(5 Simple ways) How to remove or disable Cortana in Windows 10

What is Cortana?

Microsoft's Cortana
  • Cortana is a digital assistant from Microsoft whose mission is to help you get things done
  • Just like other assistant apps, Cortana can be activated through voice command.
  • You can use Cortana to set reminder, get weather forecasts, send email and much more.

Why do some people want to disable Cortana?

  • The biggest problem with Cortana is that it keeps track of you whether you are using it or not. For this reason, many people want to turn of Cortana to prevent Microsoft from collecting your private data.
  • The second reason for disabling Cortana is the high consuming of disk usage in Windows 10. Evenif when the PC is not working, Cortana still consume a lot of RAM, make your performance of the system sluggish.

How to Disable or Turn off Cortana?

1. Hidden Cortana from Taskbar

Right-click on the taskbar, click “Cortana” and select “Hidden

Hidden Cortana

2. Limited information Cortana collect

This method is only used for Windows 10. Using it to limit how much information Cortana records. However, you will still need to check your settings and delete your history regularly to be safe. Disabling Cortana on one device will not prevent her from collecting data on other devices of yours where she is installed. This is another reason to regularly check your online Microsoft account and delete the data stored there.

  • Open “Start Menu” and choose “Settings”.
  • On Setting window, choose “Privacy
Limited Cortana from collecting information
  • Open “Speech, inking, & typing”, choose “Stop getting to know me” and select “Turn off”.
  • Click “Home” to return to the Settings window and choose “Cortana”.
  • Turn off all the setting on “Talk to Cortana”.
  • Open “Permissions & History”, turn off “Cloud Search” and “History” and click “Clear my device history
  • Click “Cortana across my devices” and turn off all the settings
  • Close the window and you can clear the information that Cortana collected about you when you sign in.

3. Disable Cortana by using the Group Policy Editor (GPE)

Users only have access to the Group Policy in Windows Pro and Windows Enterprise. You can not access if you have Windows Home.

  • Open the Run Box by pressing “R + Windows” key at the same time and type “gpedit.msc”.
Disable Cortana by using the group policy editor step 1
  • Choose “Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components
Disable Cortana by using the group policy editor step 2
  • Open “Search” folder, then double-click “Allow Cortana
Disable Cortana by using the group policy editor step 3
  • Select “Disable”, then click “Apply” and “OK
Disable Cortana by using the group policy editor step 4
  • Click “Start menu” and restart computer to disable Cortana.
Disable Cortana by using the group policy editor step 5

4. Edit the Registry to disable Cortana

Editing the registry is the only solution for users who have the Windows Home and want to completely turn off Cortana beyond what Microsoft supplies. However, editing the registry is not safe for newer users. Make sure you create a system restore point before you continue. Even if you follow these steps carefully, you still have unwanted side effects. Making a error when following the instructions can cause system instability and you need to reinstall Windows.

  • Open the run box by pressing “R+Windows” key at the same time and type “regedit”. Click “Yes” to continue if you see a warning Prompt.
Edit registry to disable Cortana
  • Find “Windows” folder: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Policies/Microsoft/Windows
  • Right click on “Windows” folder, select “New/Key” and set the name of new key is “Windows Search”. If “Windows Search” folder existed, just continue to the next step.
  • Right click on “Windows Search” folder and select “New/ DWORD (32-bit Value)”.
  • Name this “AllowCortana” and set the value data to “0.”
  • Finally, restart computer and Cortana will be disable.

5. Renaming Cortana’s Search Folder

Even when editting the registry, you will still see “Cortana” running in the background and listed in the Task Manager because Microsoft has integrated Cortana with its search feature so deeply on Windows 10. If you don’t mind that disabling Cortana will break the Windows Start menu search function, you can use the following method to do. You also need to repeat this method after updating Windows.

  • Open Start menu search bar and type “File Explorer”.
Disable Cortana by renaming search folder
  • Find “Windows/SystemApps” on C Drive
  • Right click on the folder named “Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy” and rename “xyz” or something else you want. Just remember the name so you can find it again when you want to return the original state. Click “Continue” if you will get a message saying “Folder Access Denied” when you try to rename it.
  • Choose “Continue” and click “Yes” if you want to allow an app to make changes when you get the message.
  • You will see a prompt that the Folder is in use. Do not close the window, right click on taskbar to open “Task manager”, choose “Cortana” and click “End Task
  • Back to the “File in Use” window and click “Try Again”. Remember that you must do quickly otherwise Cortana will restart and not allow you to change the folder name. In this case, simply method is trying again.

Watch the tutorial video for step by step method

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