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How to stop Windows 10’s antivirus from sending files to Microsoft



Windows 10 logo

By default, Windows 10’s built-in antivirus automatically sends samples of suspicious files from your computer to Microsoft. While this increases security, you can turn this option off if you wish. Here we will show you how to disable this option on your PC.

Why Windows 10’s antivirus sends files to Microsoft

Windows 10’s built-in antivirus program, known as Windows Security or Windows Defender, sends suspicious files to Microsoft so that the company can learn about new viruses and other threats.

These sample files sent from your computer help Microsoft equip its antivirus program with new virus definitions. That way, the next time this virus or malware is found on someone̵

7;s PC, Windows 10’s built-in antivirus can block that file right away.

Microsoft does not attempt to include personal information in these submitted files. If there is a file that probably contains information about you, such as a Microsoft Word document with a suspicious-looking macro, Windows will ask for your permission before sending the file.

RELATED: How do Windows Defender’s “automatic sample submission” and “cloud-based protection” work?

How to Stop Automatic Sample Submission

You can prevent the Windows 10 antivirus from sending files to Microsoft if you are not comfortable with this feature. The choice is yours.

To disable the option, open the “Start” menu, search for “Windows Security” and click on the app in the results.

Access to Windows security

When the Windows Security window opens, click on ‘Virus & Threat Protection’.

Protection against viruses and threats

Scroll down and look for the “Virus and threat protection settings” section. Click on the link “Manage settings”.

Virus and threat protection settings

Here, find the option “Automatic sample submission” and turn it off.

Disable submitting suspicious files

You’re done.

Although automatic file submission is now disabled, you can still manually send samples of potential threats to Microsoft. Click the “Manually Submit a Sample” option on the screen above to go to the site where you can upload your suspicious files.


If you have an antivirus installed that is not Windows security, it may also automatically upload specific files to that other antivirus’ servers. The option in Windows Security only controls Windows 10’s built-in antivirus, not any third-party antivirus programs you have installed. Check your antivirus settings for more information.

RELATED: Understanding Windows 10’s privacy settings




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