Updating from Windows 10 to 11?

I have yet to update from Windows 10 on my PC. My primary concern has been hearing about added bloat in Windows 11, and requiring the use of a signed-in Microsoft account. Though, as someone that values UI and UX to an inconveniently high degree, the modern reskin of Windows is very tempting.

So, I was wondering, does Windows 11 decrease user privacy in comparison to Windows 10? Will I be locked into using a Microsoft account, and will the system run any slower or with more bloatware? I’ve already done my best to remove bloat on my current OS, and I shudder to think of seeing any more of it on my computer.

I appreciate any and all input on the subject :slight_smile:

Yes, yes, and another yes.

A lot more privacy-invasive “features” have been added since Windows 10, and especially on the Home edition of windows they REALLY want you to use a Microsoft Account, and when I say “really”, I mean it.

There is more bloatware…like pre-installed TikTok, for instance.

And yes, whilst this depends on your hardware, some benchmarks I’ve seen have shown that Windows 11 runs worse at times than Windows 10 does.

I understand why many call Windows 11 a downgrade.

(obligatory plug for picking a Linux Distribution instead)


Ah how I wish I could use Linux. The day all of my music production software and game anticheats are fully functional on Linux will be a momentous day in history. Until then I’m afraid I’m locked in with Windows :smiling_face_with_tear:

You have to use a Microsoft account oficially, but you can use rufus to create an instalation media that will not demand an account. I have never used it and don’t know anything about it privacy wise, though.

No privacy focused user will use Windows Home Edition and if they do, the recommendation should not be “stay with Windows 10”, but rather upgrade to a better edition, preferably to Enterprise or education, but at least to Pro. Windows 11 is not more privacy invasive if configured properly. It provides a lot of security improvements over Windows 10, thus it’s recommended to upgrade to Windows 11.


No, you can circumvent that.

Not if you do it right. If you are setting up a fresh system, select “English (World)” or “English (Europe)” as your language, which will get rid of all bloat. Or use Enterprise or Education edition.

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A lot more privacy-invasive “features” have been added since Windows 10, and especially on the Home edition of windows they REALLY want you to use a Microsoft Account, and when I say “really”, I mean it.

That is bypassable, but a lot of what people complain about on 11 were already present on 10 (such as required diagnostics and spotlight notifications spamming you with nonsense).

There is more bloatware…like pre-installed TikTok, for instance.

Ehhhh Candy Crush used to come directly preinstalled on Windows 10, I don’t see how a start menu shortcut is any worse than that. IIRC it doesn’t make any network requests until you directly click on it and download it, then open it. And unless I’m misreading the store page, it doesn’t appear to be an unsandboxed win32 app. While there’s plenty of stuff to complain about on 11 (I hate the bing start menu), this isn’t the best example imo.

And yes, whilst this depends on your hardware, some benchmarks I’ve seen have shown that Windows 11 runs worse at times than Windows 10 does.

As I understand it this is cuz of VBS, and is supposedly one of the reasons Microsoft enforced hardware cutoffs, as they want to turn it on by default on all installs. It’s also why it’s (imo) prolly not the best idea to force install Windows 11 on unsupported devices using stuff like Rufus.

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I see this kind of enthusiasm :bomb::boom::firecracker: quite often when Windows comes up on some privacy or Linux-related forum. “”“Good”“” old Linux forums vibes :nauseated_face: ∼ ∼ ∼
Now, let me fix it for you:

  1. No (TL;DR: the level of privacy on both 10 and 11 is highly similar = bad);
  2. No (TL;DR: there’re very simple methods of bypassing Microsoft account “requirement” (which isn’t really a requirement));
  3. And another no. The system won’t run any slower. And no, there’s no bloatware on Windows. What’s bloatware for you? Define it. Shortcut tiles on your Start menu?

Stop spreading misinformation. I see A LOT of users have this confusion. What you all call “bloatware” — is nothing more than merely shortcuts/empty placeholders. There’s NO Spotify/TikTok/whatever pre-installed on your Windows install. Neither on 10, nor on 11.
They’re just placeholders, ad shortcuts which advertise apps that you can get from the Microsoft Store. Same story goes to all other shortcuts. Yes, they are annoying, but they are nothing more than mere shortcuts. All these apps are not actually installed. They will get installed only when you click on them (you can test all that for yourself). This will trigger Microsoft Store to install the app. And they never reappear if you remove the placeholder/ad shortcut (right click > Uninstall) and never click on them (to initiate an install) in the first place (you can test this for yourself as well). You can also see for yourself that those apps are not installed, by going to your app list and seeing that there’s no TikTok or other preinstalled sh**.

See my other answer, where I make a couple of points on Windows, which are relevant to OP’s questions.

Ugh-uh… I have used Windows 11 and I prefer it over 10, as it has more features which increase my UX. I’ve found a lot of features which are unique to 11. And for a full list of them, see this. I personally definitely wouldn’t call 11 a downgrade. But whatever: seems like people are going to sh** on Windows anyway even if the thing complained about — isn’t privacy-related. That’s all because it is a forum on privacy. I guess one can expect people here to be very anti-Windows ‘a priori’. Shi**ing on Windows for being privacy-invasive is fully okay, but once misinformation (about TikTok pre-installed and about Microsoft account “”“mandatory”“” lock-in) kicks in… I’m out.

inb4 “You are just a Windows shill” — I’m not. I have used Windows extensively and know a thing or two about it.

No, you won’t. There are perfectly legitimate ways to use Windows 10/11 without a Microsoft account. And these ways are quite simple.

