Microsoft designed the Windows operating system to help its users as much as possible. It includes features that allow you to quickly troubleshoot and resolve common issues ranging from stuck Windows updates to general printer problems using the built-in Windows troubleshooter in the Windows Settings menu.
This is because Windows has an enormous amount of usage data that it collects from millions of Windows PCs and laptops in use, so that problems can be fixed as they evolve. This is in part thanks to the CompatTelRunner process that you find on your PC. Here’s everything you need to know, including how to turn it off.
What is CompatTelRunner.exe and Is It Safe?
The CompatTelRunner.exe system process belongs to the Microsoft Compatibility Telemetry Service. This service collects usage data from your Windows 10 system, including information about third-party apps and services.
According to Microsoft, this data is used to help improve the user experience by giving them an edge when fixing major bugs or security issues. If a large number of users have the same performance with a particular service or application, this can be quickly fixed in a new update.
The data it collects is mostly anonymous, but some specific usage data is collected, including your system’s characteristics, current settings, and a list of installed software. It is collected by the CompatTelRunner.exe process, which regularly collates the data and sends it back to Microsoft for analysis.
As a Windows system service, this process is completely safe, but you might have concerns about the amount of data your computer shares with Microsoft (even if it’s anonymous). System performance issues also need to be considered, as the CompatTelRunner process reportedly causes high CPU and disk usage.
Fortunately, in most cases, you can opt out of this data analysis program in the Windows settings menu, as we explain below. You can also force a service to be disabled to prevent reactivation.
What Causes CompatTelRunner.exe High CPU and Disk Usage
Most users will not notice an increase in system resource usage while the CompatTelRunner process is running, but in some cases, you may find that CompatTelRunner has high CPU or disk usage in Windows Task Manager.
The data collection activities used by the CompatTelRunner process, including submitting data to Microsoft, can sometimes affect older PCs. If you are using an older Windows PC or laptop, you will likely see higher disk or CPU usage as a result.
If a system process such as CompatTelRunner.exe is using a significant amount of system resources and is slowing down, it makes sense to disable it. This will disable its data collection activities, freeing up your PC’s resources for other software.
How to unsubscribe from Windows 10 Telemetry Data
You can opt out of Microsoft Compatibility Telemetry (at least partially) in the Windows settings menu. This will stop most of the data collection activities that, in some cases, can cause problems with your Windows 10 PC.
However, this will not disable the service completely. Opting out of Microsoft diagnostic data collection will only reduce the amount of data collected by limiting it to your device’s configuration, state, and settings. If you want to disable this feature completely, you will need to move on to the next section.
- To opt out, you need to open the Windows 10 settings menu. Right-click the Start menu and select Settings to continue.
- In the Settings window, select Privacy> Diagnostics & Feedback. While it is not possible to turn off diagnostic data collection entirely, you can set it to a baseline collection level to help reduce the impact on your computer. To do this, select “Required Diagnostic Data” (or “Baseline” in older versions of Windows 10) in the “Diagnostic Data” options.
- The changes you make will be applied immediately, but to be sure, you can restart your computer. However, refusal to collect telemetry data will not delete previously collected data. To delete this data, scroll down to the Delete Diagnostic Data section and select the Delete option.
Deleting previously saved diagnostic data will delete it from your computer, but will also instruct Microsoft to erase any copies of the data from its servers. This will ensure that your privacy is maintained in accordance with local privacy laws.
How to completely disable CompatTelRunner in Windows 10
Microsoft Compatibility Telemetry cannot be completely disabled in Windows settings. If you want to turn it off completely, you can do so by stopping the regular data collection tasks scheduled for it in Task Scheduler.
You can also disable it by adding an entry for CompatTelRunner to the Windows Registry. Using both methods will ensure that the service is completely disabled on your computer even after you update Windows. This will prevent the collection of additional data.
- To disable scheduled collection tasks for CompatTelRunner, you need to open Task Scheduler. To do this, hold down the Windows + R keys to open the Run command window (or right-click the Start menu and select Run).
- In the Run command box, type taskschd.msc and press Enter. Task Scheduler will open in a new window.
- Using the tree menu on the left, open the Task Scheduler Library Microsoft Windows Application Experience folder. Right-click the Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser, PcaPatchDbTask, and ProgramDataUpdater tasks, then select the Disable option for each. This will stop the data collection tasks from running on your PC.
The next step is to turn off Windows telemetry data in the Windows Registry Editor. This will help ensure that the service stays disabled.
- To do this, hold the Windows key + R keys to open Run (or right-click the Start menu and select Run).
- In the Run box, type regedit and press Enter to open Registry Editor.
- In Registry Editor, use the tree menu on the left to open the Computer HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Policies Microsoft Windows DataCollection folder. Right-click a blank space on the right and choose New> DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Name the new value “Enable Telemetry” and double-click it. Set the parameter to 0, then click OK to save.
Once the value is set, you can close the registry editor and restart your computer. This ensures that all data collection activities on your PC (for troubleshooting purposes) are disabled and the CompatTelRunner service is no longer active and will start on schedule.
Improved Windows 10 Installation
Although the CompatTelRunner.exe process is safe, you may have privacy issues with submitting such a large amount of usage data to Microsoft. In this case, discarding telemetry data and forcibly disabling the CompatTelRunner system service are reasonable options and will not affect Windows 10 performance.
If the CompatTelRunner process is causing high CPU or disk usage on your computer, then disabling it will optimize your Windows 10 installation. You can go further by optimizing the paging file to speed up your computer, although there are other ways to make your computer faster before you think about updating it.