How to Disable Cortana in Windows 10 [2018 Guide]

By Lillian Lai in Technical Tips Tags: CortanaWindows 10
How to disable Cortana in Windows 10?

As one of the best digital assistants, Microsoft Cortana has been considerably helpful in our daily life and work. However, Cortana collects various information to know you, such as your contacts, text messages, locations, in order to better help you with the tasks. So there are privacy issue with Cortana in Windows 10.

But don’t worry! You can completely disable Cortana in Windows 10. This article introduces how to disable Cortana in Windows 10, including Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Windows 10 Home. Check it out.

How do I turn off Cortana in Windows 10?

Prior to Windows 10 Anniversary Update, you could disable Cortana by simply toggling a switch, but it’s not possible now after Windows 10 Anniversary Update. There are fixes to this issue. Check the methods below to easily turn off Windows 10 Cortana.

  1. Disable Cortana via Group Policy in Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise
  2. Disable Cortana via Registry in Windows 10 Home
  3. Prevent Cortana from knowing you
  4. Bonus Tip

How to check my Windows 10 version

If you don’t know whether you’re using Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Home, follow this to check:

1) On you keyboard, press the Windows logo keyand R at the same time.

2) Type msinfo32.exe, and click OK.

3) You can check your Windows OS and version here.

Then you can choose the method to disable Cortana depending on your Windows 10 OS name.

1. Disable Cortana via Group Policy in Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise

If you’re using Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise, you can disable Cortana completely via Group Policy. To do so, follow these steps:

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo keyand R at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2) Type gpedit.msc in the Run box and click OK.

3) On Local Group Policy Editor, go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search. Double click Search

4) Double click Allow Cortana to open its settings.

5) In the Allow Cortana section, select Disabled. Then click Apply and OK to save.

6) You should’ve disabled Cortana in your Windows 10 now.

INFORMATION: If you want to enable Cortana later, you just go to the Group Policy by following the steps above, and reset Allow Cortana to Enabled.

If this method doesn’t work for you, you can try method 2 below.

 

2. Disable Cortana via Registry in Windows 10 Home

For some reasons, Windows 10 Home users doesn’t have the Group Policy in the computer, so disabling Cortana via Group Policy is impossible. But don’t worry, you can turn off Cortana in your Windows 10 Home via Registry.

For those using Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise, you can also turn off Cortana via Registry. Follow the instructions step by step:

Note: this method requires editing the registry, so backup first then proceed with instructions.

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo keyand R at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2) Type regedit in the Run box and click OK to open Registry. Then click Yes to confirm.

3) Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search.

 

Note: If you don’t see the Windows Search key (folder) below the Windows folder, right-click the Windows folder and select New > Key. Name it Windows Search.

 

4) Right click the Windows Search key, and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

5) Name the newly-created value AllowCortana.

6) Double click AllowCortana, and set the Value data to 0. Then click OK to save.

You should disable Cortana in Windows 10 now.

 

INFORMATION: If you’d like to turn on Cortana in Windows 10 later, you can follow the steps above in Registry, and set the AllowCortana key value to 1, or delete the AllowCortana key.

 

3. Prevent Cortana from knowing you

You should also check the privacy settings in Cortana to stop it from spying on you.

1) Type Cortana in the search box in Start, and select Cortana and Search settings (or Cortana settings).

2) Click Permissions & History, and click Manage the information Cortana can access from this device.

3) Make sure that the permissions that Cortana can see and use available are off, including Location, Contacts, email, calender & communication history, Browsing history.

4) Click Back, and make sure that Windows Cloud Search and History are off.

Disabling Cortana on one device doesn’t mean that Cortana is disabled in all your device, and you should proceed it in other devices if you need to.

If you don’t want Microsoft to store your personal information in the cloud, you should clear all your personal information from your Microsoft account

4. Bonus Tip

Many Windows 10 users have found that they’ve encountered the driver issues after upgrading to Windows 10. So you should verify that drivers in your computer are up to date, and update those that aren’t.

You can manually download the latest version of the drivers and install it in your computer. This requires time and computer skills.

If you don’t have time or patience, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy.

Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct drivers for it. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running, you don’t need to be troubled by the wrong driver you would be downloading, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake when installing.

You can update your drivers automatically with either the FREE or Pro version of Driver Easy. It only takes 2 simple clicks with the Pro version (and you will get full support and a 30-day money back guarantee).

1) Download and install Driver Easy.

2) Run Driver Easy and click Scan Now. Then Driver Easy will scan your computer and detect any problem drivers.

3) Click Update button next to the device name to download the latest driver (you can do that with the FREE version). Then install the driver in your computer.

Or click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the problem drivers (you can do that with Pro version, and you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All).

4) Restart your computer to take effect.

 

These’re the ways to disable Cortana in Windows 10 completely. Hope it helps you. Feel free to leave a comment below and share your idea.