Windows records and monitors how often you use specific applications.While this may increase productivity, it also raises privacy concerns.
If you're uncomfortable with Windows monitoring your app usage, there are a few ways to disable app launch tracking on your Windows PC.
1. How to disable application startup tracking via Windows settings
To disable startup tracking for an application, open the Start menu, enter "settings" in the search bar.Select the "Settings" option in the search results.In the left menu, click the Privacy & Security tab.Then click General under the Windows Permissions section.
On the next page, find "Let Windows improve Start and search results by tracking application launches" and toggle it to Off.
After making these changes, Windows will stop tracking and logging your application's startup.
If you need to re-enable the feature, repeat the same steps, flipping the switch back.This will cause Windows to start tracking and logging your application's startup.
2. How to Disable Startup Tracing for Applications Using Group Policy Editor
You can also disable startup tracing for applications using the Group Policy Editor.But this method is only available in Professional and Enterprise editions.
If you don't have one of these versions of Windows, open the Group Policy Editor in Windows Home and follow the instructions below:
1. Press the Win + R keys on the keyboard to open the "Run" dialog box.
2. Enter gpedit.msc in the text box and click OK.
3. In the Group Policy Editor window, navigate to this path: User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Edge UI
4. Go to the right side of the window and double-click "Turn off app usage tracking".
5. On the next page, check the "Enabled" box.
6. Click Apply > OK to save your changes.
This way, you can disable app launch tracing using the Group Policy Editor.
To enable the feature again, follow the same steps, navigating to User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Edge UI.Then double-click "Turn off app usage tracking" and check the "Not configured or disabled" option.
3. How to Disable Startup Tracing for Applications via Registry Editor
Registry Editor is another way to disable application startup tracing.The process is tricky because you need to manually modify registry keys, and one wrong move can cause serious problems.Therefore, you should create a backup before making changes to the registry.
To disable application startup tracing through Registry Editor:
1. Right-click "Start", select "Run" from the menu list.
2. Enter regedit in the text field and click OK.This will open Registry Editor.
3. When the UAC window appears, click Yes to grant permission.
4. In the left pane, navigate to this path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
5. If you don't find the Advanced folder, right-click Explorer and select New > Key.
6. Name it Advanced and press Enter.
7. Now, right-click on the Advanced folder and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
8. Name it Start_TrackProgs and press Enter.
9. Double-click the Start_TrackProgs DWORD to set its value to 0.
When finished, close Registry Editor and restart your computer.Now, Windows doesn't track or log application launches.
If you want to turn application startup tracking back on, double-click the Start_TrackProgs DWORD in the Registry Editor and set its value to 1.Afterwards, restart your system for the changes to take effect.
Windows doesn't track or monitor the apps you use
If you don't want to mess with Registry Editor or Group Policy Editor, you can use the settings option to disable application startup tracing.Choose your preferred method and enjoy a tracking-free experience.
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