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Windows provides a wealth of data access to make apps useful and valuable to you. These capabilities, which are security constructs that gate access to personal data, include things like Calendar, Contacts, Call history, and more. Each capability has its own privacy settings page so that you can control it and what apps and services can use that capability.

To control which apps can use each capability in Windows 10

  1. Go to Start , then select Settings > Privacy.

  2. Select the capability you want to allow apps to use, such as Calendar or Contacts.

  3. Choose your preferred setting to allow apps to use, access, control, or read the capability

  4. Choose which apps can use, access, control, or read the capability by turning individual apps and services on or off. 

To control which apps can use each capability in Windows 11

  1. Go to Start , then select Settings > Privacy & security.

  2. Select the capability you want to allow apps to use, such as Calendar or Contacts.

  3. Turn the setting on or off that allows anyone using the device to have access to the capability.

  4. Choose which apps can access the capability by turning individual apps and services on or off.

Exceptions to the privacy settings

Desktop apps won’t appear in your lists of apps and services that you can turn on and off and are not affected by the setting that allows apps to have access to a capability. To allow or block desktop apps, use the settings in those applications.

Note: How can you tell if an app is a desktop app? Desktop apps are usually downloaded from the Internet or installed with some type of media (such as a CD, DVD, or USB storage device). They’re launched using an .EXE or .DLL file, and they typically run on your device unlike web-based apps (which run in the cloud). You can also find desktop apps in Microsoft Store.

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