This is one of a series of user tips for protecting your privacy and security.
Windows 10 has a feature that allows apps to run in the background.
Is this a problem? Well, not in theory, but that is the problem. Theories are just that – our best guess at the moment.
If you allow an app to run in the background, even if you don’t explicitly start it or ever use it, the app can receive information, send notifications, download and install updates and eat your bandwidth and battery life (on laptops).
If you are running on an Internet connection that is not unlimited, it will also eat into whatever limit you have on your data transfer.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t recall saying it was okay for any applications to run in the background. You didn’t. To paraphrase a famous quote, we’re from Microsoft and we’re here to help you.
On your Windows 10 machine, start the SETTINGS app and then go to PRIVACY and then BACKGROUND APPS.
You should see a screen that looks like this:
In fact, there are multiple screens on my computer:
All of these apps are running in the background.
Whether you use the apps or not.
Many of these apps I have NEVER used.
It is possible that Microsoft MAY install updates in the background rather than through the Windows update process, but this seems dangerous since people can turn background apps off, so I am guessing they don’t do that.
Windows 10 lets you turn off background running on individual apps or all apps (at the top).
Also consider that you may break something that depends on whatever – the xbox game bar – running in the background.
I, for one, am going to see if anything breaks.