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Disabling Cloud Integration On Windows 8

There are a lot of things you can accuse Windows 8.1 of, but at least it doesn’t lack web integration. Windows 8.1 comes with OneDrive, Bing and other Microsoft online services.

However, you can skip using a Microsoft account and instead use a local account. This will keep you away from the cloud integration, but a lot of the features provided by the cloud service are quite useful. But what if you want to enable some of the features or disable others? Here is how you can set individually Bing and OneDriver into your system.

Bing

Windows 8.1 comes with a great search feature in the modern UI, with a smart search that includes Bing in it. What happens is that when you search for a file on your PC, Smart Search will be launched and besides searching on the PC it will also look over the internet via the bing search engine. It’s a great feature but keep in mind that Smart Search will send the local searches you do to Microsoft. If you don’t like the Bing feature, you can always disable it, so that your results will not contain some web pages but only the local files. To do this, open the settings charm by holding Windows logo key + I. Go to “Change PC Settings->Search and apps->Search. After that, click the “off” on the line which says “get search suggestions and web results from bing”.

Disabling OneDrive

Windows 8.1 comes with OneDrive integrated, which will sync everything across multiple computers, things like the most used folders and files, internet explorer settings and tabs and even your start screen applications and your desktop background.

Most of these options are enabled by default, but Microsoft allows you to control the OneDrive syncing. To adjust these settings, open the Settings Charm once again and go to OneDrive->Sync Settings.

Here you will notice a page with all your personalized sync settings. Just read each line setting and decide if you want to turn it off or on. If you want to all OneDrive features you can just turn off the “Sync your settings on this PC”.

After that, go back to OneDrive menu and click on file storage and turn off the slider which says “save documents to onedrive by default”. This way, your files won’t be automatically saved in the cloud.

Once again, go back to OneDrive’s menu and pick the camera roll and select “don’t upload photos” and at the same time make sure that “automatically upload videos to OneDrive” is turned off too.

Privacy

The modern UI application can also ask for data from your PC, so you will have to go to settings and select Privacy->General. Here you will be able to control what the third-applications can access, from your account info, auto suggestions etc.

You can turn off whatever you want, but we suggest you to leave SmartScreen Filter on, in case an application will ever try to direct you to some malicious web site. You should also turn off the “Let Windows and application use my location”, but keep in mind that if you turn off this feature, applications such as maps, weather or news will not work as well as they used to.