How To Disable Cortana

Recent versions of Windows are rolling in with a more advanced and integrated digital assistant. There may come

Recent versions of Windows are rolling in with a more advanced and integrated digital assistant. There may come a time that might lead to the desire to disable Cortana's personal assistant to have an uninterrupted experience when using the computer. We will show you how to disable Cortana.

For older Windows 10 versions that have not updated the system recently, disabling the assistant is relatively easy;

  • Bring up the search bar and type in the name Cortana.
  • Clicking on the result will allow you to switch it on or off as desired.

However, in recent or updated computers, disabling it can be done via two methods. Either by depriving the assistant's ability to gather personal information or by shutting it down altogether. Be aware that disabling it can result in breaking searches which can only be fixed by doing a completely new installation.

Method 1: Depriving Cortana of data collection abilities

  • Open up Cortana settings by searching for and selecting it or clicking on its icon where it's' available on the desktop menu.
  • Navigate to its settings panel and switch off all settings with a toggle on/off option.
  • At the top of the settings page, click "Change what Cortana knows," which is the cloud data collection control.
  • A page will be brought up from an online source. Navigate to the bottom, where there is a "clear" option. Select this option and close the window.

Input data control

  • Go to the start menu and select settings.
  • Navigate to "Privacy" and check for Speech and Typing settings in the left panel.
  • There is an option within that one to "stop learning about me." Select this option but remember that doing this will also disable voice dictation abilities. This option will have to be switched on to utilize it again first.

Method 2: Disabling Cortana entirely

The first method partially switches off the assistant; hence the software keeps running in the background, but this time with little or no intrusions on your activities. It will also be indifferent to voice commands and only operate fully when selected explicitly by the user.

Deactivating the assistant entirely can differ slightly across operating systems, but the procedure is the same. The most basic process is as follows:

  • Search for the "Edit Group Policy" in the Start Search provision.
  • Find the computer configuration, then go to Administrative Templates.
  • Select "Windows Components" from there and click on "Search."
  • Search for Cortana and toggle to disable, then press enter or OK and close the window.

Disabling it on Windows 10 Home

This is a bit trickier on Windows 10 Home because the only way to disable it is via a registry edit. Any method can disable other versions, but the group policy method is always easier and less complicated when available. Also, creating a backup before meddling with the registry is advisable, especially if the user doesn't have much experience with it. Once ready, follow the following commands strictly:

  • Press the key combination Windows + R
  • Type "regedit"" and execute with the enter key.
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then, SOFTWARE then, Policies then, Microsoft > Windows then finally, Windows Search.
  • If "Windows Search" is unavailable, create a new key and name it as such.
  • On the left side, right-click the key/folder and, for 32-bit systems, select New > DWORD Value.
  • Assign the name "AllowCortana" to the value and then double click it and enter ''0'' for the value
  • Once done, close the window and sign out, then back into the user account to apply the changes.

The assistant is now fully disabled and inoperative. To reverse this action, navigate to the same settings and input a data value of '1', and you're good to go again!