Read Those Information Screens When Installing New Software

When you install the update to Windows 8.1, at one point in the process you get the following screen:

I know you can’t read that, but the screen invites you to use express settings. If you click the light violet button at the bottom, you’ll accept the list of bulleted express settings. One of these is page prediction. The description of page prediction on the Microsoft privacy policy reads as follows:

When this feature is turned on, information about webpages you visit is sent to Microsoft, together with standard PC information. This includes the addresses of the webpages you visit as well as information about images and videos included on the page. To help protect your privacy, the information is encrypted when sent to Microsoft. Information associated with the web address, such as search terms or data you entered in forms, might be included. For example, if you visited the search website at and entered “Seattle” as the search term, the full address will be sent. Address strings might unintentionally contain personal information, but this information, like the other information sent, isn’t used to identify, contact, or target advertising to you. In addition, Microsoft filters address strings to try to remove personal information.

Statistics about the webpages you visit will also be sent to Microsoft, such as the time that webpages were visited, which webpage referred you, and how you got there (for example, by clicking a link or one of your Favorites). A unique identifier generated by Internet Explorer and your machine’s IP address is also sent. The unique identifier is a randomly generated number that doesn’t contain any personal information and isn’t used to identify you. If you delete your browsing history or if you turn flip ahead with page prediction off and back on again, a new unique identifier will be created. We don’t correlate old unique identifiers with new ones. Other information that will help Microsoft improve the experience of features in Internet Explorer will also be sent including the time it took to load a page in Internet Explorer and standard machine information like your network connection type, device model info and whether you have touch-enabled hardware.

As I read this, it means that all of my browsing information will be sent to Microsoft. In case you pressed the light violet button, I thought you might like to know how to turn it off. Here’s a video: