- In this guide, we’re going to explore how you can permanently disable Cortana on Windows 10.
- If you want to completely uninstall Cortana, you’ll find the steps you need to follow listed below.
Cortana is one of Windows 10’s signature features, but not all users are delighted with it. Some people don’t find Cortana that useful, so they want to disable it, or even completely uninstall it from their computers. In this article, we’re going to show you how you can delete Cortana from your system for good.
First things first, we don’t recommend uninstalling Cortana. If you want to get rid of Microsoft’s virtual assistant, it’s a better choice to just disable it. Why? Because uninstalling Cortana isn’t supported by Microsoft, as Cortana is one of the few Windows 10 features that can’t be uninstalled normally.
How to disable Cortana completely
1. Rename the Microsoft.Windows.Cortana folder
- Go to This PC and navigate to the Windows folder
- Open the Windows folder and go to SystemApps
- In the search bar, type Cortana to locate Cortana’s system file
- Now, rename the Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy folder to Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy.old
- If you get an Access Denied error, open the Task Manager, locate Cortana and end the task.
2. Edit your Registry to disable AllowCortana
- Go to Start, type regedit, and hit Enter
- Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Policies > Microsoft > Windows.
- Right-click Windows and go to New > Key.
- Type in Windows Search to create the Search key and hit Enter.
- Now, select the new Windows Search key. In the right-hand empty area, select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Type in AllowCortana.
- Once you’ve done that, double-click on AllowCortana, and type in 0 under Value Data. This command will permanently disable Cortana.
Also, uninstalling Cortana breaks the Start Menu and Search, so you’ll be forced to use some kind of third-party Start Menu. Once you’ve uninstalled Cortana, and the Start Menu becomes unavailable, this is a permanent issue. So, you’ll probably have to re-install the whole system to get it back. For this reason, if Cortana doesn’t really bother your that much, the best approach is to simply disable it as shown above.
But if you really want to uninstall Cortana, and probably mess up a few more features along the way, there are a few solutions that you can use. So, here’s what you need to do to completely remove Cortana from your Windows 10 computer.
Steps to completely remove Cortana from Windows 10
- Download the Uninstall Cortana ZIP file
- Extract all files from the ZIP archive you downloaded to any you want
- Right click the Uninstall Cortana.cmd file and select Run as Administrator
- Wait till the process is done
- Restart your computer.
There you go, once you’ve uninstalled Cortana, just download some third-party Start Menu, and you’re good to go. But we have to tell you again, that you should have a good think before you do such a thing, because once you uninstall Cortana, there’s no way back (except reinstalling Windows 10 completely).
If you want to make sure that your computer has removed absolutely all the Cortana-related files and folders, we recommend running IObit Uninstaller.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CORTANA:
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.