How to Disable Cortana in Windows 10

Last updated on July 12th, 2017

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.

disable cortana

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. Disable Cortana by renaming Cortana's App Folder (Windows 10 All Editions)
Method 2. Disable Cortana via Registry (Windows 10 All Editions)
Method 3. Disable Cortana via Group Policy Editor (Windows 10 Enterprise)


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.

1. Right click on Start menu image and select Control Panel.

control panel

2. Change the View by: to Small icons.

windows 10 control pane


3. Open File Explorer Options.

file explorer options


4. At View tab: select Show hidden files, folders or drives and click OK.

view hidden files windows 10


Step 2. Rename Cortana App folder.

1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the following folder on your computer:

  • C:\Windows\SystemApps

2. Rename the "Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy" folder to
"Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy.BAK" and press Enter.

disable or turn off cortana


3. You should receive a Folder Access Denied message. Click Continue.

turn off cortana


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.

rename cortana app folder


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.

hide cortana



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:

1. Press “WindowsImage-201_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb1_t  + “R” keys to load the Run dialog box.
Type regedit and press Enter.



2. At the left pane, navigate to this key:

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows

3. Right click at Windows key and select New > Key.

disable cortana registry


4. Give at the new key the name Windows Search and press Enter.

disable cortana windows 10


5. Select the Windows Search Key and at the right pane, right click and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

allow cortana


6. Give at the new value the name AllowCortana.
Double click the AllowCortana value and set its value to 0 (zero). Click OK.

turn off cortana registry

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.

1. Press Windows image_thumb[5]_thumb_thumb  + R keys on your keyboard to load the Run dialog box.
2. Type gpedit.msc and press Enter.



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.

disable cortana group policy

5. Set the Allow Cortana option to Disabled and click OK.

turn off cortana group policy


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.

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