Even When Told Not To, Windows 10 Just Can’t Stop Talking to Microsoft
Windows 10 uses the Internet a lot to support many of its features. The operating system also sports numerous knobs to twiddle that are supposed to disable most of these features, and the potentially privacy-compromising connections that go with them.
Unfortunately for privacy advocates, these controls don’t appear to be sufficient to completely prevent the operating system from going online and communicating with Microsoft’s servers.
For example, even with Cortana and searching the Web from the Start menu disabled, opening Start and typing will send a request to bing.com to request a file called threshold.appcache which appears to contain some Cortana information, even though Cortana is disabled. The request for this file appears to contain a random machine ID that persists across reboots.