Here’s How to Disable Cortana for Windows Completely

05/28/2019     Author: Billy Gray

Fed up with Cortana? Even Microsoft seems to have admitted now that she’s not what she could be. Here’s how to completely disable Cortana forever more.


The race to build the ultimate digital assistant has arguably already been won, and Cortana did not come in first place. Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple provided the main contenders. Microsoft’s Cortana was billed to be something truly exciting, until Amazon took over the race with Alexa. Microsoft now allows users to install Alexa – which is essentially the same as admitting that Amazon’s assistant is considerably better than their own.

So, why keep Cortana on your computer? There really isn’t much of a case to do so if you don’t use the assistant. The best defense in that case is simply that you cannot be bothered. If you’re reading this post then clearly you can.

How to Remove Cortana from Windows

Before removing Cortana from your device, you should make sure to back up your data. The process of removing Cortana goes into areas of your PC where if you make a mistake you can risk deleting something important for the general operation of your device. Therefore, we recommend backing things up first.

We’ll cover how to disable Cortana after this, but first let’s cover how to permanently remove her from Windows.

Once you’ve backed up your data, follow these steps.

  1. Go to Windows Registry Editor. You can find it by searching ‘reged’ in the search bar.
  2. Go to the Windows file, then HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then SOFTWARE, then Policies, then Microsoft, then Windows.
  3. Take a deep breathe…
  4. Create a new key (right click, select New > Key > name the new folder Windows Search).
  5. Create a new DWORD (32-bit) value called “AllowCortana” (right click and select New > DWORD (32-bit) and change name to “AllowCortana”)
  6. This new value is set to 0 by default, which means off. If you change it to 1 then it is set to on which will enable Cortana. Thus, by default your new value has disabled Cortana.
  7. Make a coffee and relax after that arduous process…

Cortana is now disabled on your device. You can always install Alexa on Windows 10 and other Windows versions. This is actually a much more effective assistant that can connect with many devices and is a lot of fun to use.

How to disable Cortana?

If you’re not looking to completely remove Cortana from Windows, then you can simply disable it for the time being without having to dig your way into the soul of Windows do geeky stuff.

  • Open Cortana
  • Got to Settings in the left panel
  • Turn all the options to Off
  • Next, clear everything that Cortana knows about you in the cloud.
  • Now go back to the main Settings
  • Go to Privacy.
  • Select Speech, Inking and Typing.
  • Select Stop getting to know me.

This will stop Cortana from gathering any more information on you. If you’re someone who values their privacy, then this is a welcome way to ensure that your personal information and habits aren’t being fed into Microsoft’s hands.

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