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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Who can participate in the Windows Feedback Program?

  • Currently we offer this program in the USA for residents 18 years and older.
  • You are the owner of the computer you use for this program.
  • The automated feedback program is offered to Windows 8.1 (excluding RT), Windows 8 (excluding RT), and Windows 7 customers only.
  • The survey feedback program applies to all versions of Windows.

Will my personal information be kept private?
Please see the Windows Feedback Program Privacy Statement.

Why does Microsoft need this data? Is this part of an ad campaign?
This data is not related to or used for advertising or sales. We are looking for information that will help us understand problems you encounter with Windows, Windows Live, and Office, how you have configured your computer and Windows, what hardware you are using, and general information about how you are using Windows, Windows Live, and Microsoft Office products on your computer.

How do I enroll for the Program?

The Windows Feedback program is by invitation only. If you are interested in joining, please send email to winpanel@microsoft.com with the subject "Notify me for future enrollment".

Survey program FAQ

How much work is this?
You will occasionally be invited to take a survey. If the survey arrives at a time when you are busy, you can skip that one and take the next one instead. You will not receive more than one survey every two weeks on average.

How do I opt out of the survey program?
You can opt out of this program any time by visiting the opt out page.

Automated feedback program FAQ

That's great - I'm all for better software, but will this be a lot of work for me?
In a word, no. An advantage of this program is that there is really not a lot of work for you to do. When you choose to participate, most of the work is done behind the scenes, with no additional effort, time requirement, or inconvenience to you. Occasionally, we might send you an invitation to participate in a brief survey to get additional information about your use of computers but, in general, you only hear from us if we make significant changes to our data collection method or if we want to offer another feedback program to you that you might be interested in.

What kinds of data will Microsoft collect?
When you participate in the Windows Feedback Program, three types of data collected from your computer:

1. Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP)
The Windows CEIP is a way for Microsoft to learn how customers are using Windows 8.1, Windows 8, and Windows 7. If a user participates, a list of statistics is generated from the user's computer at scheduled intervals; that list is later submitted to Microsoft over the Internet when the user's computer is not busy. More information about this program can be found here. Please also review the CEIP disclosure within the Windows 7 and Windows 8 privacy statement.

2. Office Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP)
The Office CEIP is a way for Microsoft to learn how customers are using Microsoft Office 2010 or Microsoft Office 2013 products. If a user participates, a list of statistics is generated from the user's computer at scheduled intervals; that list is later submitted to Microsoft over the Internet when the user's computer is not busy. More information about this program and the privacy statement for Office 2010 can be found here. More information about this program and the privacy statement for Office 2013 can be found here.

3. Additional data collection
The following list describes some examples of additional data collection our software performs:

  • Windows settings and usage, such as the number of user accounts on the computer and the view settings for Control Panel (that is, if you use the default Category view or the Classic view to display Control Panel).
  • Details about your computer hardware, such as processor type and speed (as well as the number of processors), system memory, video memory, and other hardware configuration information.
  • File and folder information, such as the number of files and folders located in common places (for example, in Documents).
  • Which programs you open (for example, which application you use to read your e-mail).
  • Changes you make to your hardware or software.
  • Problems you encounter, such as application crashes.

This type of data collection can provide Microsoft with useful data, such as:

  • Top user problems: For example, how often does a computer crash or stop? How often do customers update Windows? How often are problems reported?
  • How customers use their computers: For example, how often do customers use their computers? How often do they connect to the Internet? How long do they stay connected?
  • How users store files on computers: For example, how much storage space do customers have on their computers? How much storage space is used? Where do customers store their files?

We do not intentionally collect sensitive information, such as the passwords on the user accounts or the contents of any of your personal files.

What am I agreeing to do?
To participate, you will need to agree to allow Microsoft to gather and record information about the use of your home computer on an ongoing basis. By agreeing to voluntarily participate in the Windows Feedback Program, you agree that:

  • You will abide by all terms stated and referred to in the Terms of Use and Notices ("Agreement"), including granting Microsoft a license to use your data and feedback.
  • You will install software provided to you by Microsoft to facilitate and allow data to be recorded, transmitted, and used by Microsoft.
  • You will be invited to participate in occasional online surveys.

What will Microsoft provide?
We will provide to you the software and necessary licensing to accomplish the data collection. Specifically Microsoft will provide you with:

  • All software, including documentation, required to gather data regarding your home computer use.
  • In consideration of your participation, a license covering the software provided, under the terms and conditions that accompany that software. Please note, except as expressly licensed to you in those Licenses, Microsoft retains all right, title, and interest in and to the Microsoft software provided under the Windows Feedback Program.

Does the software impact the performance of my PC?
We have gone to great lengths to design the Windows Feedback Program software to limit the amount of computer resources it uses to collect data. You may see a minor change in performance when you first log in to Windows; however, this typically only occurs during the first few minutes after login while we are collecting basic configuration information.

Can I install the WFP software on more than one Windows computer?
Yes, the software can be installed on multiple computers and registered using the same e-mail address you provided.

What are the system requirements to run the Windows Feedback Program software?
Your PC needs to run Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8 (excluding RT), or Windows 8.1 (excluding RT) and have the Microsoft .NET Framework (Version 3.5 or higher) installed. A compatible version of the .NET Framework should already be installed if you are running Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1. To download and install the latest release of the .NET Framework, please visit the Microsoft .Net download page.

