Cortana is one of the new features on Windows 10 and it acts like a digital agent that can help you manage your calendar tasks, to search for files, apps and settings on your computer, to find answers on the web by using Microsoft Edge Web browser and Bing (search engine) and many more.
For all these reasons Microsoft doesn't want you to disable Cortana, but if something goes wrong with Cortana or you don't want to use it, here you can find all the available ways to disable Cortana on your Windows 10 computer.
In this tutorial you can find detailed instructions on how to disable/turn off Cortana on your Windows 10 PC.
How to Disable or Turn Off Cortana on Windows 10.
Method 1. Rename Cortana Folder (Works is Windows 10 All Versions)
The first method to disable Cortana in Windows 10 is to rename the Cortana's App package from "C:\Windows\SystemApps" folder. This method works on all versions of Windows 10.
Step 1. Enable Hidden files view.
2. Change the View by: to Small icons.
3. Open File Explorer Options.
4. At View tab: select Show hidden files, folders or drives and click OK.
Step 2. Rename Cortana App folder.
1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the following folder on your computer:
2. Rename the "Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy" folder to
"Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy.BAK" and press Enter.
3. You should receive a Folder Access Denied message. Click Continue.
4. Then you'll receive a Folder in Use error. To bypass this error:
1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Del and launch Task Manager.
2. At the Processes tab, right click at Search process and click End Task and…
3. Immediately press the Try again button.
5. That's it! From now on if you try to launch Cortana, nothing will happen.
6. To hide the Cortana search icon (or search box) from the taskbar, right click on it and select Search > Hidden. –
* Note: To use the search function, open Windows Explorer and use the "search quick access" box at the top right.
Method 2. Disable Cortana through Registry (Windows 10 All Editions).
Note: This method doesn't work anymore after the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
1. Open Windows Registry Editor. To do that:
IMPORTANT: Before you continue to modify the registry, first take a registry backup. To perform a registry backup:
a. From the main menu, go to File & select Export.
b. Specify a destination location (e.g. your Desktop), give a filename (e.g. “RegistryBackup”) and press Save.
2. At the left pane, navigate to this key:
3. Right click at Windows key and select New > Key.
4. Give at the new key the name Windows Search and press Enter.
5. Select the Windows Search Key and at the right pane, right click and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
6. Give at the new value the name AllowCortana.
7. Double click the AllowCortana value and set its value to 0 (zero). Click OK.
8. Close Registry Editor and restart your computer.
Method 3. Disable Cortana via Group Policy Editor. (Windows 10 Enterprise).
If you own Windows 10 Enterprise, then you can disable Cortana through Group Policy Editor.
3. In Group Policy Editor navigate (from the left side) to:
- Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search
4. At the right side, double click to open the Allow Cortana setting.
5. Set the Allow Cortana option to Disabled and click OK.
6. Restart your computer.
That's it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.