New Windows update 1803

Some of you may have already updated to the newest windows version 1803. In general, it is always good to update to any latest version of any Operating System or other software update because this is the only chance to stay up to date with security patches. So if you have not already updated, it’s better to do it sooner rather than later.

However, here is what I would recommend to do after installing the update:

1.) Check your privacy settings (again)

Unfortunately, with every update, MS introduces new features where privacy is turned off per default. Even worse, sometimes your privacy settings of a previous version will be disregarded and need to be enabled again.

So this 1803 update is a good opportunity to review your privacy settings again. For this, just press the Windows Key and S simultaneously and enter the term privacy in the Cortana search field of Windows.  Next, select Privacy Settings. I usually turn off almost everything.

Just go though the permissions on the left side of the screen and decide whether or not you want to enable certain permissions on the right side. Please note: often, you have to scroll on both sides (permissions and settings) and some delicate settings are only available after scrolling. I am wondering if Microsoft had a reason for that.

2.) Cortana Web Search

I use Cortana Search quite often, as described above. However, I use my favorite browser and search engine to search the web. I usually don’t like Cortana to search the web when entering a search term in the search field of Windows. Not just that Microsoft then knows what I am searching for, it’s also cumbersome to pick the right findings in the search results of Cortana if it’s mixed with web searches.

The Registry settings I was using in the past to disable this web searching behavior has changed. To disable web searching, now follow these steps:

  • Open regedit (Windows -R and enter regedit)
  • Drill down to the registry entry HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search
  • Here, create a new 32-Bit DWORD entry called BingSearchEnabled with a value of 0
  • Next, create another 32-Bit DWORD entry called CortanaConsent also with a value of 0
  • After a restart, searches will only be performed locally

To change this back to normal, just delete these two registry entries.

Don’t trust the evil,

stay secure!

Marcus