Where do I find the setup program for the automated feedback tool?
The tool is available at http://wfp.microsoft.com/App_Client/setup.exe.

How do I know whether the automated feedback tool is running properly on my PC?
If you are registered and our feedback tool is running properly, you will see the following process in Windows Task Manager: wfpservice.exe
Please note that you will need to click "Show processes from all users" to display this information.

Troubleshooting tips if your PC does not send data (inactive or not registered)

If your PC is inactive or not registered, please perform the following three steps:

Step 1: Uninstall our feedback tool
To remove the tool, please run this utility:
http://wfp.microsoft.com/App_Client/wfpclean.exe.

Step 2: Reinstall our feedback tool
The tool is available at http://wfp.microsoft.com/App_Client/setup.exe.

Step 3: Check your firewall settings
After you reinstalled our tool, you will be prompted to enter your e-mail address again. You may then see a notification that the email address didn't match the one on file with Microsoft. After entering it again, you may be prompted to contact winpanel@microsoft.com. If you are sure you are using the correct e-mail address, you may want to check your firewall application. Please make sure it is set to allow wfpuserreg.exe and wfpservice.exe access to the Internet on outgoing TCP ports 80 (HTTP) and 443 (HTTPS). Please note that wfpuserreg.exe is not used in all versions of our feedback software, in case you only see wfpservice.exe. Both of these applications are located in "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Feedback Panel". The next time you restart Windows, you will be prompted to enter your e-mail address.

I received a message prompting me to contact winpanel@microsoft.com during installation of the automated feedback software. What does this mean?
When you registered, after completing the initial survey and installing our feedback software, you may have been prompted to enter your email address again. You also may have seen a notification that the email address didn't match the one on file with Microsoft. After entering it again, you may have been prompted to contact winpanel@microsoft.com. If you are sure you are using the correct email address, you may want to check your firewall application. Please make sure it is set to allow wfpuserreg.exe and wfpservice.exe access to the Internet on outgoing TCP ports 80 (HTTP) and 443 (HTTPS). Both of these applications are located in "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Feedback Panel". The next time you restart Windows, you will be prompted to enter your email address.

How often will Microsoft collect data?
How often you will share data depends on how actively you use your computer and how often your computer is connected to the internet. In general, the data is shared once per day.

This sounds good, but I'm still concerned. Is this anything like the "spyware" I've heard about?
No, this is not spyware. You choose to participate in the Windows Feedback Program and you can easily withdraw from the Program at any time with no penalty whatsoever. Microsoft is committed to protecting customers' privacy and any information collected in the program will be kept confidential (see the Windows Feedback Program Privacy Statement). In addition, unlike spyware applications, we provide a clear way for you to uninstall the Windows Feedback Program software if you choose to withdraw from the Windows Feedback Program.

Will I be able to see what data I'm sharing with you?
The data collection process is optimized to be processed by computers. Therefore, the data is in a format which cannot be easily interpreted by humans.

Does my shared data have a unique identifier?
Yes, we have a unique identifier for your data. This allows us to tell between one customer having an error 100 times and 100 customers having the same error once. Being able to make that distinction is very valuable in prioritizing how we improve our products.

If I decide to stop participating, how do I opt out? Your participation is entirely voluntary, so you may withdraw from the program at any time, with no consequence. If you decide to withdraw from the program, visit the opt out page. You should also uninstall our software.

How do I uninstall the software?

Windows 8 Instructions:

  1. Click Control Panel, click Uninstall a program (listed under Programs).
  2. Select Microsoft Windows Feedback Panel, and then click Uninstall.

Windows 7 Instructions:

  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Uninstall a program (listed under Programs).
  2. Select Microsoft Windows Feedback Panel, and then click Uninstall.

If users on your PC were already enrolled in Customer Experience Improvement Programs (CEIP) for Windows, Office, or Internet Explorer, they will remain enrolled after you uninstall our software. If users were not enrolled prior to installing our software, uninstalling our software may not remove all users on your computer from those CEIP programs. Please follow these steps to manually remove yourself and all other user accounts on your computer from the CEIP programs:

Microsoft Office 2013 Instructions:

  1. Visit the Privacy Statement for Microsoft Office 2013.
  2. Scroll down to the section Customer Experience Improvement Program
  3. Follow instructions for each Office application you have installed on your PC.

Microsoft Office 2010 Instructions:

  1. Visit the Privacy Statement for Microsoft Office 2010.
  2. Scroll down to the section Customer Experience Improvement Program
  3. Follow instructions for each Office application you have installed on your PC.

Windows 8 Instructions:

  1. Click Search, enter Control Panel, click System and Security,, and then click Action Center.
  2. In the upper left of the next screen, click Change Action Center settings.
  3. Next, click Customer Experience Improvement Program settings under "Related settings."
  4. If you would like to stop participating in the program, select "No, I don't want to participate in the program." and then click Save Changes.

Windows 7 Instructions:

  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click System and Security,, and then click Action Center.
  2. In the upper left of the next screen, click Change Action Center settings.
  3. Next, click Customer Experience Improvement Program settings under "Related settings."
  4. If you would like to stop participating in the program, select "No, I don't want to participate in the program." and then click Save Changes.