How to disable Cortana

Cortana is a personal assistant in Windows 10 but she demands a lot of your personal information in order to be helpful. If you really want privacy on your computer, you should consider disabling Cortana.

Turning off Cortana was as simple as flipping a switch in the settings. However, Microsoft decided to remove the option in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. We can still disable Cortana by editing the registry.

First, press Windows key + R to open the Run window and type “regedit” in the search box. Once the Registry Editor is opened, navigate to the following folders in the left-hand side panel: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE -> Software -> Policies -> Microsoft -> Windows -> Windows Search. If the Windows Search folder is not there, right click on the Windows folder and select New -> Key and name it Windows Search.

Right click the Windows Search folder and select New -> Dword (32-bit) and name it “AllowCortana. Then, double-click it and in the box that appears, ensure that the Value Data is set to 0.

Close the Registry Editor, reboot your computer and when you sign back in again, Cortana will no longer be there. Of course, you will not be able to use any of the Cortana features in the search field such as settings reminders or asking goofy questions. However, if you decided to use Cortana later on, you can go to the Registry Editor and either delete the “AllowCortana value or set it to 1 instead of 0.