How to disable Cortana on Windows 10

Cortana is Microsoft's answer to Apple's Siri. It has proved its excellence over a short period of time. However, there are some reasons that Windows 10 users find it annoying. They want to disable the virtual assistant but are clueless about how to do it. We present you the tips on how to disable Cortana on your Windows 10.

If you are a Windows 10 user, you need no explanation on what exactly is Cortana and how does it work. The digital personal assistant from Microsoft has now formed an must have part of Windows ecosystem. In fact, when Microsoft launched Windows 10, Cortana was the most talked about feature that it focussed on. However, there are some Windows 10 users who find the constantly on the front Cortana quite annoying. For those who want to disable it, here are a few tips on how to go with it.

What is Cortana?

For the uninitiated, Cortana is the Virtual Personal Digital Assistant from Microsoft. Designed as a competitor to Apple's Siri, the assistant helps you in your internet searches.
That is not all that Cortana can do. She is your assistant in every possible way. It displays notifications, let you set alerts, send emails and do a lot of other things - and it performs all those tasks through your voice. It is indeed an extremely capable virtual assistant you have on your Windows powered device.
It was one of the highlights of Windows 10 when it first launched. It is smart in every sense of the word and can understand the natural language. What makes it more of a better option is the fact that it keeps learning about you from your actions and grows more useful over time. With every update, Microsoft has been making it an integral part of Windows 10.

How to disable Cortana on your Windows 10?

Well, Cortana is quite useful. It has been gaining popularity from the Windows 10 users worldwide. Even then, there are some users who are annoyed by it. Some users have been looking for ways to disable Cortana partially, or even completely from their system.
The usefulness that Cortana provides you stems from the way it stays connected to you. It uses the cloud service from Microsoft to fetch the best results for you. However, to be able to achieve this, Cortana needs to learn about you. And that exactly means that it needs to collect data about you. It needs to learn about you, your friends, your emails and contacts and your calendar among other information about you. This info hungry nature of Cortana is what puts a lot of users off. They have been considering it to be a threat to their privacy.
No worries - you can disable Cortana on your Windows system. However, it is not as easy as it was in the initial days of launching Cortana. You could turn it off before the Anniversary Update, but not anymore. A robust integration with Windows 10 has made it a little difficult to disable Cortana. Disabling it has been found to break your search functionality in some cases.
In any case, there are a few ways employing which you can disable Cortana on your Windows 10. Let us go through a few methods here -

Method 1 - Cut short Cortana journey into your personal life
Well, what we mean by that is you need not disable Cortana in its entirety. If the information it collects about you is your only concern, you can consider cutting short all the information that the Digital Assistant collects about you.
Here is how you can go with it -
  • Click on Cortana button beside the START button.
  • Click on the gear icon to access the Cortana Settings.
  • In the next screen, turn the toggle OFF for the options you want to disable. You may decide to turn all the toggles to off.
  • Scroll to the top in the settings screen and click on Change what Cortana knows about me in the cloud
  • You should now get access to a page from the internet. The page is titled Personal Information
  • Once the page has loaded completely, scroll down to the bottom and click on the button that says, Clear.
That should do it.

Please note that Cortana also collects data about your talking and typing habits. If you want, you can also disable them as well. Here is how you can do it -
  • Click on the START button.
  • Now access Settings by clicking on the gear icon.
  • Choose Privacy and then locate Speech, inking & typing
  • Now click on Stop getting to know me

Method 2 - Disable Cortana Completely
You will be able to disable Cortana in its entirety on Windows 10. Please note that this can only be possible if you are on Windows 10 Pro edition. The method will not be available on Home edition.

Check out the steps involved here below -
  • Click on START button and search for Group Policy Editor.
  • Launch Group Policy Editor.
  • Locate Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search.
  • Look for Allow Cortana and open it by double clicking on it.
  • Click on Disabled and click on OK.

If you want to disable it on Windows 10 Home edition, you may need to edit the registry entries.

In Conclusion

Well, those were the steps involved in disabling Cortana on your Windows 10 system. Though Cortana is one of the greatest features on your Windows 10 interface, you may have your own reasons to disable it. Disabling it will let you continue to use the search feature on your Windows, but all the Cortana specific functionality will be gone. If you are okay with it, you may proceed and disable the digital assistant on your installation.
Do share your expereince with and without Cortana with us. We will be glad to know your feedback and suggestions.

Article by Timmappa Kamat
Timmappa Kamat is a technology enthusiast. He has an active interest in newer technological developments. He is fond of new gizmos & gadgets. He loves to share his knowledge through tech-savvy websites as a freelancer. A Mechanical Engineer by profession, he is equally interested in blogging, with his own blog. He wants to carve a name for himself in blogging arena one day! If you need any clarifications about his articles,please respond here below or get in touch with him through his profile.

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