Remotely Disable Windows Data Collection

There’s no shortage of articles or blogs on data collection (or if you like a little sensationalism…”spying”) in the new Windows 10 and more recently, Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. As a sys admin, maybe you (or your manager) don’t want your company to participate in Microsoft’s data pool. So how you you stop Windows data collection? Read on…

Disable Windows Data Collection

The following steps are all part of a pre-built silently deploying package in the PDQ Deploy Package Library. In the Package Library look for Disable Windows Telemetry and Tracking. You can build this yourself (how do I build a package?) or import this package from the library.

Note: You’ll need to make sure you have at least PDQ Deploy 7. PDQ Deploy 7 introduces the Windows 10 condition. The package isn’t available unless you are up-to-date on PDQ Deploy and running a Pro or Enterprise license key.

Step 1 – Disable AllowTelemetry

This first step will take care of your Windows 10 machines. As set in the conditions tab, this step will only run on Windows 10 machines. The following command will disable telemetry:

REG ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\DataCollection /v AllowTelemetry /d 0 /t REG_DWORD /f

Packages_-_Disable_Telemetry_and_Tracking

Step 2 -Stop and Disable Diagnostic Tracking Service

The Stop and Disable Diagnostic Tracking Service step will run for Windows machines 7 and up.

sc stop DiagTrack
sc config DiagTrack start= disabled

Step 3 – Stop and Disable dmwappushservice

Stop and Disable dmwappushservice is an other Windows 10 specific step.

sc stop dmwappushservice
sc config dmwappushservice start= disabled

Step 4 – Disable MS Patches

This is the labor intensive step…looking for all the kb updates that allow for data collection or tracking to silently uninstall them. There may be more kb updates out there than these included in the Disable Windows Telemetry and Tracking package and future kb updates may also allow data collection.

Packages_-_Disable_Telemetry_and_Tracking_-_Step_4

Make sure that you don’t have it set to push out the latest updates automatically, otherwise these kb updates may get reinstalled again. If you aren’t already, I highly recommend managing your Windows updates with WSUS. With that tool you can decline these updates as well.

Step 5 – Disable CEIP Tasks

This step disables reports for Microsoft’s Customer Experience Improvement Program, which was added in updates dating back in June. This step isn’t applicable to Window 10, only Windows 7 and 8.
Packages_-_Disable_Telemetry_and_Tracking_-_Step_5

Step 6 – Blank out AutoLogger

This command will blank out any information that may have been added to the AutoLogger folder. It appears this is the folder where information is stored and uploaded to Microsoft.

echo "" > %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Diagnosis\ETLLogs\AutoLogger\AutoLogger-Diagtrack-Listener.etl

Running this command will clear that folder out of any information that may have been added before you made changes with the above steps.