– So here's a situation. You've been concerned
about Windows 10's privacy or lack thereof for a while now, but while you've tried Linux,
you just can't make the jump. Maybe some software you
need won't run properly or maybe you're just a fan of Windows other than the privacy problems. What can you do? Why not ameliorate it? Yes, my friends, you can completely fix the problems with Windows 10 and remove the unnecessary garbage that weighs it down all by yourself. So let's see how it's done
and what cost it comes at. But first let's see how
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Linus at the link below. (upbeat music) What does ameliorate mean any way? Well, according to the dictionary, it's a verb meaning to make something bad or unsatisfactory better.
And that certainly seems to be the aim for Windows 10 Ameliorated edition, a small project that's
actually been around since all the way back in 2017. Now not a whole lot of
information is available surrounding who is actually behind it, but some old links point to Actrons, a 90's kid who specifically calls out technology, social science, philosophy, psychology and neurology,
film and anime analysis, and cringe as their topics of interest. Ameliorated edition
seems to be an offshoot of their Windows 10 install script, which originally nearly disabled things like Windows Update and made adjustments to Windows Explorer. As newer Windows builds came out though with more deeply integrated telemetry, a more direct approach was necessary to stop Windows from bloody phoning home and getting them all my information.
Ameliorated edition straight
up removes Windows Update, Cortana, Activation, Microsoft
Edge, Windows Media Player, and all .appx UWP
applications from the install, not disabled, removed, no longer present. What that means is there's
a total size reduction of roughly two gigs. Now of course removing such
deeply rooted components requires the introduction of
replacements in certain cases. Killing Cortana, for example, cripples the Start menu and
especially Windows Search. So Classic Shell is used as a replacement. And there's more that
you'll have to give up too. DirectX 12 may not be fully supported due to Windows Update not being a thing, and of course you're stuck
without automatic updates. In fact the update process
itself is a bit of a bear that requires you to
disconnect from the internet, reactivate Windows Update temporarily and so on and so forth. Suffice to say while
this version of Windows is focused on privacy, it's a little lighter on security. The last the website claims most of the commonly
exploitable applications have been removed anyway, so that point may be less
important than you might think.
But enough talk. Why don't we take a look for ourselves and see what else we're giving up in the name of improved privacy? The first thing I noticed is
that gone is Windows Mail. Who uses Windows Mail? How crazy do you have to be to not just use a web
browser for your mail? Like, okay, boomer, enjoy your Outlook. So no Windows Mail, no Windows Store, and no Microsoft Edge. All we've got down here is
File Explorer, that's it. Actually, I'm noticing
some more changes now too. Where's all the dropdowns
for File Explorer? This feels like it's gonna
be very, very different. Also we've got the classic Windows Vista and 7-style Start menu. And of course because there's no Edge, Anthony has helpfully thrown a Firefox shortcut on the desktop. – Actually.
– The default is DuckDuckGo, really? – [Anthony] Yes. – [Linus] Is that the Firefox default or is that Windows 10 Ameliorated edition? – No, that's an Ameliorated edition thing.
Actually Firefox as well as Thunderbird. – ONLYOFFICE.
– What? ONLYOFFICE and VLC media player were all pre-installed
by the operating system. – I've never heard of ONLYOFFICE. – [Anthony] Apparently
it's a fork of LibreOffice. – Ha, it's very Microsoft Office-looking. Let's try and find some tech tips here. Linus Tech Tips. What's my Amazon page? This is a second-hand TITAN X. Okay, we need to update this. Colton! – [Colton] I'm here, what's up? – Oh wow you're there? (man laughing) That was so cool. Can I summon people just
by like saying their names? lttstore.com. Hey, this is a sweet
shirt by the way, guys. Okay, what else can we try here? Okay, so where's my File dropdown? – This is a modification
to Windows Explorer called I think Old Explorer
that kind of restores the Windows 7 style of Windows Explorer.
