With the introduction of windows 10 we all got stuck with the major headache that mickeysoft just looooves to get to know you (a little bit too well...).
Not only is all this stuff annoying, but it's way to intrusive if you are using your windows 10 in a company setting. Specially in a small business that doesn't have all the nice bells and whistles of a local domain, their own fulltime IT staff that sorts things out etc. etc. this can become a problem.
Especially so, since it states litterally in the user agreement that in effect, anything on the pc can be scanned, indexed, etc. etc. Even worse: even while you are typing (your nice letter of resignation for instance)!!!
These kindof things used to be called: virusses, trojan horses and keyloggers.. and we had virus scanners for it, but now mickeysoft is selling this as 'user interface improvement' services... riiight.
So i started to look for ways to totally kill anything i do not want on my pc if i'd have to live with windows 10.
As before, mickeysoft is setting up a whole tree of licensing again. But there is one thing they do not mention when selling you a license: there is a version out there that does not include all the stuff like the start menu panels, apps downloads with updates, xbox stuff, cortina.. etc etc..
It's called the windows 10 LTSB version!
This version is stripped of just about everything you won't want on a critical system.. imagine.. some medical monitoring system just go ahead, install all updates and rebooting, with all the "great new options and apps" on it.
(well ok, it's an entirely different discussion if it is smart to have windows 10 on such a system in the first place.. )
This version is lacking all those things and pretty much looks like a newer version of window 7! which is what i was looking for!!
Even better: the updates you get are only security updates, not entire OS updates etc.!
The drawback: windows doesn't like you to have it.. so they make it bloody expensive to license. You have to have a corporate license and then buy ltsb..
So if you can, go get it.. it will save a lot of work getting rid of a lot of mess.
When installing, windows 10 does give you the opportunity to switch off some of the stuff that it is sending to mickeysoft.
The problem is: again, mickeysoft doesn't like you to, so they made it more difficult to do.
And even if you do, there's lots of other stuff it doesn't switch off! So i my opinion, it's a dud.. mickeysoft switches off the most obvious stuff, but if you keep an eye on your traffic, you will notice that there's still lots of information going to the cloud..
Enter: shutup10. A very nice little program from the guys at O&O software: https://www.oo-software.com/en/shutup10.
Download it and start it, it doesn't have to install anything.
It is up to you which options you kill with it, but it will kill most of the stuff gathering information on you, even if you didn't change any settings during the setup.
Beats me why, but for some reason cortina is running even in the ltsb version!
I noticed a process searchui.exe starting always, and restarting right after i killed it.
It turns out, it's part of cortina, which should not be there in the first place!
There's 2 ways to kill it:
In the home version, the security policy isn't an option.
- Use a security policy.
- Rename the cortina folder.
First, download the small file: killsearchui.zip and unzip it. It has a .bat file in it which will try and rename the cortina folder.
It can be hard, so you might have to restart the file a couple of times. Eventually, searchui shouldn't show up anymore.
The other way is to create a local security policy for it.
Start the local security policy editor (it's in the start menu under windows administrator tools, or run secpol.msc).
Click on 'software restriction policies' and check if there are 2 folders. If now, right click on it and select 'add software restriction policies'
Then right click on 'additional rules' and add a new path rule.
enter 'C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy' as the path, and set 'disallowed' as the security level
Close the policy editor and kill the searchui process. It won't restart anymore!
I can live with the fact that there's errors in the system log showing up.. if you know any other way: let me know!
For some reason, these 2 processes kept popping up in the task list. It has absolutely no reason to do so!
The process that is doing this (and i have absolutely no clue why): the superfetch service
It's easy to kill:
With that, the starting of these processes is gone.
- open compmgmt.msc
- open the folder services and applications
- click on 'services'
- search for the superfetch service
- right click on it, select 'properties'
- Click 'stop', and set the startup type to disabled
Also, while you have the services list on your screen, check the next block!
Windows does a lot in the background, not all of it is actually usefull or even worse: detrimental to your system performance and resources!!
Some of the services you can easily live without and can be prevented from ever being started in the first place.
The list of services you could disable:
You might use some of these services, so check to make sure everything works like it's supposed to.
- Connected User Experiences and Telemetry (To turn off Telemetry and Data Collection) (Check this and this)
- Diagnostic Policy Service
- Diagnostic Tracking Service (To turn off Telemetry and Data Collection, if it is in the list)
- Distributed Link Tracking Client (If your computer is not connected to a windows network)
- dmwappushsvc (To turn off Telemetry and Data Collection)
- Downloaded Maps Manager (If you don't use Maps app)
- Geolocation service
- IP Helper (If you don't use IPv6 connection)
- Microsoft app-v client
- Microsoft iscsi initiator service
- Print Spooler (if you don't have a printer installed)
- Program Compatibility Assistant Service (set this to manual, just in case you are running older software!)
- Remote registry
- Routing and remote access
- Secondary Logon
- Shared PC account manager
- Smart card
- SSDP discovery
- TCP/IP NETBIOS helper (if you are not in a workgroup network)
- user experience virtualization service
- windows search
- anything to do with windows defender if you are using your own antivirus solution
- anything starting with 'xbox'
Disabling these services will make the windows footprint a lot smaller!