Microsoft has implemented the Cortana virtual assistant on Windows 10. Although it has a lot of potential, this feature – perpetually active in the background – may not be to your liking and therefore never be used. To this end, you ardently desire to deactivate it permanently. How do you say? Would you like to deactivate Cortana but you do not know how? Do not worry, in this guide I will show you the procedure.
How to disable Cortana on any Windows 10 device and Xbox One
If you are looking for a way to disable Cortana then you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, in fact, I’ll show you how to disable the Microsoft virtual assistant on any device, whether a PC, a Smartphone or an Xbox One.
Turn off Cortana on a Windows PC
The procedure to disable Cortana on PC varies depending on the version of Windows 10 installed.
Disable Cortana on Windows 10 BEFORE the Anniversary Update
If you have not yet installed the Anniversary Update (which took place in August 2016) you can easily remove the voice assistant by following these simple steps:
- Click on the “Ask me something” box in the taskbar and then on the clipboard icon (the book icon) placed on the left of the menu that has been opened;
- Press on Settings;
- Bring up No the switch that you find in correspondence of the voice Cortana can offer you suggestions, ideas, reminders, alerts and more.
Disable Cortana on Windows 10 AFTER installing the Anniversary Update (build 1607)
With the release of the Anniversary Update ( build 1607), removing the voice assistant is no longer that simple, but it is still possible by following the steps I will show you below. Also in this case, the procedure differs according to the version of Windows 10 installed.
Disable Cortana on Windows 10 Pro (or Enterprise)
- press the Start button and type
- select Local Group Policy Editor
- from the editor window on the left, go to Computer Configuration, Windows Components and then to Search
- at this point, on the right, select Allow Cortana and set the item to Off
at this point all you have to do is restart your PC and enjoy Windows 10 without Cortana. You can always re-activate the virtual assistant by following the same procedure and setting the item to On at the end.
Turn off Cortana on Windows 10 Home
If you have a Window 10 Home version then you will notice that the Local Group Policy Editor is not accessible and therefore to disable Cortana you will have to follow the following steps.
- Press the Start button and type
- Open the registry editor and at the top left, click on “File” and then “Export“. In this way you will have saved a copy of the registry as a backup, in case something goes wrong during the procedure
- On the left side of the Editor window, click on the following registry path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search (if under the heading Windows do not see any folder called Windows Search you’ll need to create it. To do so, right-click on Windows folder, select New from the menu you see appear, choose the Key and type Windows Search in the box next to the newly created folder)
- Right click on the “Windows Search” folder, move the mouse over the “New” item and then select “DWORD (32 bit)“
- Done this, you will see a new value appear in the right part of the system log. Give it the name “AllowCortana” and then hit send
- At this point click twice on the new value “AllowCortana” and make sure that in the “Value data” box there is “0” (zero)
Once this is done, all you have to do is restart the PC. Also, in this case, you can reactivate Cortana at any time by following the same procedure and then canceling the “AllowCortana” value created previously.
Disable Cortana on Windows Mobile Smartphone
The procedure to disable Cortana on Windows Mobile devices is, fortunately, much simpler. All you have to do is follow the following steps.
- open the Cortana app
- go to the Clipboard section
- prizes on the item “Personal information“
- press on your Microsoft account at the bottom
- go again on your account and then on “Disconnect“
In this way, Cortana will no longer collect your data and you can use the alternative search engine you prefer.
Turn off Cortana on Xbox One
Cortana is also available on Xbox One. If you do not care about the features offered by the Microsoft voice assistant and you want to go back to the old search commands, all you have to do is follow the procedure below.
- Double-press the Xbox symbol on the controller and select “Settings“
- Go under “All settings” and then “Select“
- Switch to “Cortana Settings” and press the “A” button
- A menu will appear on the right of the screen, which you can reach by pressing the down arrow
- Press the A button to move the option to Off
- Restart the Xbox to completely disable Cortana
Cortana can slow down the PC if it is not really brand new, but if you read this guide you can find out how to speed up the PC with Windows 10.