Windows 10 seems to have a keylogger-like mechanic, according to this and this. I'm aware this is only to improve user experience. So I thought, since I can't remember my own PW that was used to encrypt a file, I just look it up in this feature.

What exactly is recorded by this feature?
Can I access the log files or are they sent and deleted?
And if the former, where can I find them? Is it possible to access them?

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There is a lot of hyperbole in tech journalism, just as there is in other journalism. While Windows 10 does indeed collect a lot of data about you, some of it being the result of key strokes, it does not come with a keylogger in any traditional sense of the word.

The first article you linked to talks alot about the privacy policy of Windows 10 and what it would theoretically allow, and less about what it actually does. It does it's best of trying to give you the impression that there is a keylogger, while never really saying it - it just refers to "some sites" who claims it, who in turn refers to others who claim it...

And at the end of the article, there is this clarification:

Does this mean Microsoft is planning to use Windows 10 to swipe everyone's online banking passwords? The chances are slim to none – although if you do your online banking on a prerelease test version of Windows with an experimental build of Internet Explorer, you deserve what you get.

On to the second article. The author focus on this quote from the privacey policy:

When you interact with your Windows device by speaking, writing (handwriting), or typing, Microsoft collects speech, inking, and typing information—including information about your Calendar and People (also known as contacts)...

While this may have privacy implications that you dislike, it is not the same as a traditional keylogging. Recording keystrokes to analyze e.g. word frequenzies is not the same as storing every single keystroke. And I bet they don't do it when you type in password fields...

This article posted in comments by John Wu might also be helpful:

Look, the Windows 10 Technical Preview is an instrumented version. It collects information about your use of the product, including some text and voice input, and returns some of that data to Microsoft for use in tuning performance and improving voice recognition and spell-checking.

That's a far cry from a keylogger, which is a surveillance tool that indiscriminately collects every keystroke on a PC and transmits it (usually surreptitiously) to a remote location.

So you will not be able to recover your lost password by leveraging an alleged built in keylogger.


They don't really let us know where it is stored (we're not meant to access it), but it seems like this may be it:


According to Microsoft:

Note The TextHarvester.dat file that is created is part of the Input Personalization system that adapts the language model and dictionary to a particular user, based on the user's usage. This usage information is primarily obtained through the search indexer.

  • This doesn't exist on my Windows 10 install. Is it on yours? – Evan Carroll Oct 5 '18 at 1:54
  • I found it on mine, alongside a much larger (9332 KB) WaitList.dat file – jkmartindale Jan 19 at 20:56

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