## Windows spy activity & privacy concerns

  Older Windows versions are no exception:

  Even after disabling privacy settings Windows keeps uploading data:

## How Blackbird Works

Without going into too much detail, Blackbird employs some known and less-known techniques to fully disarm Windows while leaving the smallest possible footprint.

For instance, Blackbird does not edit the HOSTS file in any way, nor does it mess with your firewall settings.
It does not run in the background, instead relying on persistent routes and resolving hostnames to IP addresses each time Blackbird is applied by the user.

After usage no new files are left behind on your computer and you can safely delete blackbird.exe. Blackbird has succedded when you forget it was ever there. Everything our software does can be restored using the software itself or manually by hand.  (*Dev.notice: Please don't do this manually, it will take forever and is confusing)

There are other tools that claim to block Windows spying but they are cumbersome to use and not as powerful or are limited in scope. So we took Windows apart, piece by piece, analyzed web traffic, system calls, file changes,etc., compared different configurations, designed and built a stand-alone tool and spent hundreds of hours on beta testing so anyone can use it and it gets the job done right.

Updated frequently and regularly, as long as Windows gets updates so will Blackbird.




Hosts Blacklist

Updates Blacklist

## What Blackbird Does

  • > Disables OneDrive
  • > Disables Cortana (Kill Cortana completely with -kc switch; See Command-line Switches below)
  • > Disables Bing-integration
  • > Disables all AutoLoggers
  • > Disables Wi-Fi Sense
  • > Disables system-wide telemetry (on all editions of Windows 10 and older)
  • > Disables Start menu ads
  • > Disables all Xbox Live services
  • > Disables web content evaluation ("SmartScreen") and prevents URL check-in
  • > Disables Windows Media online DRM
  • > Disables Windows P2P Update sharing
  • > Disables hidden Windows metric startup tasks
  • > Disables all diagnostic tracking services
  • > Disables all application metric-data collection agents
  • > Prevents system read access to already collected diagnostic data
  • > Prevents any location/contacts/messages/handwritting/password sharing
  • > Prevents cross-device synchronization (ie; Windows Phone auto-syncing with PC account data)
  • > Removes GWX and Windows 10 upgrade pop-ups
  • > Removes Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA)
  • > Removes your unique ad-tracking ID token
  • > Removes a bunch of Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 telemetry updates (View full list here)
  • > Removes all pre-install Windows 10 Upgrade files/folders on Windows 7, 8, 8.1
  • > Blocks 150+ different tracking/telemetry/ad servers (View full list here)
  • > Supports custom host lists, IPv4/IPv6, Wifi/Eth
  • > Patches various data leaks (IE/Edge, Explorer, Defender, MRT, SMB)
  • > Applies various network tweaks (enables RSS,ctcp,tcp-offload,ECN)

## Command-line Switches

Blackbird can also be invoked in CMD with the following switches available:

blackbird -v   > Verbose mode: Displays additional information on all changes as they're being made.
blackbird -s  > Silent mode: No additional user interaction required, good for scripts.
blackbird -r  > Recovery mode: Restores all values changed by Blackbird to default Microsoft values.
blackbird -std  > STD mode: Destroys all Windows spy tasks. See README for more details.
blackbird -scan  > Full system scan mode: Scans and reports all privacy issues.
blackbird -kc  > Kill Cortana completely (prevent searchUI.exe from loading)
blackbird -ke  > Kill Microsoft Edge
blackbird -kf  > Kill Windows Feedback/ContactSupport
blackbird -kl  > Kill Lockscreen
blackbird -kall  > Kill all System Apps
blackbird -noupdate  > Skip blacklisted Windows update removal.
blackbird -nohost  > Skip host blocking.
blackbird -nospeed  > Skip system optimizations.
blackbird -o  > Enable OneDrive
blackbird -p  > Enable Diagnostic Policy service
blackbird -t  > Enable Sensors / Auto-screen-rotation on tablets
blackbird -x  > Enable Xbox Live services.
blackbird -l  > Fix LAN connectivity problems after using Blackbird.
blackbird -a  > Disable SmartScreen application checking
blackbird -b  > Disable Runtime Broker (will cause most UWP/Metro apps to stop working)
blackbird -c  > Disable background access for all default system apps
blackbird -d  > Disable Windows Defender.
blackbird -e  > Disable SMB over NetBIOS (close listening port 445)
blackbird -f  > Disable most used apps displayed in Start menu
blackbird -h  > Disable Hibernation (deletes hiberfil.sys file).
blackbird -u  > Disable automatic installation of updates / Sets to manual download and install only.
blackbird -m  > Disable automatic installation of Windows Malicious Removal Tool (MRT) updates.
blackbird -n  > Remove all Blackbird network blocks.
blackbird -?  > Displays help information.

- You can run up to 9 switches at once, excluding -R, -STD & -SCAN which can only be executed one at a time.
- All switches must be separated with a space, followed by a - or / before the next desired switch
(ie. "blackbird -kckefox" doesn't work).
- All killed system applications can be revived using Blackbird's Recovery mode (-r)

## Frequently Asked Questions

  • How come this is "free"? What's the catch? Who are you sponsored by? etc.
There is no catch, the tool is completely free and always will be. We don't sell or even collect any of your information. There is no "sponsor" or anything like that and there never will be. (Unless they pay us 3 million € in cold hard cash)

  • Blackbird is stuck/hangs/crashes
It can take awhile (up to 1h, depending on system specifications and how much crap to remove) but if you're sure it's stuck, close Blackbird, open cmd as admin, cd to the directory where you put the blackbird.exe file. Type blackbird -V and hit enter. This should give you a more detailed view of what's going on. For further assistance you can reach us at info@getblackbird.net

  • Blackbird shows errors like "access denied", "unable to read file", "system error"
This is normal, especially with Windows 10. Try closing and running Blackbird again, this somehow forces Windows to behave. Not sure why.

  • My antivirus reports Blackbird as malware
This appears to only happen with the 32bit version but we assure you, it's a false-positive.
We suspect this occurs because of the nature and relative obscurity of our software (registry editing,telemetry dismantling,..) Some temporary files are created during usage but they are all deleted before you even exit the program.

  • After running Blackbird I have problems connecting to my LAN. Do you even test, bro?
Blackbird, by default, applies some security tweaks (SMB user credentials leaking in this case) that may interfere with some networks. To fix LAN connectivity issues simply run Blackbird with the -L switch:
In CMD type blackbird -L after Blackbird has already been applied to your PC.

  • Startup scanner shows red stuff even after applying Blackbird. Why?
The scanner can be a little wonky, it may detect Blackbird was not fully applied for any of the following reasons:
- No internet connection. Either blocked by firewall or not available on your PC, Blackbird cannot resolve hostnames to IP addresses and block them effectively resulting in "Telemetry=Not Blocked".
- An aggressive AV blocked Blackbird from accessing system files/registry/settings. Not much we can do here, go with your gut.
- Certain Scheduled tasks are stubborn. Use the blackbird -STD switch to remove them.
- An update turned stuff back on. Check our website for an up-to-date version.
- Localization/other bugs with the scanner itself. Help us fix it by contacting us!

  • I don't like what Blackbird did to my computer. How do I change it back?
Start cmd as administrator, cd to the directory where you put the blackbird.exe file, type blackbird -R and press enter. This will run Blackbird in Recovery mode and will restore any and all changes made by Blackbird back to their default Microsoft values.
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