Does Windows 10 leak information about your IP address?

Is Windows 10 Leaking my IP Address?

Almost everything is leaking your IP address.

I'm going to avoid telling you your IP address isn't secret. You seem to already know that. Instead, I'm going to tell you what you're looking for: Yes, Windows 10 leaks information about your IP address ten over a hundred times until Sunday, even if you're behind a proxy!

Can that information or other information that Windows 10 automatically sends out to the internet be used to link an individual PC to an IP address?

Yes, see below


## Web Search Group Policy ##

Registry Keys: 

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Polices\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search\DisableWebSearch
2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Polices\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search\ConnectedSearchUseWeb\
3. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Polices\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search\ConnectedSearchUseWebOverMeteredConnections


## Cortana Group Policy ##

Registry keys:

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PolicyManager\Experience\AllowCortana\value
2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Polices\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search\Allow Cortana


## OneDrive Service ##

Windows Services:

1. Sync Host (OneSyncSvc)
2. Sync Host_Session1 (OneSyncScv_Session1)


## OneDrive Group Policy ##

Registry key: 

- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\OneDrive\DisableFileSyncNGSC


## Remote Registry Service ##

Service: (RemoteRegistry)


## Built-In Bing Search ##

Contacts Bing for things such as web searching. If a patch is made that circumvents the above fixing, you'll need to block Bing.


## Office 15 (2015) Telemetry Group Policy ##

Registry keys:

1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\office\15.0\osm\enablelogging
2. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\office\15.0\osm\enablefileobfuscation
3. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\office\15.0\osm\enableupload


## Office 15 (2013) Telemetry Scheduled Tasks ##


1. Microsoft\Office\OfficeTelemetryAgentFallBack
2. Microsoft\Office\OfficeTelemetryAgentLogOn


## Office 16 (2016) Telemetry Group Policy ##

Registry keys:

1. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\office\16.0\osm\enablelogging
2. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\office\16.0\osm\enablefileobfuscation
3. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\office\16.0\osm\enableupload


## Office 16 (2016) Telemetry Scheduled Tasks ##


1. Microsoft\Office\OfficeTelemetryAgentFallBack2016
2. Microsoft\Office\OfficeTelemetryAgentLogOn2016


## Telemetry Services ##


1. Connected User Experience and Telemetry (DiagTrack)
2. dmwappushscv (dmwappushservice)


## Telemetry Group Policy ##

- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\DataCollection\AllowTelemetry


## Consumer Experience Improvement Program Group Policy ##

- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\SQMClient\Windows\CEIPEnable


## Customer Experience Improvement Program Scheduled Tasks ##


1. Microsoft\Windows\Application Experience\Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser
2. Microsoft\Windows\Application Experience\ProgramDataUpdater
3. Microsoft\Windows\Autochk\Proxy
4. Microsoft\Windows\DiskDiagnostic\Microsoft-Windows-DiskDiagnosticDataCollector
5. Microsoft\Windows\Customer Experience Improvement Program\Consolidator


## Application Impact Telemetry Group Policy ##

- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\AppCompat\AITEnable


## Steps Recorder Group Policy ##

- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\AppCompat\DisableUAR


## WiFi Sense (HotSpot Sharing) Group Policy ##

Registry keys:

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PolicyManager\default\WiFi\AllowWiFiHotSpotReporting\value
2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PolicyManager\default\WiFi\AllowAutoConnectToWiFiSenseHotSpots\value


## P2P Windows Update outside local network ##

Registry keys:

1. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DeliveryOptimization\Config\DODownloadMode
2. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\DeliveryOptimization\SystemSettingsDownloadMode


TLDR: Registry Keys, Tasks, Hosts, and Services

I could go on and on. But download Spybot Anti-Beacon, and it will block most of these, and more. You don't want to block Windows Update because software updates help maintain the security and integrity of your machine.

Note that blocking all of these telemetry options isn't going to prevent information gathering, so don't trust in them. This program is simply there to help you opt out of Windows 10 telemetry stuff.

They can still find out what accounts were connected to what IP address at each time, even if the proxy is system-wide. If you wanted to hide your information from Microsoft, you would literally have to blacklist all connections, and whitelist only the ones you want.

Communicating Other IDs

Does it communicate IDs or other information with its requests that can be used to link IP addresses to specific PCs?

If I'm at an internet café with my notebook and go online, does Windows 10 send out information that can be used to link my notebook to the IP I'm using when I open the start menu?

If a systemwide proxy is set, does Windows 10 use that proxy to do its automatic requests?

Yes. Yes. Yes, and yes. Look at Application User ID Tracking:

Registry key:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion AdvertisingInfo\Enabled

Answers to your main questions

Now that we've demonstrated a small fraction of IP-leaking processes behind Windows 10, let's talk about what can be done with this data.

If I'm at an internet café with my notebook and go online, does Windows 10 send out information that can be used to link my notebook to the IP I'm using when I open the start menu?

Yes, application advertising IDs, connecting to Windows Update with your Windows 10 account, etc. In fact, connecting to any of these services, of which there are many, during your Internet Cafe visit, can easily tell Microsoft where you've been.

It doesn't matter if you were behind a proxy or 40: all connections to Microsoft services are recorded. Every single IP address for every single instance of your advertising ID / windows key / windows account, is recorded.

Since your IP address is essentially the internet equivalent of your postal address and since it is required for routing your request (and especially the response) over the internet, any website that you connect to will have access to it. Any email server you connect to will have access to it, etc. Every time you connect to another computer, that computer can see your IP address.

The Windows 10 Start Menu has a variety of features designed to make it more useful. This includes a search functionality when you start typing which by default will send your typed text to Bing to perform a web search. The Windows 10 Start Menu also has live tiles, which will periodically connect to their service provider(s) to fetch updates.