Q. Why Does My Computer Claim I'm Not the Boss of It?

Q. Why Does My Computer Claim I'm Not the Boss of It?

Q. I’m running Win10. In Settings/System/Notifications and actions there is a red message, ‘Some settings are managed by your organization.’ But this is my PC, and I’m the only Administrator. Unfortunately, this message prevents me from enabling notifications and other tasks.

I ran sfc /scannow, and it found and corrected some corrupted files. But it also said some problems were not corrected. Any ideas?

A. When a personally-managed PC generates an unexpected message such as “Some settings are managed by your organization” or the related “Disabled by Company Policy,” it’s usually an unintended consequence of changes made in Windows’ privacy, security, or telemetry settings.

In Win10, for example, many users use brute-force methods to try to modify the amount of data that Windows transmits back to Microsoft, thinking that this phone-home behavior is somehow deeply threatening. But some changes made to Win10’s telemetry/privacy/security settings work by invoking corporate-style lockdown functions that can make other system settings inaccessible by normal means. Your PC might phone home less, but now you’re locked out of some important management functions!

Less commonly, corporate-style error messages can also arise from group-policy edits, incorrect email settings, changes in how your system handles updates, and other reasons.

In any case, here’s the most common fix for corporate error messages on private Win10 PCs:

Click to Win10’s Settings/Privacy/Feedback & diagnostics/Diagnostics and usage data and change the setting there to Enhanced or Full. That will probably send more telemetry information back to Microsoft, but odds are you’ll now have full access to normal admin-level settings and functions.


Editor's note: We feature an abridged Q&A from Fred Langa's LANGALIST, a column available exclusively to paid subscribers of the Windows Secrets newsletter,. What you see here is just a small sampling of what Langa's writing for the newsletter — go here for more information on how to subscribe.

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