How to Completely Disable Cortana in Windows 10

What is Cortana?

Microsoft Windows 10 is probably one of the largest-selling OS today. Millions of users worldwide swear by the immense efficient and effectiveness that the Windows 10 operating system has integrated into work and fun alike.

Cortana is one of the most advertised features of Windows 10. Cortana is a personal virtual assistant. Ever since the Anniversary Update, Cortana has become an integral feature in Windows 10 OS packs worldwide.

Cortana is designed to help you set reminders, and organize your work remarkably, all with the help of voice commands. As it is available not only in English but also comes in several top languages, such as French, Portuguese, Italian, German, Japanese and Chinese too, the users are increasing multifold all over the world.

Disable Cortana in Windows 10
Disable Cortana in Windows 10

All you need to have is a functioning microphone to communicate with Cortana and give her instructions.

These are the top aspects of Cortana that makes it a quite popular virtual assistant for Microsoft:

  • Notebook – Cortana is designed to store all user personal information (reminders, locations, interests, contacts, etc) in the Notebook. It can effectively analyze the user’s patterns to search and display the most relevant results.
  • Design –Cortana will display two animated circles to signal it is searching or working on the command. Normally, the color scheme is black and white and has shades of blue for each circle, respectively.
  • Reminders –Cortana uses an integrated system to store and display reminders set by users. The reminders can be easily linked between your interests, contacts, locations and time. You can even sync your smartphone with Cortana and get all reminder notifications on the go too.
  • Integration –Cortana is fully capable of integrating with certified third-party apps that run on Windows 10 and allows users to use their services seamlessly.
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Some of the other top functions of Cortana in Windows 10 include:

  • Setting reminders based on people, places and time
  • Send texts and emails
  • Keep track of your teams, flights, interests and even packages
  • Organize your calendar and give accurate reminders of appointments
  • Make and manage To-Do/Checklists
  • Play games
  • Chat with you
  • Search and find the required information, facts, files and places
  • Gives quick access to apps on your PC

Apart from these impressive features, Cortana is usually seen as an all-around personal organizer for your Windows 10 system. However, there are times and situations when you might feel that Cortana has become too intrusive for its own good and feel like disabling it.

Why Disable Cortana?

Although earlier you could easily uninstall Cortana from your system, this has become difficult after the introduction of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Hence, many Windows 10 users are searching for ways to disable Cortana on their PCs effectively.

There are several reasons that users usually quote when they ask our tech experts about disabling Cortana from their Windows 10 systems. The most common reasons for wishing to disable Cortana permanently from computers are the depth of intrusion that the app involves, where it can access all stored files and folders to evaluate the information for showing in its search results. This is often undesirable for fear of having your personal data leaked from the cloud server that supports storage for data collected by Cortana.

Apart from this, the other major reason for Windows 10 users to wish to disable Cortana from their system is the recent update that allows users to use Alexa, a more popular voice-stimulated virtual assistant.

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In addition, there could be a load of other reasons that a user might wish to have Cortana permanently disabled on their systems.

How to Disable Cortana in Windows 10?

Our tech experts have detailed the top ways to disable Cortana on Windows 10 easily.

Before permanently disabling Cortana on your Windows 10 system you might want to make sure that your personal data stored by Cortana is completely deleted first.

Follow these steps to prevent Cortana from collecting and storing any more information about you:


  1. Click on the Search box or the Cortana icon on your toolbar at the left-hand bottom of your computer screen.
  2. Click on the ‘gear’ icon to access Cortana Settings Panel
  3. Next, flip every option from ON to OFF on the list of options
  4. Then scroll to the top of the setting panel and click on ‘Change what Cortana knows about me in the cloud’.
  5. This will prompt Microsoft to display a page online, titled ‘Personal Information’, in the Start panel.
  6. Once the page is displayed, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on ‘Clear’.

Cortana also gathers information pertaining to your speech and talking as well as typing. Follow these steps to stop Cortana from tracking your behavioral pattern when using your computer:


  1. Click on the Start key on the bottom left hand of your desktop.
  2. Click on the ‘gear’ icon indicating Cortana Settings.
  3. Click on the ‘Privacy’ button.
  4. Check the left-hand panel for ‘Speech, inking & typing’
  5. Click on ‘Stop getting to know me

Although these steps will remove any personal information stored on the cloud by Cortana and prevent it from studying and analyzing your typing/speech command patterns, the Cortana app will still be active in the background.

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Follow these simple steps to completely disable Cortana in Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Home:

STEPS to Disable Cortana on Windows 10 Pro

  1. Click on Start key in the toolbar on the bottom left corner of your computer screen.
  2. Search for ‘Edit group policy’ option and click on it.
  3. Scroll over and click on ‘Computer Configuration’ à‘Administrative Templates’ à ‘Windows Components’ à ‘Search’
  4. Search for ‘Allow Cortana’ and double-click on it to open it.
  5. Click on ‘Disable’ and select ‘OK’ to confirm

STEPS to Disable Cortana on Windows 10 Home

To disable Cortana permanently from Windows 10 Home version, you will need to edit Windows Registry. Although this is a comparatively complicated process, you can choose to take back-up of your storage or set a restarting point to recover from any error.

Follow these simple steps to disable Cortana permanently from your Windows 10 Home OS:


  1. Click on Start key
  2. Click on the search bar and type in – regedit – to open and access it
  3. Search and click on ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE’ à‘SOFTWARE’ à ‘Policies’ à ‘Microsoft’ à ‘Windows’
  4. Press right-click over ‘Windows’ and select ‘New’ à‘Key’
  5. Type in – Windows Search – before pressing Enter
  6. Choose ‘Windows Search’ option from the panel on the right-hand side
  7. Press right-click on the typing space and choose ‘New’ à‘DWORD (32-bit) Value’
  8. Then type in – Allow Cortana’ before pressing Enter
  9. Double-click on ‘Allow Cortana’ and finally type in ‘0’ under the Value Data before pressing ‘OK’ to confirm your decision.

Once you follow these steps, you will need to restart your PC for the changes to take effect and to finally disable Cortana on Windows 10 permanently.

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