New privacy settings in Windows 10 April 2018 Update: What you need to know

Windows 10 April 2018 Update introduces a welcome trio of ways to protect your data and account.

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops | Desktops | All-in-one PCs | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
2 min read
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

With the  Windows 10 April 2018 Update -- previously known as Windows 10 Spring Creators Update --  Microsoft gives you greater control of your data and account. After getting to know the new features such as Timeline and nearby sharing and the bigger and better Settings app, you'll want to familiarize yourself with this trio of new privacy settings.

Set app permissions

Previously, you could set app permissions for the types of information an app could access on your system, including your location, camera, microphone and files, but you needed to dig deep within privacy settings to find it. Now, you can peruse a handy list of your installed apps and set permission for each app. Go to Settings > Apps > Apps & features, select an app, click Advanced options, and use the toggle switches to set an app's permissions.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Delete info Microsoft has collected about you

Microsoft is being more transparent about the information it collects from you with its Diagnostic Data Viewer app, and it makes it easier to erase that information by adding a big, fat Delete button to the Settings app. Go to Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & feedback and you can choose to share on a Basic or a Full level. Below, you'll find a Delete button that will eliminate all of the diagnostic data Microsoft has collected from your PC.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Just above the Delete button is an area titled Diagnostic data viewer. Make sure the toggle switch for it is on, and then click the Diagnostic Data Viewer button; you'll open the Microsoft Store to install the Diagnostic Data Viewer app. Run the app and you'll be able to see what Microsoft has collected about you. The presentation isn't the most straightforward, but it's all there in the app if you want to sift through it.

Password recovery for local accounts

In the past, if you choose to sign in to your PC not with a Microsoft account but a local administrator account, you had better not forget your password because "local" meant you were on your own; Microsoft offered only password recovery help for Microsoft accounts. With Windows 10 April 2018 Update, you can set three security questions for a local account, which you can answer if you can't remember your password.

Head to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options and click Update your security questions to set up your security questions.

Watch this: Next major Windows 10 update coming April 30