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Microsoft 365 has a number of helpful features that are backed by cloud-based services, which we call "connected experiences", that provide essential functionality for those features. These include:

Experiences that analyze your content

These are experiences that use your Microsoft 365 content to provide design recommendations, editing suggestions, data insights, and similar features. PowerPoint Designer, Dictate, and Translator are examples of these kind of experiences. 

If you ask us to translate your text into another language, for example, we have to send the text to our automated translator service which automatically translates your text into the language requested and returns it to you.

Note: For a more complete list of these connected experiences see Connected experiences in Microsoft 365.

Experiences that download online content

These are experiences that allow you to search and download online content including templates, images, 3D models, Microsoft 365 help, videos, and reference materials to enhance your documents. Excel's rich data types or Outlook's weather info are examples of these kinds of experiences.

In order to provide you with the weather forecast for the next couple of days, for example, Outlook connects to Bing to retrieve the relevant weather data.

Note: For a more complete list of these connected experiences see Connected experiences in Microsoft 365.

Controlling these experiences

Microsoft 365 includes these connected experiences.  If you'd like to turn these experiences off, go to any Microsoft 365 application - such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint - and go to File > Account > Manage Settings (In Outlook it's under Office Account). There you can disable or enable, either category (or both).  

For more information see: Account Privacy Settings.

In addition, there is a setting that allows you turn off these connected experiences, and which will also turn off other connected experiences, such as document co-authoring and online file storage. Note that if you use this setting to turn off connected experiences, some Microsoft 365 service functionality will remain available, such as synching your mailbox in Outlook, as well as a small number of services that are essential to how Microsoft 365 functions and cannot be disabled, for example, the licensing service that confirms that you are properly licensed to use Microsoft 365. On the Mac these essential services also includes OneNote syncing to OneDrive. Required service data about these services is collected and sent to Microsoft, regardless of any other settings that you have configured.

See Also

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