How to Access and Manage Windows 10 App Permissions

What are app permissions in Windows 10, and why do you need them?

The Messaging App Permission Screen in Windows 10 Settings.

App permissions help keep your system safe and protect your privacy. Learn how to access and manage app permissions for Windows 10.

Instructions in this article apply exclusively to Windows 10.

What Is an App Permission in Windows 10?

App permissions allow programs to access specific features of your device including hardware (such as the GPS to determine your location) or software (such as your Windows Calendar). It's important to know which apps are using which permissions.

While apps that don't have the permissions they need will ask for them, there may be apps with permissions they don't need. For example, you probably don't want all of your applications to have access to your microphone. If your computer has any malware installed, that could pose a serious security threat. For this reason, it's best to turn off system-wide permissions for your mic.

How to Access App Permissions for an Installed App

To manage Windows 10 app permissions:

  1. Open the Windows Start Menu and right-click the app, then select More > App settings.

    Open the Windows Start Menu and right-click the app, then select More > App settings.
  2. Adjust the toggle switches under App permissions to enable or disable individual permissions.

You can also access app permissions by going to Settings > Apps & Features. Select the app, then select Advanced Options.

Adjust the toggle switches under App permissions to enable or disable individual permissions.

How to Manage System-Wide App Permissions

Windows Settings provides a way to turn permissions on and off either on a global or per application basis:

There are some applications that will always have access to a particular feature, regardless of your settings. The Calendar app, for example, will always have access to calendar-related resources.

  1. Open the Start Menu, then select the gear to launch Windows Settings.

    Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut Windown key + i to bring up Windows Settings.

    Open the Start Menu, then select the gear to launch Windows Settings.
  2. Select Privacy.

    Select Privacy.
  3. Select one of the options under App Permissions in the left pane. From here, you can enable/disable permissions for all apps or specific apps.

If you make changes to permissions while an app is already open, you may need to restart it for the settings to take effect.

Select one of the options under App Permissions in the left pane, then enable/disable permissions for all apps or specific apps.

App Permissions and Installing From the Windows Store

Apps downloaded from the Windows Store will install without asking for permissions. If you've turned off the permissions for specific software or hardware, the app will only ask for permissions when you launch it. If you have problems opening an app from the Windows store, turn the permissions it needs back on and restart the app.