How to Properly Disable Cortana in Microsoft Windows 10

Josephur

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft Certified Professional
What I would do actually is copy the entire directory and retain permissions before you mess with it, that way you can simply copy it back if need be in the future. Xcopy on an Administrative Command Prompt with the /O /X /E /H /K switches should suffice, but I haven't tested that myself.
 

lanchi1661

New Member

How to Properly Disable Cortana in Windows 10

Using Local Group Policy Editor in Microsoft Windows 10, it is possible to completely disable Cortana, without it restarting, and without editing the registry, or making forced changes.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to properly disable Cortana on Microsoft Windows 10 client.
  • Search and open gpedit.msc
  • Locate Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Search
  • Scroll down to Search and find "Allow Cortana". Right-click to "Edit"
  • Disable
  • Search the Command Prompt with elevated privileges by right-clicking and "Run as Administrator"
  • Execute gpupdate /force in the Command Prompt.
  • Go to Task Manager and end the "Cortana" task.
  • Cortana is disabled as a matter of company policy and will not run in the background, even when disabled.
Additional notes 2015-11-15:

It is true that this process disabled Cortana, but does not remove the process. This is still an effort that people are working on and discussing.
Thank for your guide, I need it, I just used window 10 ;)
 

WillieMac69

New Member
I am new to this, and still learning, but in order to remove the process from task manager, I think I found a way. I navigated to C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy. Then I took ownership of the file SearchUI.exe. Then I renamed it to SearchUI.exe.old. Cortana Files.jpg
 

Veegertx

Extraordinary Member
I am new to this, and still learning, but in order to remove the process from task manager, I think I found a way. I navigated to C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy. Then I took ownership of the file SearchUI.exe. Then I renamed it to SearchUI.exe.old.View attachment 35672
Thats not new and so widely posted across the www
 

nomanreuven

New Member
Willing to take that risk in the name of Testing. Each time I boot 4-5 errors in event log about Cortana not starting, not a flood. Running like this 21 days now. Using an Event log script clear's event log in about 15 seconds.
 

Mike

Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Willing to take that risk in the name of Testing. Each time I boot 4-5 errors in event log about Cortana not starting, not a flood. Running like this 21 days now. Using an Event log script clear's event log in about 15 seconds.
Well its hard to believe this is still being discussed, but yes, there are other methods, as @Josephur mentioned, including the NTFS permissions lock-out, to try to prevent the executable from even running. The primary problem I see with this is that using the semi-official, if not sanctioned "Group Policy" edit, is fairly fool-proof. Yes, the executable does still run, but, what, if anything, it is doing, is likely of little to no consequence to your CPU utilization or anything of importance.

If the real concern is privacy, I do believe that this can be far more broadly addressed, at this point, by implementing a lockdown policy under Privacy Settings. If super paranoid, you can successfully block telemetry data going to Microsoft servers. Spybot Anti-Beacon used to be free, but that's no longer the case. I have seen WPD around and maybe it is good software to try to achieve that objective. Whether or not any telemetry data is really personally identifiable or could be used to... who knows what.. I'm not very certain that is the case. Most of what these programs do is edit registry keys or group policy settings that correspond with those keys, with some proactive blocking. If you are that concerned you could go down that route. Just be aware that this level of lockdown will likely prevent you from joining Windows Insider Program unless disabled. If thats OK with you, and the primary reason for doing this is privacy, maybe it is worth the trade-off. I personally find Cortana to be an annoyance, so I disable it using the method outlined above. The latest iterations have become less annoying, so i do not really disable on my laptop (just turn off all the settings in its options). I do not use Bing, am not generally impressed at all with the search results, and wouldn't really want any other voice assistant on my systems either.

Good luck!
 
It is actually pretty straightforward to disable Cortana, in fact, there are two ways to do this task. The first option is by launching Cortana from the search bar on the taskbar. Then, from the left pane click the settings button, and under "Cortana" (the first option) and slide the pill switch to the Off position.
 

albert709

New Member
All I do on machines is right click taskbar and then where you see "Cortana" just click "hidden" and you will never know it is there.
 

RuskinF

Member
Follow these steps to disable Cortana on Windows:
  1. Click the search box or the Cortana icon next to the Start key.
  2. Open Cortana's settings panel with the gear icon.
  3. In the settings screen, turn off every toggle from On to Off.
  4. Next, scroll to the very top of the settings panel, and click on Change what Cortana knows about me in the cloud.
  5. Microsoft will fetch a page from the Internet called Personal Information in the same Start panel.
  6. When it loads, scroll to the very bottom, and hit Clear.

I hope this helps!
 

usermn

Senior Member
In Taskbar, there is a circle. It says
Talk to Cortana

If I click on the circle, I get:
Sorry, but Cortana is not available [...]

However, Task Manager -> Apps says that Cortana (2) is running.

Some websites say that you should disable Cortana in Task Manager -> Startup, but Cortana is not listed.

Some suggest that Cortana should be uninstalled in Settings -> Apps & features. Cortana is listed, but the Uninstall button is greyed out.

According to some pages, you should go to Settings -> Apps & features -> Advanced options and then toggle off Runs at log-in.
But there is no such option.

In Registry Editor, under
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\
there is no key Windows Search, contrary to what has been suggested in this message thread.

How can you disable Cortana in reality in the Home version, without monkeying with Registry Editor?

I have:
Microsoft Windows 10 Home
Version 10.0.19041
Build 19041
 
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