When Windows 10 detects a new threat on your device, the problematic file is automatically sent to Microsoft. This allows the company to investigate the threat and create new antivirus definitions to aid in future detection. While sharing samples helps to improve the security of the Windows ecosystem as a whole, it may make you feel uneasy. Although Windows will warn you if a sample is “likely” to contain personal data, you may prefer to turn off Automatic sample submission entirely.
How to stop Windows 10 from automatically sending virus samples to Microsoft
In the Windows Security app, look for the relevant option (previously known as Windows Defender Security Centre prior to the Windows 10 October 2018 update). Launch the app and go to the homepage’s “Virus & Threat Protection” tile.
Then, under the “Virus & threat protection settings” heading, click the “Manage settings” link. This screen determines how Windows detects and responds to viruses on your computer.
Under the “Automatic sample submission” button, we’ll find the relevant option for our needs. To turn off the automatic sample submission, simply click it if it is enabled. When potentially dangerous files are detected or quarantined on your device, they will no longer be sent to Microsoft.
Related: How to Find Out Which Apps are Using Internet Connection in Windows 10
Effectiveness of Windows Defender
Disabling sample submission, according to Microsoft, may reduce the effectiveness of Windows Defender’s cloud-based protection. As a result, it’s possible that you’ll miss out on Microsoft’s cloud servers’ most recent antivirus definitions. This is a delicate balancing act between protecting your personal privacy and keeping your device secure, so think twice before turning it off.