How to disable Cortana in Windows 10

How to disable Cortana in Windows 10

This article focuses on showing how to disable Cortana in Windows 10, as a lot of users tend to switch it off on their devices in order to maintain their privacy or for other miscellaneous reasons.

Though Cortana has been an integral part of Windows 10 PC, it is apparent that it was not for everyone.

Luckily, this article points out methods and tricks which one can use to get rid of Microsoft’s personal assistant.

Table of Contents

  1. How to disable Cortana in Windows 10
    1. Remove/disable Cortana from your Windows Startup
    2. Disable Cortana through the Registry Editor
    3. Disable Cortana with the help of the Group Policy Editor
    4. Temporarily disable Cortana
    5. Uninstalling Cortana on Windows 10
    6. Removing Cortana entirely
  2. Wrap up

How to disable Cortana in Windows 10

Remove/disable Cortana from your Windows Startup

Task manager is a vital part of your Windows system as you can easily use it in a customized manner.

Here are a few steps you will need to follow to remove Cortana from your desktop:

  • Right-click on a space in the Windows search bar or taskbar. Select “Task Manager” from the menu;
How to disable Cortana in Windows 10

  • In Task Manager, switch to the “Startup” tab. Here a list of apps and startup services will show up;

  • Right-click on the option that says “Cortana” and select the Disable Cortana option;

  • Restart your PC from the power option present in the Windows search bar;
  • Revert to the Task Manager to confirm the changes that have been made to your computer.

This seamless method involving the Task Manager will help you disable the voice assistant application from your Start Menu.

Disable Cortana through the Registry Editor

If the above method doesn’t suffice the purpose, you can also employ the built-in Registry Editor to prevent Cortana from starting.

Nevertheless, the process is quite tricky, and we recommend you use it only when you are aware of the Registry utility. Below are a few steps for removing it from Windows 10:

  • Press the “Windows + R” key combination on your Windows desktop;
  • Type “Regedit” in the Run dialog box;
  • Press Enter to open the Windows Registry Editor. Say “Yes” to the UAC prompt;

  • Locate the following:

Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Windows\Windows Search

  • In case you don’t have the Windows Search folder, you’ll have to make one by right-clicking on the “Windows>New> Key” option;
How to disable Cortana in Windows 10

  • Name the key “Windows Search“;
  • Right-click the newly made Windows search key and locate: “New>DWORD (32-BIT) Value”;

  • The name of the new value that you have to insert will be “AllowCortana“;
  • Change the Value data to “0” by double-clicking the newly created AllowCortana key. Your work is almost done by now. Click “OK” to save the adjustments;

  • Lastly, reboot your Windows PC to save changes done in the Windows Registry Editor.

Following the above steps will enable your taskbar to show a standard Windows search box instead of the previous display of the program that you have just removed.

Therefore, Registry Editor is of immense help for any non-technical user to disable Windows Cortana without much work.

Disable Cortana with the help of the Group Policy Editor

Group Policy Editor also lets you disable Microsoft Cortana from your Windows 10 device.

However, the app is so tightly embedded in the core system that even after disabling the virtual assistant, it will still be functional in the task manager process.

Unfortunately, this method doesn’t work for the Windows 10 Home Edition if you don’t have administrative rights.

Here is how you can access the local group policy editor in Windows 10 Enterprise or Pro version:

  • Open “Cortana search box” and hover over to the option that states “Notebook icon“;
  • Click on “About me” from the plethora of available options. It will then resort to a page where a Cortana-connected email address will be present. Click on it;
  • You will now see a small window where the “Sign out” option will be present. Clicking it will redirect you towards a new page, and your account will be logged out of Cortana;
  • Now, press the “Windows + R” key combination to open the Run dialog box;
  • Launch Group Policy Editor by typing “gpedit.msc in the Run window. Tap “Ok“;

  • Afterward, you need to navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search;
  • The policy named “Allow Cortana” which you can find on the right side of the window needs to be double-clicked;

  • Choose the “Disabled” option on the new pop-up on your screen, and hit the “Ok” button to save the changes;

  • Lastly, safely close the Local Group Policy Editor and start your PC again as suggested. Doing this will help you ultimately uninstall Cortana from your PC.

Temporarily disable Cortana

Manual tech operations, at times, feel hectic. Hence the Cortana digital assistant is integrated with a bunch of automatic options.

However, the Cortana app automatically activating itself can get you a bit frustrating when you are not exactly looking to launch it.

When that happens it’s better to disable Cortana temporarily in the following way:

  • Select the Cortana icon from the taskbar;
  • Tap on the three vertical dots in the upper-left corner;
  • Click on the “Settings” option;

  • Click on “Keyboard shortcut“;

  • Turn off the shortcut option, then restart your device to confirm the changes;

  • Once you are done with the steps mentioned above, repeat steps 1-3;
  • Now, tap on the “Voice activation” option;

  • Next, select “Voice activation permissions“. It will take you to the System Settings;
  • In Settings, scroll down to “Choose which apps can use voice permission“. Here, turn off the “Let Cortana respond to ‘Cortana’ keyword” option;

Uninstalling Cortana on Windows 10

Even if you are not a tech geek, uninstalling Cortana on Windows 10 is pretty simple and requires little effort.

Simply perform the below-mentioned steps to get your desired result:

  • Press Windows key to open the Start Menu;
  • Search for “Windows PowerShell“. Select the top result, right-click it, and then tap on “Run as administrator“;

  • Type the following command in the Powershell window:

“Get-appxpackage-allusers Microsoft.549981C3F5F10 | Remove-AppxPackage”

These steps will ultimately remove Cortana from your Computer. You can also remove the icon from the taskbar by right-clicking on it and later selecting the “Show Cortana button” option in the menu.

Removing Cortana entirely

  • For this method, you will need to download from the internet a zip file named “Uninstall Cortana”;

  • Then, extract all of the files from the ZIP archive;
  • Next, you are required to manually locate the file named “Uninstall Cortana.cmd“;
  • Right-click on the located file to run it as the administrator.

The process may be time-consuming, and you will have to wait patiently for a few minutes to let the entire process finish.

After completion, restart your computer to successfully remove the digital personal assistant from Windows 10.

Wrap up

To sum up, the aforementioned methods are secure to make a system restore and fix many issues in Windows which occur due to a Windows update.

Frequent Microsoft updates often disrupt the customization of your Windows PC. Hence, you may need to restrict/disable Cortana from your system to effortlessly use it without major user interface problems.

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