microsoft word proofing tools and privacy RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

     I have a question about privacy... Just recently I was typing in a word document. And then just this morning, when I was working in another word document, a window popped up. It said something about proofing tools and "help us improve," and it contained a snippet of something I had been typing the other day. It said it was asking for permission to send this text to Microsoft and improve the tool, and that I could delete any part of text that I didn't want to be sent. I just clicked X and exited . I'm worried, though. I have used Word for many years and I've never seen this before.

    Is this something that is supposed to happen to everyone from time to time? Or was it a virus or fake message of some kind?   Does this affect my privacy in any way? I'm just very surprised that it even contained something I had written a few days ago.

    Sorry, I'm far from computer savvy and I'd be so glad if someone could help me answer this question and resolve my worries.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2015 10:34 PM


  • Hi,

    As per your description, I think it should be the Help Improve Proofing Tools feature.

    The Help Improve Proofing Tools feature collects data about your use of the Proofing Tools and sends it to Microsoft, such as accepting or rejecting spelling or grammar checker suggestions, changing proofing tool settings, or additions to the custom dictionary.

    Before any data is sent to Microsoft, a dialog box appears to ask your permission. At that time, you can delete some or all of the entries before the information is sent.

    At Microsoft, we're working hard to protect your privacy, we only use this information solely to improve our products, not to identify users. If you are concerned that a report might contain personal or confidential information, do not send the report.


    Ethan Hua
    TechNet Community Support

    It's recommended to download and install Configuration Analyzer Tool (OffCAT), which is developed by Microsoft Support teams. Once the tool is installed, you can run it at any time to scan for hundreds of known issues in Office programs.

    Thursday, January 22, 2015 3:25 AM