## Windows spy activity & privacy concerns

  Older Windows versions are no exception:
  Even after disabling privacy settings Windows keeps uploading data:
  A cool dude asks me questions and I try my best to act like a person:

## 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.

You can help keep Blackbird flying at www.patreon.com/getblackbird




Hosts Blacklist

Updates Blacklist

## What Blackbird Does
  • > Disables OneDrive
  • > Disables Cortana
  • > Disables Bing-integration
  • > Disables all AutoLoggers
  • > Disables Wi-Fi Sense
  • > Disables system-wide telemetry (on all editions of Windows 10 and older)
  • > Disables all OS advertising (tips, pop-ups, suggested apps, etc.)
  • > 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 Superfish, eDellRoot, HP Touchpoint Analytics, VisualDiscovery and other security risks
  • > Removes all pre-install Windows 10 Upgrade files/folders on Windows 7, 8, 8.1
  • > Blocks 500+ different tracking/telemetry/ad servers (View full list here)
  • > Patches various data leaks (IE/Edge, Explorer, Defender, MRT, SMB)
  • > Applies various network tweaks (enables RSS,ctcp,tcp-offload,ECN)
  • > Blackbird App Manager (Windows 10 only) : Block any system application the easy & user-friendly way.
  • > Blackbird STD : Force removal of stubborn spy tasks.
  • > Backup & Restore : Save current system settings to an external file restorable at any time.

## 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 - Skips all pauses. Can be used with other switches independantly, good for scripts.
blackbird -r = Recovery Mode - Restores/resets all changes made by Blackbird.
blackbird -bak = Backup Mode - Save current system settings to an external file restorable at any time.
blackbird -std = SpyTask Destroyer - Force remove stubborn spy tasks (See ReadMe).
blackbird -scan = A full privacy scan of your system.
blackbird -aslr = Disable/enable system ASLR (Address space layout randomization).
blackbird -p = Enable/Disable Diagnostic Policy Service
blackbird -t = Enable/Disable Sensors / Auto-screen rotation on tablets.
blackbird -d = Enable/Disable Windows Defender.
blackbird -g = Disable/enable Games Explorer (gameux.dll; injects into games, connects to MS servers).
blackbird -e = Enable/Disable SMB over NetBIOS (close listening port 445).
blackbird -h = Enable/Disable Hibernation (deletes hiberfil.sys file from root).
blackbird -u = Enable/Disable auto-installation of Windows updates / Sets to manual download and install only.
blackbird -m = Enable/Disable auto-installation of Malicious Removal Tool updates. (Not avaliable on Windows 10)
blackbird -n = Remove Blackbird network blocks.
blackbird -i = Fix Bluetooth, Device Settings, Focus/Assist and user notifications.
blackbird -l = Fix network/LAN connectivity issues.
blackbird -? = Displays help information.

blackbird -color = Alternative color scheme (green=blue,red=yellow).
blackbird -showhost = Show all active IP blocks set by Blackbird.
blackbird -noupdate = Skip blacklisted KB updates removal. (Not avaliable on Windows 10)
blackbird -nohost = Skip host blocking.
blackbird -nospeed = Skip system optimizations.
blackbird -updates = Only remove KB updates. (Not avaliable on Windows 10)
blackbird -tasks = Only secure/disable scheduled tasks.
blackbird -services = Only secure/disable services.
blackbird -registry = Only secure registry.
blackbird -hostblock = Only run IP/host blocker.

Switches available on Windows 10 / 8:
blackbird -app = App Manager - User-friendly system application blocking (Windows 10 only - See ReadMe).
blackbird -kc = Kill/revive Cortana. (Windows 10 only)
blackbird -ke = Kill/revive Edge browser. (Windows 10 only)
blackbird -ks = Kill/revive Windows Store. (Windows 10 only)
blackbird -kf = Kill/revive Feedback/ContactSupport. (Windows 10 only)
blackbird -kl = Kill/revive Lockscreen. (Windows 10 only)
blackbird -o = Enable/Disable OneDrive. (Windows 10/8)
blackbird -x = Enable/Disable Xbox Live services. (Windows 10 only)
blackbird -a = Enable/Disable SmartScreen application checking. (Windows 10/8)
blackbird -b = Enable/Disable Runtime Broker (will cause most UWP/Metro apps to not work - Windows 10/8)
blackbird -c = Enable/Disable background access for all default system apps. (Windows 10 only)
blackbird -j = Enable/Disable application access to local devices. (Windows 10 only)
blackbird -w = Enable/Disable Task View / virtual desktops. (Windows 10 only)

  • All switches must be separated with a space, followed by a - or / before the next desired switch
    (ie. blackbird -v -e -d ).
  • Combining /S with any other switch will skip all pauses and apply the extra switch. Using /S without other switches will apply Blackbird.
  • Combining /V with any other switch will also apply Blackbird in addition to other switches added.

## Frequently Asked Questions

How come this is "free"? What's the catch? Who are you sponsored by?
There is no catch, the tool is completely free and always will be. We don't sell or even collect any of your information. The only sponsors are our users -> www.patreon.com/getblackbird
(Unless someone pays us 9 million € in cold, hard cash)

Blackbird is stuck/hangs/crashes.
It takes a while (up to 1h on older CPUs) but if you're sure it's stuck, restart Blackbird and press V at the main menu. This will run Blackbird in Verbose Mode, giving you a more detailed view of what's going on.

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

My antivirus reports Blackbird as malware.
This seems to mostly happen with the 32bit version but we assure you, it's a false-positive. Use the 64bit version if possible, AVs seem to like it more for some reason.
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 with my LAN / VPN connection. Do you even test, bro?
Blackbird, by default, applies certain security/privacy tweaks that may interfere with some network setups.
To fix most networking issues simply start Blackbird and press L at the main menu.

Startup scanner shows red stuff even after applying Blackbird. Why?
The scanner is 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 / Hosts = 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 -STD switch to remove them.
  • An update turned stuff back on. Simply run Blackbird again or 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 Blackbird and press R at the main menu. This will run Blackbird in Recovery Mode allowing you to either restore a backup file or recover to Windows defaults.