How to completely remove Cortana from Windows 10

Using Cortana

Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana has been a mixed bag for some users. Some users swear by the virtual assistant and others, not so much.

If you don’t want Cortana on your Windows 10 PC, here are the steps to disabling it.

Interestingly, Windows 10 previously had the option to toggle Cortana on and off in Windows 10, but Microsoft decided to remove that option in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

The only way you can remove Cortana now is via an edit in the Windows Registry or as a group policy setting for Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users.

By removing Cortana in Windows 10, the Cortana box is transformed into a “Search Windows” tool for local application and file searches on your Windows 10 PC.

How to completely remove Cortana from all versions of Windows 10

  • In the Registry Editor, go to the following path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search
  • Change the AllowCortana value from “1” to “0”
  • Close the Registry Editor and restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

How to completely remove Cortana from Windows 10 Home

  1. Open the Run dialog box by using the Windows Key + R keyboard shortcut.
  2. Type regedit in the Run dialog box and press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
  3. Choose Yes in the User Account Control (UAC) dialog button that pops up. The Registry Editor will open. Cut and paste the following path in the Registry Editor navigation pane:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search
  4. If you don’t see the Windows Search folder, you need to create a new one by right-clicking the Windows main folder above and choose New > Key. Rename the new Key (folder), “Windows Search.”
  5. Right-click the “Windows Search” key (folder) in the left pane and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the value AllowCortana.
  6. If you already have the Windows Search key (folder) and the AllowCortana value, double-click AllowCortana and make sure that the hexadecimal base value data is set to 0.
  7. Click OK when you are finished. You can now close the Registry Editor and restart your Windows 10 PC for the changes to take effect.

How to completely remove Cortana from Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise

The easiest way for Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users to remove Cortana is via the Local Group Policy Editor. Be sure that you check with your IT admin first before you go ahead and make any edits.

  1. Open the Run dialog box by using the Windows Key + R keyboard shortcut.
  2. Type gpedit.msc in the Run dialog box and click OK to open the Local Group Policy Editor.
  3. When the Local Group Policy Editor opens, go to the following path:
    Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search
  4. Locate the Allow Cortana setting in the right side and double-click it.
  5. Set the Allow Cortana setting to “Disabled” and choose OK.
  6. Close the Local Group Policy Editor and restart your Windows 10 PC for the changes to take effect.

Once your computer restarts, Cortana will be removed from your Windows 10 PC.

Your Cortana search box will be replaced by a Windows Search box that you can use to search your local Windows 10 PC and the web, but Cortana is gone.

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