Windows 10 connects to these websites after a clean installation


network traffic

Microsoft has always collected telemetry data on all versions of Windows. For most previous versions, the telemetry data is used to track issues that impact security and reliability, analyze and fix software problems, and improve Windows overall. The release of Windows 10 saw a change in data collection - it connects to more apps than other versions of Windows, and does so more often. If you've wondered what sites Windows 10 is connecting to, this article has a list of websites and services that Windows 10 connects to. The list is mostly websites that provide data about Microsoft apps. It also gives information on what the site is or the app does, and what will happen if you turn off the connection to a site. Windows 10 connects to one or more websites in these categories:

  • Cortana and Search
  • Certificates
  • Device authentication
  • Device metadata
  • Diagnostic data
  • Font streaming
  • Licensing
  • Location
  • Maps
  • Microsoft account
  • Microsoft store
  • Network connection status indicator (NCSI)
  • Office
  • Onedrive
  • Settings
  • Skype
  • Windows Defender
  • Windows Spotlight
  • Windows Update
  • Microsoft forward link redirection service (FWLink)

You can limit the data inside Windows 10 by changing the settings from Full to Basic. Go to Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & feedback choose either Full or Basic data collection. Full is the default. You may want to control Windows Updates as well. Windows 10 is on a fast update schedule and waiting to see how the latest updates fare when they are released before updating your computer. Good information and tools on how to do that can be found at this ghacks article.

These are the websites your clean-install Windows PC connects to by itself

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Rhiannon, its really appreciated that you keep up the reports on how to disable telemetry and Data Collection in Windows 10
I dont like the deceit the IT industry spreads, suggesting that spying on users is for their benefit. Nonsense.

Lets keep our eyes on just how pervasive the spying is becoming, and how many websites Microsoft connects our computers to

I keep saying this, and its true - the vast majority of computer users worldwide use their computers to do the same things we did 20 years ago:
Most of us just use computers for document creating and sharing and printing, media file consumption, internet browsing (including social media), email, and gaming. Very few of us need an operating system that spies on us

Unfortunately, Windows 10 free version is the bug tester for the paid-for Enterprise versions - hence the spying and telemetry

Im still waiting for a stable version of Windows 10, that just provides its users Security updates, and no unnecessary 'feature updates'
I am sure this is on its way, perhaps in 20 years time

You're welcome. :)

If you set your internet connection to "metered" you get only security updates. Unless that's changed recently. Which is entirely possible. They are removing the Snipping Tool in an upcoming release, who knows what could happen. :-O

What a wonderful revelation. Thats a trade secret I wasnt aware of.
Its constantly amusing to read the contents of the "Feature updates". 100 features or upgrades that arent relevant nor do they improve PRODUCTIVITY
A few of the changes actually compromise your privacy
For example, Microsoft will connect your Windows 10 clipboard to the cloud, and falsely state that this will benefit you. Nonsense.

Please continue to review the best ways to only receive Security Updates.
Then we all can continue our computing without being interrupted by unnecessary 1-3GB feature updates

You're welcome.
When I rolled my laptop over to Windows 10 I had to find a way to control the amount of bandwidth updates take. With a 10GB monthly cap I want as little as possible in the way of updates coming down the pipe. Windows 10 is supposed to automatically set wireless connections to metered but it's good to check after updates. If you're using ethernet you can set it manually:
How, When, and Why to Set a Connection as Metered on Windows 10

My favorite tool to control updates is Windows Update MiniTool, it lets you to search, install and block Windows updates.

I don't want Microsoft to connect my Clipboard to anything. I have some long and complex passwords, it's not unusual for me to copy and paste them into a password field. I don't want Microsoft to have access to my Clipboard contents at all. I don't want Clipboard content transmitted outside my local machine and stored somewhere online.  :-O

Ms. rhiannon, Thank you for this post. I certainly will use this list for my customers and eventually even in my advertising.

Likely the simplest way to avoid this is NOT to create a Microsoft account, that is NOT to give your email address to MS when you first turn on a new Win 10 computer.

The hare-brained idea to have the same "desktop" and account settings on a computer, a tablet and a phone luckily has fallen by the wayside now. And where are the Windows phones and the Windows 10 capable tablets? Even MS Surface i snow being sold with keyboard and a touchpad.

I have a Microsoft account, but my computers all run on local accounts. I use the Microsoft account when I have to, then revert to a local account. The email address they have on file is an email that I use specifically for those kinds of things so it doesn't matter if they have it.

I install Windows operating systems without a Microsoft account:
How To Install & Use Windows 10 Without Microsoft Account

The telemetry is sent whether you're using a Microsoft account on your system or not. 

I think devices are still being interconnected on some levels.
Windows 10 will soon show you your phone's text messages

Great tip.
I couldn't turn it to BASIC fast enough.
Scary to think how much big data is being collected across the planet without user acceptance.

Ronatola, even with the Basic setting Win 10 still calls home base quite a lot. Read about it here:

If you want to turn all that stuff off you need Spybot Anti-Beacon.

I could have swore Spybot was free last week. Now they want $

It was. I downloaded version 2.2 on September 12th 2018 and it was free.
Most of the download sites have updated versions to 3.0, but there are a few, like Filehorse, that still have 2.2 at the moment.

Edit: you can still download the free version (2.7) from their site:

Direct download:

Thanks, but I think your links are for a different product - Spybot Search and Destroy
I'm trying it anyways.

I have run this and added it to my windows startup.

Telemetry can also be disabled via the registry. As always, it's a good idea to back up your registry before making changes. Just in case. :)
How to disable Telemetry and Data Collection in Windows 10


Vedy interesting. Thanks.

You're welcome.