Green options can be turned off freely, while the yellow and red settings should be considered separately based on which Microsoft services you want to keep working.

So far, we’ve talked about protecting your privacy from spyware and intrusive telemetry. But what about keeping your data private from other users of the same computer?

Gilisoft Privacy Protector is an application that aims to solve exactly that problem. You can delete Start Menu search history, block online tracking, and clear other forms of Windows history, from the Recycle Bin to recent files. It’s not free, but there’s a trial version to give you an idea of ​​its capabilities.

The main functionality of the app is to provide password protection for your sensitive data. You can encrypt files, folders and even entire hard drives. Apart from locking information, you can use the built-in file shredder to permanently delete files so that they cannot be found using data recovery tools.

What is the best privacy tool for Windows 11?

There are many types of apps to improve the cyber security of your Windows 11 computer. Bloatware removal tools can remove unnecessary apps from the Start menu and taskbar, improving performance.

But removing unnecessary apps is not enough. Many system apps start automatically in the background, collecting your usage information and sending it to the company under the guise of diagnostic data. If you don’t want apps to steal your private data, you need privacy tools.

Apps like O&OShutUp 10 and Privatezilla are great at managing your PC’s privacy settings, giving you access to options that would otherwise be hidden by Windows. Power users will enjoy WPD and W10Privacy, while users who want to protect their data can use Gilisoft Privacy Protector to encrypt their files.

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