So it doesn't have the
traditional ribbon bar. It doesn't have any of the other stuff. It's just all basically rewritten. And there's actually a
config file you can change to customize it yourself. I used it for a little while
just kind of out of curiosity. It's just a preference thing I feel. But they used it here
because some of the changes that they made to Windows
also affected Explorer. So they had to use Old Explorer
to kind of patch it up. – Well, I can tell you
now there's only one thing that I would care about
them fixing and that's, if I search for something
and I go to this folder, when I click up folder, you bastards! That's not what I want. I want it to go up a folder. If I want it to go back
to the previous page, I would press Back.
Up folder means up one folder
in the directory structure. So this looks like the horrible Windows 10-type Settings menu except there's even less stuff in here. Like what's up with that? – [Anthony] Well, a lot of it is stuff that was tied in with
that telemetry stuff, so Windows Updates, gaming
like the Xbox stuff, that was tied in with the
telemetry and the phoning home.
So pretty much anything that qualifies with
that would also be cut. – Can I even set a screensaver? – [Anthony] I think so. It's under display, isn't it? – I don't know, is it? Wait, here it is, here it
is, I got it, I got it. So you can't search for it. I guess that would probably be because they gutted the
regular search as well. – [Anthony] Yeah, without Cortana, then Windows Search kind of just dies. – Ha, I actually didn't know
that this bubble screensaver was still built into Windows. This is a Windows Vista
classic right here. This was so cool at the time. Ooh, 3D acceleration on the desktop! Now it looks kind of faked actually. I just wanna watch these bubbles for days. – We've evolved past screensavers at this point as a species. – [Linus] This is weird too. Windows tab doesn't cycle through things for whatever reason. All tab does but why doesn't Windows tab? Okay, well that's cool. I guess that's fine. – I haven't really done any benchmarking. – Okay.
– But it does seem to be a lot snappier than it should like a standard Windows
10 install would be.
– I mean the Start menu
sure opens right away which is pretty nice. But I mean how bad is this search? So let's search for like Counterstrike. That's rough. Not being able to find something that is literally a shortcut
on the desktop is terrible. No worse than the builtin
one in Windows 10 mind you. – I think it is possible to set the search folders for a Classic Shell or I guess it's called Open Shell now. So if you were to
right-click on the Start menu and go to Settings, you can kind of configure
everything there, but by default I think
it's not set up to do that.
It's just for the Start menu itself. – [Linus] Got it, okay. Search the internet, search programs and
settings, search files. It is set to search everything, sir. – Oh. Well, I've got no excuses for it then. – [Linus] So what else can we try here? I mean, like, a game will run fine, right? Like let's play Doom. – [Anthony] I mean, Doom should run. – There's a default
password, why would that be? – Because the user account that you're logged into right
now is straight up a user. It's not an administrator. – Why? – You're no longer getting
the security patches. – Right. – Most security vulnerabilities happen because users are administrators. – Right, and there's
really no compelling reason to be an administrator outside
of just installing programs. And if you know the
administrative password, then you can just put it in
anytime you need to do that kind of like you would on a Mac.
– Yeah. – I should just switch to Mac. Between Spotlight, and
just, Finder wasn't so bad. I'd consider it. – There's alternatives you can get. Path Finder is one. – [Linus] Okay. – It's paid software though but
it's actually pretty decent. – Why is everything paid on Mac? – Yeah. – Because you can afford
it, you bought a Mac. Alright, yeah, we're running
at like 90 FPS or whatever. – [Anthony] Yeah, it's totally fine. – [Linus] Ultra-Nightmare. Take that monsters. – [Anthony] Why don't you
try a DirectX 12 game? – Oh, well, I guess that's
probably not gonna work then hey. Okay, what's the– – [Anthony] It might. I've got a shot out of
the Tomb Raider on there. – Oh yeah, that'll do it. Oh, weird, there's no system tray pop-up. – That might just be an
artifact of Classic Shell.
I'm not entirely sure. It's been a hot minute
but it could be also be that we don't have any
like hidden icons also. – I can't find any way to hide them. I'm in the Settings now and it's just, nope, you just relocate them. Even the relocation animations
are slightly different. So you might be right. It might just be a Classic Shell thing. Let's play some Shadow of
the Tomb Raider, DirectX 12. Here we go boys. Why would Windows Update affect that? – Apparently there's
extensions to DirectX 12 that come down from Windows
Update from time to time. So the idea is if you've got a game that uses an extension
that you don't have, then DirectX 12 just won't work properly. – Well, Shadow of the Tomb
Raider is a bit of an older game and it seems to be working
properly at least in the menu which is rendered in engine, so that would lead me to
believe that it's gonna run.
