View my privacy options in Microsoft Office

This article describes the privacy options for features that you might want to use. Some privacy options affect what information and files are downloaded from or sent to Microsoft. Other options described in this article can help you protect your privacy when you share files with other people.

The tabs below have information about each of the different versions of Microsoft Office.

Important: If you're using version 1904, or newer, of Microsoft Office then your privacy options have moved. For information about accessing them, please see Account Privacy Settings.

To view the privacy options in an Office 365, Office 2016, or Office 2019 app on Windows follow these easy steps:

  1. Click File > Options.

  2. Click Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Privacy Options.

Privacy Options

  • Send personal information to Microsoft to make improvements to Office.

    When you check this box, you are helping to improve the quality, reliability, and performance of Microsoft. Microsoft automatically collects information from your computer, including error messages and hardware and software information. Any information that is sent to Microsoft is anonymous. This information isn’t used in advertising or sales in any way.

  • Let Office connect to Microsoft's online services to provide functionality that’s relevant to your location and preferences.

    When you check this box, you allow Microsoft to collect information about your use of the online services and sites provided by Microsoft and its partners. This setting enables use of the translation options available in the Research & Reference sections.

Document-specific settings

  • Remove personal information from file properties on Save

    This option automatically removes personal information from the file properties when you save the file. It's turned off in Excel, PowerPoint, and Word and turned on for Publisher and SharePoint Designer. Even if the option to remove personal information automatically is off, you can still remove personal information on demand by running the Document Inspector; either from the button right here in the Trust Center or by going to File > Info > Check for Issues > Inspect Document.

  • For the programs with the option turned on, the option is available only if you are working with a document created in an earlier version of Office, and you used this option in that version to remove personal information. 

Research and Reference

  • Translate Options

    Use Translate Options to choose settings for online bilingual dictionaries and machine translation. The options in this dialog box are available only if you check the Let Office connect to Microsoft's online services to provide functionality that’s relevant to your location and preferences box under Privacy Options.

  • Research Options

    Use Research Options to activate multilingual reference book and research site services.

To view the privacy options in an Office 2010 or 2013 for Windows app follow these easy steps:

  1. Click File > Options.

  2. Click Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Privacy Options.

Description of each privacy option

Allow Office to connect to the Internet

Applies to Office 2013

When you check the Allow Office to connect to the Internet box, when you’re on the Internet, Office can use online services and find the latest online content.

Connect to Office.com for updated content when I’m connected to the Internet

Applies to Office 2010

When you check the Connect to Office.com for updated content when I'm connected to the Internet box, you get the most up-to-date Help content downloaded to your computer from the Office.com website. You must be connected to the Internet to receive the downloads. The complete Help system isn’t downloaded, just the Help article you click in the Search results box.

Download a file periodically that helps determine system problems

When you check the Download a file periodically that helps determine system problems box:

  • You allow a file to be downloaded from Office.com to your computer, so if your computer becomes unstable or crashes, the Microsoft Office Diagnostics tool automatically runs to help diagnose and repair the problem for you.

  • You allow Microsoft to ask you to send error reports for certain types of error messages you might get. When you send a report, the data can help Microsoft understand and try to fix the problem.

  • You allow Microsoft to provide you with up-to-date Help content that helps to troubleshoot the problem on your computer.

For more information, see Change Office Diagnostics settings.

Sign up for the Customer Experience Improvement Program

When you check the Sign up for the Customer Experience Improvement Program box, you are helping to improve the quality, reliability, and performance of Microsoft Office.

  • If you are willing to participate, you don’t have to do any additional work. You never have to complete a form, fill out a survey, or answer a telephone call.

  • Microsoft automatically collects information from your computer, including the error messages you get and when they were seen, the kind of computer equipment you’re using, whether your computer is having any difficulty running Microsoft software, and whether your hardware and software respond well and perform quickly. In general, this information is collected once each day.

  • Any information that is sent to Microsoft is anonymous. This information isn’t used in advertising or sales in any way.

Automatically detect installed Office applications to improve Office.com search results

Applies to Office 2010

When you check the Automatically detect installed Office applications to improve Office.com search results box, it helps the search on Office.com scope the results to the Office programs you’ve installed.

Check Microsoft Office documents that are from or link to suspicious Web sites

Applies to the following Office 2010 programs: Access, Excel, InfoPath, OneNote, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher, Visio, Word, Excel Starter, and Word Starter.

When you check the Check Microsoft Office documents that are from or link to suspicious Web sites box, you turn on the spoofed Web site detection to help protect you from phishing schemes. When Office detects a link to a website with a spoofed domain name, you are notified in a security alert. The spoofed Web site detection check is performed locally on your computer. This feature doesn’t send any information back to Microsoft. For more information, see Enable or disable security alerts about links to and files from suspicious websites.

Allow the Research task pane to check for and install new services

When you check the Allow the Research task pane to check for and install new services box, you allow the Office program to automatically check for and install new research service.

Allow sending files to improve file validation

Applies to Word and Word Starter only.

When you check the Allow sending files to improve file validation box, you allow Microsoft to collect information about files that fail the file validation. By default a dialog box periodically asks you to send your files to Microsoft.

Allow personalization of advertisements in Microsoft Office Starter

Applies to Excel Starter and Word Starter only

When you check the Allow personalization of advertisements in Microsoft Office Starter box, you allow Microsoft to collect information about your use of the online services and sites provided by Microsoft and its partners. This information is used to predict which ads will be of interest to you.

Warn before printing, saving or sending a file that contains tracked changes or comments

Applies to Word and Word Starter only.

When you check the Warn before printing, saving, or sending a file that contains tracked changes or comments box, you get a warning message if you try to print, save, or send a document that contains tracked changes.

Store random numbers to improve Combine accuracy

Applies to Word only.

When you check the Store Random number to improve merge accuracy box, you increase your chances of getting the best results when you merge tracked changes from multiple reviewers.

Make hidden markup visible when opening or saving

Applies to Word and Word Starter only.

When you check the Make hidden markup visible when opening or saving box, you see all tracked changes that still remain in a document when you open or save the document. This way you can remove any unwanted tracked changes before you send the document out for review.

Remove personal information from file properties on save

Applies to the following Office programs: Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, SharePoint Designer, Word, Excel Starter, and Word Starter.

The Remove personal information from file properties on save option is turned off in Excel, PowerPoint, and Word and turned on for Publisher and SharePoint Designer.

For the programs with the option turned on, the option is available only if you are working with a document created in an earlier version of Office, and you used this option in that version to remove personal information. To remove personal information from this document, click Inspect Document.

Document Inspector

To remove personal information and other hidden data from files created in Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, click Inspect Document. For more information about the Document Inspector, see the following articles:

The Microsoft Privacy Statement

To read our privacy statement visit Microsoft Privacy Statement

We're listening

This article was updated by Ben on April 17th, 2019 as a result of your comments. If you found the information helpful, and especially if you didn't, please use the feedback controls below to let us know how we can make it better.

See Also

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