How to turn off Cortana in Windows 10

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Cortana is Microsoft’s virtual assistant built into Windows 10. If you have issues with Cortana, or don’t want it to save and store your personal information, there are a few ways to temporarily or permanently shut down Cortana in Windows. 10.

The instructions in this article apply to Windows 10 Home Edition, Windows 10 Pro, and Windows 10 Enterprise.

If Cortana sometimes activates when you don’t want it, but you still want to be able to activate it manually, the first step is to make sure Cortana won’t respond to your voice:

  1. Type Cortana in the Windows search box and select Cortana & Search Settings.
  2. Select the Talk to Cortana tab and make sure the Hey shortcut switches Cortana and Keyboard are set to Off.

For most people, turning off Cortana’s ability to automatically respond to a voice command or keyboard shortcut is enough. This will prevent Cortana from accidentally turning on, but it won’t affect your search experience, and everything will continue to work as normal.

Some users have privacy concerns about Cortana and Microsoft keeping track of their search history and habits in the cloud. Disabling Cortana completely is one way to address this concern, or you can turn off each setting that allows Cortana to record and store information about you:

  1. Type Cortana in the Windows search box and select Cortana & Search Settings.
  2. Select the Permissions & History tab, then scroll down the page and set all options to Off.
  3. Scroll to the top of the page and select Manage information cortana can access from this device.
  4. Set all options for off.
  5. Scroll down the page and select settings confidentiality of speech.
  6. Set the voice recognition switch online at Off.
  7. Select back arrow in the upper left corner of the window twice to return to the Cortana settings page, then select Edit What Cortana Knows About Me in the Cloud.
  8. Your information page Personal will load in the Start panel. Scroll to the bottom of the window and select Clear.

Cortana will still be installed on your computer, but it will not be able to collect information, report information to Microsoft, or interact with you in any way. If you want to use Cortana in the future, change all settings to the position We.

Cortana is heavily integrated into the Windows 10 search functionality, so it can impact your user experience. However, Windows 10 Home Edition users can disable Cortana with the Registry Editor tool. Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users can use either Registry Editor or Group Policy Manager.

Before using the Registry Editor or Group Policy Editor methods, consider setting up a system restore point. Your system may become unstable or even fail to start if you make a mistake.

Once you have created a system restore point, and you are absolutely sure that you want to permanently disable Cortana, then you will need to open the registry editor:

Disabling Cortana through the Windows Registry Editor is irreversible in some cases without performing a clean install of Windows 10.

  1. Right click on Windows icon and select Execute to open the command prompt. Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut Windows + R.
  2. Type regedit and press on Enter on the keyboard. If a User Account Control (UAC) window appears, select yes to proceed.
  3. Navigate to HKEY_Local_Machine > SOFTWARE > Policies > Microsoft > Windows, then right-click Windows directory and select New > Key.
  4. Name the new folder Windows Search.
  5. Right click on the file of Windows search and select New value> DWORD (32 bit)..
  6. Name the new file AllowCortana.
  7. Double click on the AllowCortana file to open it, set the value to 0, then select okay.
  8. Close Registry Editor and restart your computer.

If you change your mind about disabling Cortana, or if something is wrong, then the best way to get Cortana back on track is to use a system restore point. You can also try going back to the registry editor and removing the AllowCortana file that you created.

Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise users can turn off Cortana through the Registry Editor, but they have another option that is a bit more secure. To turn off Cortana using the Group Policy Editor:

  1. Press on Windows + R to open the command prompt, type gpedit.msc in the box, then press Come in. If a User Account Control (UAC) window appears, select yes to proceed.
  2. Navigate to the configuration of computer> models administrative> Windows components > Research, then double-click authorize cortana in the right pane.
  3. Select Disabled,then select okay.
  4. Close the Group Policy Editor and restart your computer.

If you want to enable Cortana in the future, follow the steps above, but set the Allow Cortana setting activated.

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