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View telemetry data that Microsoft collects in Windows 10

Microsoft plans to release the Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer app in the next feature update for Windows 10. The company added placeholders for the new feature in previous Windows 10 1803 Insider Builds, but today’s release enables the functionality as a preview.

Microsoft announced its commitment to “be fully transparent in the diagnostic data collected” from Windows devices today and the release of the app adds options to Windows 10 to view collected telemetry data.

Microsoft says it wants to increase trust and give users more control over data.

We are committed to being completely transparent about the diagnostic data collected from your Windows devices, how it is used, and giving you greater control over that data. This is all part of our commitment to increase your confidence in our products and services.

Windows 10 Diagnostic Data Viewer

You need Windows 10 build 17083 or newer to access the new data viewer. You can access the tool with a tap in Windows-I to open the Settings app and selecting Privacy>Diagnostics and feedback in the window that opens.

The main menu offers two new options:

  • Start the diagnostic data viewer
  • Delete diagnostic data

Diagnostic data viewer

diagnostic data viewer

Diagnostic Data Viewer is a Windows application for reviewing telemetry (diagnostic) data that Microsoft collects on your device to send to company servers for analysis.

NoteNote: Microsoft notes that enabling the feature may require up to 1 Gigabyte of additional hard drive space for storage.

A click on the button opens the app’s Microsoft Store page on first run. You need to install the app from there before it is available.

The app lists the events on the left side of the sidebar and the selected event data in JSON format in the central view area. Filtering options appear when you click the menu icon. You can use it to display only basic diagnostic data or display specific event type data only, such as browsing history, software configuration and inventory, or product and service usage data.

Windows 10 shows telemetry data

There you will find options to export the data to CSV files and to open the Internet Privacy Dashboard and Privacy Settings on the local device.

Search function is available which you can use to find specific event data. The application returns event data that matches the entered text. Type in your name, email addresses, PC name, IP address, or anything else you can think of to run searches across all the telemetry data Microsoft has collected on your device.

While you can use search for that, you can click on any event listed in the sidebar for direct access. The data is quite extensive, especially if telemetry data collection is set to full and not basic. I had hundreds of events listed on the Windows 10 Insider build PC after upgrading to the latest build. It will take some time to review the information.

The report may include the following data:

  • Software inventory information, such as installed applications.
  • Basic data such as the version of the operating system, a device ID or the diagnostic level.
  • Performance data such as device health, reliability data, or file queries.
  • Use of the product, for example, use of applications or services.
  • Device properties and capabilities.
  • Navigation data, e.g. Eg sites visited in Microsoft Edge.
  • Errors and error messages.

The data is quite interesting from the point of view of analysis and problem solving. If you run into errors while using Windows, you can use Diagnostic Data Viewer to get more information about the error than Windows might otherwise find. While you can find the same information in Event Viewer if you know where to look, it may be easier to use this app in some cases.

The data is presented in JSON format. While that means the same data that is sent to Microsoft is shown to you in Diagnostic Data Viewer, it’s not as easy to review as through a raw document.

While you get a list of variables and data, for the most part, it’s sometimes unclear what that data means. For example, what exactly does “Gyroscope: 7”, “epoch:” 1102666 “or” iKey: ” mean?

Do not misunderstand. I think the release of the tool is a step in the right direction. It is an early release and Microsoft may improve its functionality before release or add support articles to its website.

Read Microsoft’s blog post on the Windows Experience Blog or this blog post by Marisa Rogers, WDG Privacy Officer for additional information.

Delete diagnostic data

Windows 10 delete diagnostic data

The Diagnostics and Feedback section includes a button to delete diagnostic data.

Delete any diagnostic data that Microsoft has collected about this device.

Once you choose to delete your data, we will begin the process of removing copies from your systems. If you have a Microsoft account, you may have additional diagnostic data that you can delete in your privacy dashboard.

closing words

Microsoft could have avoided much of the bad press when it came to privacy if it had been completely transparent since the launch of Windows 10. It seems that the company completely miscalculated the situation and is now trying to make things right after have been pushed to the right. direction by governments and privacy advocates around the world.

I’d still like to see an option to disable telemetry entirely, but that likely won’t happen.

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