Cortana is an amazing bot or digital assistant akin to Siri on Windows. It was first introduced on Windows phone 8.1 and later became available on windows 10 for PC’s. The personal assistant has garnered much love due to its wittiness in replies and natural accent that varies region to region. It’s still not available worldwide and is limited to certain countries but anyone can activate it by just tweaking their region settings.
Cortana, one of the most loved features of windows 10, imbuing the OS with a sense of activeness that the users never felt in previous versions of Windows. Cortana’s natural language search capabilities rock, and her intelligent surfacing of news and notifications that matter to you help to tailor Windows 10 to suit your specific needs. But not everyone will love and want Cortana on their PC.
Cortana’s usefulness stems from her cloud connectivity. The assistant leverages Bing for web searches and Microsoft’s machine learning in the cloud to deliver those amazing personalization features. The more Cortana knows about you, your location, your friends, your schedule and your email, the better she’s able to provide a tailored experience made for just you.
Reasons to hate Cortana
Albeit, Cortana is excellent in helping you out in many ways such as sending mails, tracking your packages, all types of recommendations and much more, you might be having valid reasons to not like Cortana and may want to disable it for a certain period or forever. Let’s look at some reasons.
- You are not familiar with AI and personal assistants.
- You don’t want to share all your data to an AI that is based in cloud.
- You do not want the ever launching pop up notifications on your PC which are hindering your productivity levels at work and want to disable Cortana temporarily.
These may be some reasons for you to not like Cortana and there may be many more but let’s get straight to the point.
How to disable Cortana
Cortana, on Windows 10 PC’s and laptops is present in the taskbar as a circle shaped icon that thrives regularly indicating its ever present nature. Tap on it and you will be greeted with a welcome note and latest news and weather updates. Cortana gathers all your information and stores it in it’s so called notebook where you can edit your interest such as music taste and your favorite sports team etc. Let’s have a step by step guide to disable Cortana on both windows 10 pro and windows 10 home versions.
Steps to disable Cortana on Windows 10 Pro version
- Press the Start key, hunt for Edit group policy, and open it.
- Head to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search.
- Search for Allow Cortana, and double tap on it to open.
- Click Disabled, and then press OK.
Steps to disable Cortana on Windows 10 Home
As before the anniversary update on Windows 10, it was easier to disable Cortana but Microsoft doesn’t want you to, which is why they made it a lot trickier to do so in this latest update. If you’re not comfortable with this process, do not attempt it in a hurry. This process involves tweaking with registry settings and may land your PC in trouble if you accidentally hit the wrong settings.
- Press the Start Key, search for regedit, and open it.
- Find your way through HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Policies > Microsoft > Windows.
- Right-click the Windows directory, and select New > Key. Write in Windows Search, and hit enter.
- Find Windows Search. In the right hand side pane, right click in the empty spot and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Type in Allow Cortana, and hit enter.
- Double click Allow Cortana, and type in 0 under Value Data.
Cortana knows about you more than you think. Prevent it from happening
- Hit the search box or the Cortana icon next to the Start key in your taskbar.
- Open Cortana’s settings page by hitting the gear like icon.
- In the settings page, turn off every toggle from On to You can be more specific and turn off only required ones.
- Next, hover to the top of the settings panel and click on “Change what Cortana knows about me in the cloud”. This is an important step.
- Microsoft will open a page from the cloud called Personal Information in the same panel.
- When the page loads, hover to the very bottom, and click on Clear.
To serve you better, Cortana collects all your data about your typing and talking, as well. If you’d like to turn that off, follow these steps:
- Click on the Start key.
- Find and click on the Settings gear icon.
- Select Privacy.
- In the left panel, look for Speech, inking & typing. Click on Stop getting to know me.
Just a gentle reminder, turning this off will also disable dictation across Windows 10. If that’s a service you rely on, then you’ll have to put up with Windows ‘getting to know you’
Turn off Cortana completely after this step
Once you’ve followed through the steps above, Cortana won’t respond to your voice commands. But it will still be running in the background, waiting to be called. Now, after all these steps you have successfully disabled Cortana and have denied it the permission to collect your data.
Conclusion: There you go. We saw how you can disable Cortana in the latest version of Windows 10. But, beware when you are using the registry settings because it may go against you if you happen to edit in incorrect place. Let’s hope Microsoft gives more freedom to its users in the next update to disable Cortana. Named creator’s update, the next version of windows 10 is sure to bring more improvements and settings to Cortana.