How To: Disable Cortana in Windows 10

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Disable Cortana in Windows 10

Windows 10 includes Cortana, Microsoft’s own version of a digital assistant, similar to Apple’s Siri, yet with her own unique personality (or, as much as an AI can have one).

The Windows 10 taskbar shows Cortana’s search box by default, and when you click on it for the first time, she’ll give you the option to enable it. You can just skip it and select ‘I’m not interested’. Nevertheless, if you’re reading this then you probably tested Cortana and decided you want to turn off the service.

You can quickly disable Cortana in Windows 10, and I’ll take you through all the necessary steps.

Easily disable Cortana in Windows 10

If you don’t want to completely disable Cortana, but you’d like to simply get rid of its search box, follow this quick guide. Otherwise, follow the instructions below.

Easily disable Cortana in Windows 10

Type ‘Cortana‘ in Windows 10’s desktop search box and select the top result (Cortana and Search settings) or simply click on the Notebook icon (the third one down) and select Settings.

Easily disable Cortana in Windows 10

Switch the first toggle to off position to disable Cortana. Technically, this turns off the Cortana feature on your Windows 10, but one problem remains.

A message will be displayed, explaining that Cortana’s information on your computer or tablet was removed but it could still be stored online.

Delete your personal data from Cortana

Easily disable Cortana in Windows 10

To do this, select the ‘Manage what Cortana knows about me in the cloud‘ option.

You might see a pop-up dialog prompting you to choose a web browser in which you want to finalize this task. Select the one you want to use.

Cortana 4

If you’re prompted to log in with your Microsoft account, enter your credentials and you’ll be taken to the Bing personalization settings web page.

There, you can wipe the history for saved places, search, personal information and so on. You can manage these option one-by-one or choose the easy way out and hit the ‘Clear‘ button at the bottom of the screen to remove everything at once.

With this final step, you’ve managed to disable Cortana in Windows 10, as well as delete any data it may have stored regarding you and your device in the cloud.

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  • Lakawak

    Now…how do you REALLY disable it! That just hides it. IT is still running in the background and taking up LOTS of CPU and RAM.

    • I don’t think there’s an option that lets you completely disable Cortana. Although not sure what you mean by ‘lots of CPU and RAM’. I just opened Task Manager and it shows Cortana using 0% CPU and 0.3 MB RAM.

      • Lakawak

        On mine, it was about 100 MB of RAM. Which is not a lot…but more than something that I have DISABLED and have made it clear I don’t want nor will I use to be using. And if you right click and end the program in task Manager, it IMMEDIATELY comes back, often using more CPU and RAM, possibly out of spite. IT is a useless toy. Microsoft even KNWOS it. That is why they keep talking about how it will “sing you a song” or “tell you a joke”…useless stuff that kids would think was cute. Otherwise, all it does it speech to text searches using an inferior browser and inferior search engine. Sure…MAYBE speech to text is useful for a tablet or phone. But that is exactly why this concept of screwing over the market that they have 90+% market share to try to artificially boost the market that they will NEVER have more than 10% in is stupid. On a desktop that NEVER changes its location and has a nice keyboard to use to input, it is not only useless, but makes things WORSE. When I want to find the nearest Italian restaurants near me, I don’t want to drive 400 miles to the ones closest to where my IP is pointing to. There is NO reason to not allow you to enter an EXACT location to use all the time. For the FAR greater number of people that would be using it on a machine that is not using cell towers. While not everyone will have IP addresses showing hundreds of miles away, NONE will have their exact location. So “find nearest ….. to me” searches will NEVER be accurate.