How to disable Microsoft Cortana on Windows 10

Cortana is among the best personal helpers on the market. Microsoft has been busy improving Cortana since the day one, expanding its usefulness and adding more skills. Cortana now comes pre-loaded on every Windows 10 device out there, giving users a new way to interact with apps and services.

However, if you hardly use Cortana on your Windows PC, then it’s a good idea to turn it off. In reality, Microsoft removed the toggle switch that lets you quickly disables Cortana in the Anniversary Update. Fortunately, there are still several ways you can turn off Microsoft’s personal helper. With that in mind, we are here to help.

In the section below, we are going to walk you through the steps on how to turn off Cortana in Windows 10. Before we begin, make sure you now have the latest version of Windows 10 installed on your PC. To check for update, open Settings > Update & Security and install any available updates.

  1. How to disable Cortana temporarily

If you don’t want to completely turn off Cortana on Windows 10, then you can disable it temporarily. Doing so will prevent Cortana from showing up on your computer, but you can activate it when you need it.

To disable Cortana temporarily on Windows 10, click on the search box from your taskbar, then insert Cortana into the empty field, and select Cortana & Search Settings. After that, hit Talk to Cortana, then turn off the switches for Hey Cortana and Keyboard shortcut.

Doing so will prevent Cortana from activating accidentally on Windows 10. However, you still can ask Cortana to perform some actions on your PC.

  1. How to stop Cortana from gathering and storing your personal data

Cortana is an amazing virtual helper out there. By default, Cortana automatically collects your search data and habits so it gives suggestions that fit your needs. While this is a great practice, one major drawback is that it may cause an issue of privacy.

Fortunately, you can prevent Cortana from keeping track of your search data to protect your privacy. To do this, you can follow our steps below:

Step one: First off, click on the Search box on your taskbar and then enter Cortana into the input field

Step two: Click Cortana & Settings, then select Permissions & History and turn off all the toggles

Step three: Click Cortana across all my devices and turn off all the switches

Step four: Next up, you should see an option “Manage the information Cortana can access from this device”, then turn off all the switches

Step five: Scroll down to Speech, inking, & typing privacy settings and disable speech services and typing suggestions.

Besides, you can remove everything Cortana knows about you by clicking the Clear button. Once you are done, Cortana will no longer collect your search data.

  1. How to turn off Cortana completely on Windows 10

If you never use Cortana, then you can disable it permanently. However, the process is more complicated, so make sure you stay close to our step-by-step instructions. In reality, there are a number of ways you can turn off Cortana completely on Windows 10, and some of them may be unknown to many folks.

Method 1: Using the Windows Registry

Before we begin, note that editing the Windows Registry Editor may result in some unexpected outcomes. So we recommend you make a backup of your Windows before proceeding. Here is how.

Step one: First off, right-click the Start Menu icon, then hit Run and type Regedit

Step two: Press the Enter key, then hit Yes, and click HKEY_Local_Machine to proceed

Step three: Select Software > Policies > Microsoft > Windows, and then right-click the Windows directory

Step four: Select New >Key and give it a name Windows Search. After that, perform a right-click on Windows Search and click on New > DWORD (32-bit) Value from the pull-down menu

Step five: Now name it AllowCortana, then double-click on it and change the value to 0. Once you are done, restart your device to apply the change.

Method 2: Using Group Editor Policy

Alternatively, you can completely disable Cortana in the Group Editor Policy. This method is safer and easier than the first one. Here is how:

Step one: Perform a right-click on the Start Menu icon, then click Run and type gpedit.msc

Step two: Hit the Enter button, and click Yes. After that, select Computer Configuration, then hit Administrative Templates and hit Windows Components followed by clicking on Search

Step three: Now double click on Allow Cortana setting, then select Disabled > OK and restart your computer.

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Got any questions? Let us know in the comments below.

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