Windows – How to revert changes made to Windows 10 by “Destroy Windows Spying” (DWS_Lite.exe)

cortanagroup-policywindows 10windows-registry

I've found a tool that claimed is able to ban Microsoft Windows 10 from keylogging, Anonymous telemetry, and Spying on my personal information. It's called Destroy Windows Spying (DWS_Lite.exe). After running this freeware, I noticed undesired changes to my computer, including:

  • Disabled Cortana
  • Disabled Windows Defender
  • Disabled Windows Web Search
  • Disabled Password Reveal Button
  • Disabled Location Services

And many others I can't recall. I tried registry tweaks available online to enable Cortana, but it didn't help. I see a gray Cortana switch button, showing the message:

"Cortana is disabled by company policy"

enter image description here

How to fix Cortana? Or if possible, totally revert changes made to my system?

Best Answer

Destroy Windows Spying Neutralizer (DWS_Neutralizer.cmd)

After thorough research, I've found a list of changes made by DWS:

Delete Keylogger and Telemetry:

  • Disables and deletes some of Diagnostics and Windows Media push services.
  • Disables Cortana from registry, by Computer Policy.
  • Disables Windows Telemetry from registry.
  • Disables Diagnostics from registry.
  • Disables Inclusion of MRT in Windows Update from registry.

Add spy domains in hosts file, and block in Windows Firewall:

  • Blocks Microsoft telemetry URLs from hosts file.
  • Blocks Microsoft telemetry IP ranges from firewall.
  • Blocks Microsoft telemetry IP ranges from routing table.

Disable Private Settings:

  • Disbales Cortana from registry, by User Policy.
  • Disables Camera on LockScreen from registry.
  • Disables Biometrics from registry.
  • Disables Bing Search from registry.
  • Disables Web Search from registry.
  • Disables Password Reveal Button from registry.
  • Disables Sensors from registry.
  • Disables Location Services from registry.

Disable Windows Defender:

  • Disables Windows Defender from registry.
  • Disables Automatic Malware Sample Submission from registry.
  • Disables Malware Reporting from registry.
  • Disables Smart Screen Filter from registry.

Set Default Windows Photo Viewer:

  • Self-descriptive I guess!

Disable Spy Tasks:

  • Disables Diagnostics from task scheduler.
  • Disables Media Center Discovery from task scheduler.
  • Disables Office Telemetry from task scheduler.
  • Disables Customer Experince from task scheduler.
  • Disables WinSAT Maintenance from task scheduler.

This script reverts all the changes to their default settings.

Note: It doesn't reinstall removed metro apps!

Disclaimer: This method is tested and working. However, there's a chance that I didn't mentioned all the changes, and maybe I missed some registry keys. Please be warned that it reverts affected settings to Out-of-Box state, so if you changed some of those, you may need to re-enable/configure them. !Do it at your ownrisk!

Download as script: DWS_Neutralizer.cmd (Note: Run as admin)

Download as archive: DWS_Neutralizer.zip (Note: Extract, then run as admin)

Based on: DWS (Final) Last Updated: 2015-12-29