If you are using Windows 10 or any other Microsoft product or service, Microsoft collects a lot of data about you and your activity. Follow these steps to download everything Microsoft knows about you. In essence, you can download all your personal data from the Microsoft account.
In case you don’t know, Microsoft tracks and logs a lot of data like your voice recordings, precise location information, opened/used applications in Windows 10 PC, app data, search data, browsing history, etc.
Simply put, there’s a lot of data that Microsoft logs and it is good to download the data once in a while and see what you are sharing. Thankfully, Microsoft made it quite easy to download all your data. You just click a button, wait for some time, and download the archive. Let me show you how.
Download Your Personal Data from Microsoft Account
As I said, it is easy to download everything Microsoft knows about you.
1. First, go to the Microsoft Account Privacy page. For your security, you might be prompted for the password even if you are logged in. So, log into your account and continue to the next step.
2. In this page, click on the “Download Your Data” link appearing on the navigation bar.
3. Your data is not available instantly. Rather, you have to request it. So, once you are here, click on the “Create New Archive” button. This will trigger the download process.
4. You will now be asked to select what data you want to download. Select all the checkboxes and click on the “Create Archive” button.
4. As soon as you click on the button, Microsoft starts to consolidate all the data in their different services, bundle it into a ZIP file, and then provide you with a download link. All this can take some time to complete. In my case, it took around five minutes. Your mileage may vary depending on various factors.
5. Once the data is gathered and zipped, you will see a download link. Click on the “Download” button.
6. After downloading, open the ZIP file and you will see multiple JSON files.
7. Extract and open those files with Notepad or any code editor, like VS Code, to see the contents.
For example, to see your Windows 10 and other application activity, open the ProductAndServiceUsage.json file. To see your media consumption activity, open the ContentConsumption.json file.
That is it. It is simple to download your data from Microsoft. Once you are done checking the data, either delete the file or store it somewhere safe. Don’t ever share the data archive or files in the archive with anyone. Those files contain sensitive information about you and your activities.
Hope that helps. If you think I missed anything or if you need help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.