How to Disable Cortana on Windows 10

How to Disable Cortana on Windows 10

Cortana is Microsoft’s personal productivity assistant (virtual assistant) that helps you save time and focus attention on what matters most. It listens and responds to the wake-up phrase, “Hey Cortana.”

It uses the Bing search engine to perform tasks such as setting reminders, launching apps recognize natural voice without the requirement for keyboard input and answering various questions for the user such as current weather and traffic conditions, sports scores, biographies

It was released on Windows 10 in January 2015 since then its technology had evolved to support Android and iOS devices such as Xbox, Microsoft Edge, Windows Mixed Reality headsets and other third-party devices such as thermostats and smart speakers.

According to recent updates by Microsoft, Cortana is currently used by more than 148 million people around the world.

At a Glance:

Open Cortana > click on the three vertical dots > Settings > turn off Keyboard shortcut > reboot your PC.

Why should I Disable Cortana?

Disable Cortana
image credit: shutterstock
  1. It invades your privacy: It anonymously collects your details under user experience.
  2. It a background process: If u have a core i7 K series processor with 16gb ram, never mind, but yeah it takes a toll on systems performance. Hence, proves to be bad for Gamers.
  3. Isn’t as user friendly: It isn’t as user friendly as Google at present. Google is much more intelligent and useful than Cortana comparatively and even catches local accents better. Nevertheless, it also takes away your privacy, but still is way more personalized than Cortana.
  4. Connectivity: Cortana isn’t connected to your mail and apps like Google at present.

How to Disable Cortana on Windows 10 Taskbar

Method 1:

  • Click on the Start button and then click on the Settings icon, resembling a small gear.
  • In the Settings search box, type “Cortana” and then click on “Change how you talk to Cortana” from the search results.
  • Under the Hey Cortana section, turn off “Let Cortana respond to ‘Hey Cortana'” by sliding the button to the Off position.
  • Cortana listen our commands when we press the Windows logo key + C in the Keyboard. Turn off this option under Keyboard shortcut section.
How to Disable Cortana on Windows 10
image credit: pcheaven

After making these two changes, Cortana has been effectively disabled, and can no longer listen for you.
If you prefer, you can go one step ahead and take away Cortana’s permissions.

  • In the Settings search box, type “Cortana” and click on “Cortana permissions” from the search results. It might also appear in the search results as “Manage what Cortana can do, see, and use.”
  • In the Permissions section, click on “Manage the information Cortana can access from this device.”
  • Turn off all the permissions on this page. 

Method 2

  • Press on Win + R keys on the keyboard accelerator simultaneously to open Run dialog box.
  • Type GPedit.msc in the run dialog box and hit ok to open the Local Group Policy Editor. Navigate through Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search.
  • Double click on policy named Allow Cortana.
  • Select the Disabled button.
  • Restart your PC and Cortana and Bing Search will be disabled. (Might also need to sign out and in again)

Method 3

  • Open the Task Manager on your device and click on More details. Right-click on Cortana and select Open file location.
  • Now under the Cortana folder, select Rename. You can also just add “.bak” to the end of the folder name as then you can easily find it if you want to restore it back.
  • If you attempt to rename it, it would tell you that the folder is already in use.
  • This is once you want to travel back to Task Manager, right click on Cortana, and choose End task.
  • Right after the task ends, switch back to the Folder In Use window and click on Try Again. The folder should be renamed and the Cortana task would not start again.

Method 4

How to Disable Cortana on Windows 10
  • Open registry editor app, from the search box on the taskbar. If wanted, allow the program to make changes to your computer.
  • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search. If the windows search is not there you might need to create it. Just follow the below mentioned steps:-
    a- Right-click on the Windows folder and choose New>Key. Name it “Windows Search.”
  • Then Right-click on the “Windows Search” and choose New > DWORD (32-bit Value).
  • Name the DWORD “AllowCortana.” Click on it and make sure the value is “0.”
  • Restart your computer (or log out and log back in).

Cortana would then be replaced with a regular search bar.

Method 5

  • Copy and Paste the below text into Notepad (ensuring it has the 2-line breaks at the end):
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search]
  • Save it as “disable cortana machine.reg” (quotes should also be included).
  • Run the file you saved (double-click) once per machine.
  • As before Paste this text too into a new Notepad file,
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
  • Save as “disable cortana user.reg”
  • Run this file you saved in every user account on the machine.
  • Finally Reboot your computer.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article about How to Disable Cortana on Windows 10.
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