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Opt out of advertising

How to opt out of some customized advertising in Windows and Android. Widen your privacy circle.


Windows automatically provides all users with a unique advertising ID, which I prefer to turn off. Here's what their website says about it (emphasis added).
From Microsoft's website:
Windows generates a unique advertising ID for each user on a device, which app developers and advertising networks can then use for their own purposes, including providing more relevant advertising in apps. When the advertising ID is enabled, apps can access and use it in much the same way that websites can access and use a unique identifier stored in a cookie. Thus, app developers (and the advertising networks they work with) can associate personal data they collect about you with your advertising ID and use that personal data to provide more relevant advertising and other personalized experiences across their apps.

To opt out choose Settings then Privacy then General

Then turn off Let apps use Advertising ID and everything else except allowing apps to see your language list.

Then, under Settings then Privacy then Diagnostics & Feedback I turn off "Tailored experiences" and "Improved inking and typing". I recommend turning off Everything you can here. Don't send your typing to Microsoft. Don't have them tailor your experience.

I think it is fair to ask, "Wouldn't it be good to have Windows tailor my experience?" If they did it right, it would be and perhaps, some day, it will be. But the proper way to do it is to collect the data on your local machine and do the tailoring on your own computer, sending no information elsewhere. This would be private and faster. Alternatively, they could offer us a percentage of what they make selling our private information.


The same problems exist on Android. Opt out of Advertising tracking and reset the advertising ID you are automatically given.

Go to Settings then Google then Ads then
  1. Opt out of ads personalization
  2. Reset advertising id. This will replace your advertising ID with a random number in case advertisers don't follow the opt out instructions.

This works with Android version 6 and above.

Further reading:

How to Geek article

Date: February 2022

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