There’s no added bloat in Windows 11 in comparison to 10 (if you simply mean pathetic install-triggering shortcut tiles in the Start menu). I hate it when people say “Windows bloatware”. What bloatware? OneDrive pre-installed by default? People use OneDrive for many useful features, including backups, etc. It is very nicely integrated with Windows and provides high UX. But it’s not private, yes. And it’s a Microsoft product — of course they’ll push for it. You don’t want OneDrive — go into Apps and delete it. I mean, really: there’s no bloatware in Windows 10/11 whatsoever. The only things that can be called bloatware — are present in the Apps list, and in Windows Features. Simply go there and remove/disable what you want.
They can be quickly opened by a keyboard shortcut:

  • Windows Features: Windows logo key + R > optionalfeatures
  • App list: Windows logo key + X, then press F

Privacy problems/concerns of 11 are very similar to 10. Consider them similar privacy-wise (= bad privacy on both).

Rufus is open-source and has no problems privacy-wise. While Rufus’s methods of bypassing Microsoft account requirement are clean and sane, there are more “direct” methods (without using third-party software, that is) of bypassing Microsoft account login-wall (one, two).

Now some more regarding that very common “”“bloatware”“” misconception circus.
Here are the screenshots of my whole App list after deleting redundant apps via Settings itself. Windows 10, 22H2. I greyed out the apps and drivers I installed, as they don’t count. “Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable” I installed myself, but it is an essential library for many apps, so I decided not to grey it out, assuming most users are going to install it.
Please, Dora, find some “bloatware” among these:


Note that I never used any third-party tweakers/uninstallers or else (or anything third-party at all). I only uninstalled what I wanted in a native way — via Settings itself. There was OneDrive, and a bunch of system apps I don’t need (Feedback Hub, etc). All that “bloatware” can simply be removed via Settings.

I can confirm. I once did force-install 11 into one of my old PCs, and encountered lots of bugs. People should never force-install 11 on unsupported devices, for a daily driver. They can do it as an experiment; only if they have nothing else but an unsupported device, and still want to check out how 11 feels/looks like.

Over the years I noticed that Windows people complain a lot about things which can be turned off/configured in a second. These notifications is exactly one of them. Most Windows people are just aggro-noobs.


Last I read about it (some publication which was posted ∼2 months ago) — this is simply due to a bug. Microsoft might have fixed it, so those shortcuts might be installed even into these languages. I guess I will test it.

then I can only suspect there is some regioal difference with my copy. on my end, it was pre-installed without such a shortcut, pressing it after a fresh upgrade didn’t open the store and instead directly opened the program.

I’ve never experienced it when those apps actually come pre-installed. But I guess this can depend on some factors.

What’s your region? I’m going to test this and this myself.

I use German ISOs, as I am in Germany, but note that the system I am talking of did an upgrade from Windows 10 22H2 to Windows 11 (don’t remember what exact release)

Well, unfortunately I can’t test the upgrading scenario (right now I don’t have any PCs that support 11), but I will test the German ISO. I did read some Reddit comments that say that TikTok got installed (most likely as a PWA) when upgrading from 10 to 11.

I’ve also just read that this TikTop pre-installed app is a PWA (progressive web application) — not actually an app, but a website wrapped in Edge’s WebView2.

There’s also a possibility that your OEM could bundle TikTok. See here for example how much stuff Dell shoves into Windows: https://youtu.be/5N7aYtkzKJc&t=165
When one buys a PC from some OEM, they should just download a clean ISO (with no OEM sh**) from Microsoft directly and re-install their Windows.

You said that when you clicked on TikTok — it opened itself directly. My conclusion is that it was most likely a PWA. Otherwise there would be at least some delay: the app needs to download and install itself. It all takes time.

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The PC is self-built, so there’s no chance of that happening.

I’ve tested the German ISO. It’s clean (doesn’t have TikTok, only the default pre-installed shortcuts). Basically, all Windows 10 22H2 ISOs have these shortcuts (not apps!) pre-installed:

  • Skype
  • Spotify
  • LinkedIn
  • WhatsApp
  • Microsoft Solitaire Collection

You most likely got the PWA of TikTok when upgrading to Windows 11. That’s surely bad if Microsoft pre-installs TikTok during upgrading to 11, but at least it’s a PWA. Anyway, my recommendation is to use Windows Enterprise (preferably by installing it cleanly — via Media Creation Tool) and activate it with massgravel. That’s what I’ve been doing for years. Enterprise edition also needs configuring via Group Policy Editor to increase privacy (setting telemetry to “Security”, etc). It’s also good to use a DNS blocklist to block some tracking domains of Microsoft. I can give info on all of that if someone needs.

Tested it, and this doesn’t work anymore.

Here’s that article. It says there will be an OOBEREGION error if one chooses English (World) as their Time and currency format. Microsoft has fixed it and there’s no such error anymore. All the shortcuts are pre-installed, independent of what Time and currency format the user chooses.

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The description is misleading. It’s also possible on Education and Server. See: Configure Windows diagnostic data in your organization (Windows 10 and Windows 11) - Windows Privacy | Microsoft Learn

Huh, that’s true! I’ve always thought it meant Enterprise edition exactly. But it actually implies that Education, IoT and Server editions are included too. Anyway, gpedit.exe is written very badly in Windows: there are a lot of inconsistencies, etc. Anyone who worked with it — will understand what I’m talking about.

I’ll test the telemetry level in Education edition, just in case.