If you are a Windows 10 user, you might have noticed that time to time and without doing anything from your side, your computer’s CPU and hard disk usage will rocket to the skies! This high CPU usage and hard disk activity are mostly caused by the telemetry service of Windows ‘CompatTelRunner.exe‘. In this article, we will see how to reduce the activity time of this service to get a breath! After all, high CPU and HDD usage translates to higher wattage and energy usage that leads to extra cents on your bill!
What is Windows Telemetry?
According to Microsoft, the Telemetry service is a necessary tool to let Microsoft provide a better experience for users, through gathering diagnostic information about software, peripherals, etc. :
As you use Windows, we also collect diagnostic information which helps us find and fix problems, improve our products and services, and provide you with personalized experiences. Also, to make sure we’re listening to you, our customer, we’ve built ways for you to send us feedback anytime, and at specific times, like when Windows 10 asks you specific questions about how something is working for you.
So what is wrong with that?
Well, the first thing to be concerned about is of course privacy, but I personally have not noticed or seen any evidence that personal data is being transmitted through this service. The second, and at least to me the most important reason, is the unnecessary high CPU and disk usage of this service, which as I said translates into higher electricity bills (call me crazy but I think it does!).
How to disable CompatTelRunner.exe?
Well, the bad news is you can not completely disable this service because disabling it permanently can cause problems with updating of Windows. The good news is that you can significantly reduce the amount of CPU and HDD usage of this service by changing it’s activity level. The following table shows the activity levels for Windows Telemetry service:
|Security||Security data only.||0|
|Basic||Security data, and basic system and quality data.||1|
|Enhanced||Security data, basic system and quality data, and enhanced insights and advanced reliability data.||2|
|Full||Security data, basic system and quality data, enhanced insights and advanced reliability data, and full diagnostics data.||3|
By default, the activity level of this service is set to FULL or 3, which is obviously the highest and most aggressive level of operation of the Telemetry service. There are at the moment 2 ways to change the level of this service:
1- Using Windows Registry Editor:
- Open Windows’s registry editor:
- You can do this by typing “regedit” in the start menu of Windows, which in turns runs the “regedit.exe“
- In the registry editor, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\DataCollection
- Here you should find a registry option named AllowTelemetry (like the image below)
- By default it has the value 3 assigned to it, and per the table above, it is the most aggressive level.
- Double click on the field and change the value from 3 to 0, and thats all! Exit the registry editor and restart your computer for the effects to propagate!
- If you do not see the AllowTelemetry option in the registry, you can create it yourself:
- Right-click on DataCollection, click New and then click DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Type AllowTelemetry, and then press ENTER.
- Double-click AllowTelemetry, set the desired value from the table above, and then click OK. Restart the PC.
2- Using Windows Privacy settings:
This will not let you set level below 1! If you want level 0 you have to do it through the registry as explained above!
This method only works if you have a recent update installed (I can not remember which update!). Just do the following step:
- In the start menu, type “privacy” which should find the Privacy Settings for windows and then run it.
- In the settings window, on the left side, find the Feedback & Diagnostics and click on it.
- On the right side, change the level to your own taste!
- Restart the PC.
3- Using Windows Task Scheduler:
You can have some more control about this task which runs compattelrunner executable file through the Task Scheduler settings of windows. To do so, type “task scheduler” in start menu to run this program. Once there, From the left side tree view browse to Task Scheduler Library => Microsoft => Windows => Application Experience:
Then, in the middle of the window, right click on Microsoft Compatibility Appraise to edit its settings. Here you have the option to completly disable this (which I do not recommend!) or at least set the start condition, e.g. allow it to start only if the computer was idle for more than a hour or something (you decide!). If you are on a laptop/notebook I also recommend to check out “run on AC power only” option as well:
After the changes, hit OK and your propably better off restarting your computer!
I hope this was useful 😉