Disabling Cortana is a task that has become even more difficult with each update from Windows 10 by Microsoft. There was a time when it was enough to access ‘Settings’ and press a button, but this is no longer the case.
From the outset, you should be aware that Cortana collects data from your personal data in bulk and will share it with Microsoft, from your location to your browsing history. There is nothing wrong with that, as Microsoft claims to do only to improve the service and user experience.
However, there are many people who choose to remain anonymous and keep important information confidential so that Cortana can collect your usage as much as possible.
How to Disable Cortana in Windows 10
To ensure that Cortana is permanently turned off, we will need to access the computer’s ‘Registry’. It is one of the most critical parts of a computer that contains options and settings that are essential to its operation.
Fear not, though you should take special care whenever you access the ‘Registry’ of any application, other than a computer, so that you do not delete or change things randomly.
For maximum security, the first thing you should do is make a backup copy before making any changes, and build a point to restore the system to which you can return if something goes wrong.
Look here for clues how to back up Windows 10.
Press the ‘Windows + R’ key combination and type ‘regedit’ in the box to press ‘Enter’ later and open the register.
You need to be able to make changes to your device, so a business-managed PC can have it.
- Press the ‘Windows + R’ regedit ‘key type in the box and then press’ Enter’ to open ‘Registry’. You may need to allow it to make changes to your device.
- Using the folding tree layout in the left pane, navigate to the following: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE_SOFTWARE_POLICIES_MICROSOFT_WINDOWS
- If there is no ‘Windows Search’ folder, you will need to create one. Right-click on the ‘Windows’ folder, select ‘New> Password’ and name it ‘Windows Search’.
- Inside this new folder, right-click in the empty space on the right and select ‘New> DWORD Value (32 bit)’.
- Rename a new file labeled ‘AllowCortana’. Double-click the box will appear where you can set ‘Value Data’ to 0.
- Press ‘OK’ and close the subscription editor.
- Then restart your computer.
If you turn on your computer, Cortana will be gone. You will know this in the absence of a common icon found in the search bar at the bottom left of the screen.
Instead, it will now display a magnifying glass so you can search Windows manually by typing a word or phrase into it.
Cortana will stop working and will not share any data about you. It will always be installed on your machine, but it does not work. If you change your mind over time, you can always delete the registration key you created.
Delete stored data
If you want to delete all personal data collected by Cortana, go to your browser page to view your Bing browser customization settings. You will be required to sign in using your Microsoft account.
At this point, you’ll see options for clearing your search history, saved sites, and more. Below is a large ‘Delete’ button where you will be able to delete Cortana data stored on the network.
From this moment on, Cortana is inactive, the search bar is hidden and your data stored in the cloud, is deleted. Don’t forget to do the same when using Cortana on another computer with the same Microsoft account.
Learn how to set up a new Windows PC or laptop from scratch.