Okay. So officially DirectX 12 is a no-go, but unofficially if you try
it on a game-by-game basis, it might actually work just fine then. – [Anthony] Yeah. – You're not supposed to
stand in here but I like it. New Task Manager is here. That's nice to see. Got your GPU usage and
all that good stuff, although I don't see temps in here yet. So this is like at least
one iteration back. – It's actually based on Windows 10 1903. – Got it. – It should be possible
to do it with 1909, but the official images, well,
official images are 1903. Okay, you might notice then
on the bottom right corner that you've got an internet
assist connected icon. – Oh, I do. – [Anthony] Yes and that's– – [Linus] That's because
Windows can't know that I have an internet connection. – [Anthony] Right, because it's
not phoning home, it can't. – Got it. – So it only knows that you
have local connectivity. – Interesting. So even though all the telemetry stuff has supposedly been removed, we still actually need to fool Windows into thinking that it has
no reason to even use it, because I have no internet connection.
– Yeah. – [Linus] Oh, Creative
Cloud probably won't know I have an internet connection either. – [Anthony] Yeah. – Oh, I bet there's gonna be lots of stuff that kind of glitches out because it thinks you have
no internet connection. – 'Cause they can't ping their server. They can't phone home. – So it turns off telemetry
for other applications as well. – I think Adobe is one
of those applications that hooks into Windows's API for that, and the API itself has been removed. – I opened up Creative Cloud desktop. It goes you got no internet
connection, I can't do stuff. By the way we've got a
new version available. Go ahead and update. Let's see if it gets it. Let's see if you guys get a
water bottle on lttstore.com. Okay, this is not gonna finish. This has been sitting here forever now. – I take back everything I said about quality Adobe software.
– [Linus] Okay, so with that closed out, we've got svchost, like task manager. Wow, there's really
not a lot in here then. – Yeah, and in keeping with the spirit of the operating system, I used NVCleanstall to install
the NVIDIA driver as well. So we only have the bare
minimum for that as well. – Oh, I guess that explains
why it just feels so snappy. Like you know how sometimes
even on a fast machine, you'll go to open local
disk C and it'll take like 10 or 15 seconds for no apparent reason. – Yeah, 'cause it's gotta like update some log in the background that's gotta go off
– Exactly. – To Microsoft and all that kind of crap. It makes you wonder how much stuff is actually just kinda caked on in there in the like vanilla version of Windows.
– No kidding, like even
when it does need a second to open up and populate a directory list, it's a second, not 10 seconds. – Yeah, accessing the vault or any of our other
servers usually takes like. – A long time. This is great though. Like I'm in bench den right
now and it's responsive enough considering that it's
running on spinning rust and running over a gigabit connection. – Yeah. – [Linus] Hey, MS Paint is still here. – [Anthony] MS Paint is not spyware. – I knew it, I knew you
were good all along. This is pretty cool. You get all the same benefits that you would from an
officially available slimmed down version of Windows
like an embedded version which we've actually talked about before when we did a video on Windows 9, plus more since all the
telemetry is stripped out. But legally speaking, this is all something of
a gray area so to speak.
Now according to the website, the project is perfectly legal based on EU Directive 2009/24 which they say gives them a pass on interoperability grounds by downloading images with
telemetry, including activation, removed from the website itself, though you are essentially
committing piracy. However, it is possible to do this legally if you modify a Windows
image for yourself, and they've got full documentation on the process available
along with a repository of open source scripts that they use.
So supposedly you with
your Windows license and a download of Windows 10 1909 should be able to do it for yourself, although the prebuilt images
are all based on 1903. Legality aside, the utility
of a Windows image like this is pretty great for someone
who's looking to run it in a VM on a Linux machine for example. For everyday use, I don't know. If you don't need some of the things that we found didn't work quite right, and if you don't mind
jumping through some hoops whenever you wanna update or run something that needs administrative permissions, then sure, otherwise, honestly,
our better recommendations are to just give in and run Windows or just run Linux if you want
privacy without the hassle.
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