Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella is said to have been tapped for CEO because of the great job that he did setting up Microsoft’s cloud presence. Indeed, the cloud emphasis is apparent on Windows 8.1 – it is deeply integrated with OneDrive, Bing and all of the other online services that Microsoft offers.
Many users aren’t completely enthusiastic about the Microsoft Cloud, though. They are simply not comfortable having Microsoft be an intimate part of their everyday lives, freely sending their files to Microsoft and having the company view information about their searches and other activity all the time. If you are one of these people, you would probably be interested in disabling some of the connected features on Windows 8.1. Here’s how you do it.
When you allow OneDrive on your Windows 8.1 computers, you get to sync all your computers together – your settings on Internet Explorer, the apps you have on your Start screen and even your desktop wallpaper. Syncing with OneDrive isn’t necessarily an all or nothing proposition, though. You get to specify exactly how much you want OneDrive to know about your computer.
To restrict how much you put on OneDrive, you need to open the Charm bar, click on the gearwheel icon and then take the path Change PC settings – Search and apps – Search . Once you get to the Settings page, you can turn off any kind of sharing that you want or turn OneDrive off globally by toggling the Sync your settings on this PC switch. You can also go back to the main menu under File storage and turn off the Save documents to SkyDriveby default switch to make sure that your files don’t automatically end up on the cloud.
If you don’t want your photos on the cloud, you need to go to the main menu again, select Camera roll and then pick Don’t upload photos . You may also wish to select Don’t upload videos to SkyDrive.
When you use the search function to search within your computer on Windows 8 or 8.1, Windows needs you to type in an exact match for a file or app. If you don’t get an exact match, Windows right away fires up Bing Smart Search. It tries to search for your keyword both on your computer and on the Web. The result you get is an attractive all-in-one page that makes puts both your local results and your web results together. While Smart Search can be fun to use, it does need to send a certain amount of information from your computer to Microsoft. You need to change a few settings to prevent this from happening.
To arrive at Settings, you need to take the same route to the Settings page as above and then turn off the switch called Get search suggestions and web results from Bing . If you would like to use Bing’s results but not have it receive information from your computer, you need to look under Your search experience and select the Don’t get personalized results from Bing option.