Microsoft with its Windows 10 operating system bundles its digital personal assistant – Cortana, and with every update, the company has made Cortana more integral to Windows 10. While it might come in handy for some, who use it to search, display notifications, set reminders and more, many of us do not like the hindrances it presents and would prefer to have it turned off. Also Read - Windows 11 preview update: How to roll back to Windows 10 in simple steps
Here we will be taking a look at how you can temporarily or permanently turn off Cortana on your Windows 10 PC. Also Read - Windows 11 update: New Windows version will receive only one update in a year unlike Windows 10
How to disable Cortana temporarily
If you want Cortana to not respond to your voice commands, but be available to activate manually, you can follow the given steps: Also Read - Windows 11: How to change the default web browser
- Click on the Cortana icon located in the taskbar, next to the Search box.
- Now inside of the app click on the three vertical dots to open up the drop-down menu.
- Click on “Settings” and select the “Keyboard shortcut” option.
- Now toggle the Keyboard shortcut off.
- Restart your PC to apply the changes.
- Now again repeat the above steps and open the Settings panel to toggle off the “Voice activation” option.
- Select Voice activation permissions and then turn off the “Let Cortana respond to “Cortana” keyword”.
Following these steps will disable Cortana from activating accidentally. However, it will still be available when you require it, and it will not affect your search experience.
How to disable Cortana permanently
This step is a bit tricky, and if you are not a computer wiz, we would recommend that you do not do this, or at least create a restore point in your Windows PC to roll back to if something goes wrong. Here you would have to edit the Windows registry, which in some cases can crash the Windows partition or make it falter, so do it at your own risk.
- Open run by using the keyboard shortcut Windows+R.
- Type “regedit” and press Enter.
- Now in the registry, navigate to “HKEY_Local_Machine > SOFTWARE > Policies > Microsoft > Windows”.
- Right-click on Windows and select New > Key.
- Name the new folder as “Windows Search”.
- Right-click on the folder and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Name this new file “AllowCortana” and double click it to open it.
- Set the value to 0 and click on OK.
- Restart your computer.