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Securely Disable Cortana In Windows 10

A virtual assistant created by Microsoft named Cortana, Is available on various platforms such as Windows 10, iOS, Android, Xbox One and more. This utility Is designed to simplify your computing experience via voice recognition, set reminders, help you locate just about anything on your PC and the list goes on. At the same time, It can be somewhat annoying, namely when It's accidentally executed and performs tasks against a user's liking, so In this tutorial, I will show you how to securely prevent Cortana from operating In It's entirety.

No doubt, Cortana Is a very useful tool, and a lot of users utilize It on a daily basis to help minimize their computing workload. You can ask just about anything, such as performing online searches, and It will return the result. Whilst It's handy In this respect, I for one, have absolutely no use for It, and to me, It's just another piece of bloatware on the Windows 10 OS.

There was a native feature to disable Cortana In the form of a toggle on/off switch, however since the Windows 10 Anniversary update, Microsoft removed It and now wants you to keep It active. Personally, I'd like my computer customized to my needs, not Microsoft!

If you're anything like myself or for any other reason wish to disable Cortana, then this tutorial Is for you. I will demonstrate how to do this, by using a neat little Registry tweak. So without further ado, let's rip Into this tutorial.

Step One:
The first thing we need to do, Is access the Windows Registry Editor. To do this, open the Run menu, enter regedit and hit OK.

Step Two:
Next, navigate to the following directory.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search

If the Windows Search key does not exist (under Windows), you need to create It. To do this, right-click Windows > New  Key and name It Windows Search.

Step Three:
To the left of the window, you will now see the Windows Search key that you've just created above. Make sure It's selected. Now on the right pane, right-click anywhere on a blank area, and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.

Step Four:
Name the value (that you've just created above) as AllowCortana, exactly as written without spaces.

Step Five:
Double-click AllowCortana and In the Value data field, enter a value of 0. Then hit OK to finalize the process.

Step Six:
For the change to take effect, you must reboot your PC, or Sign out. I prefer to simply Sign out as Illustrated below.

Step Seven:
This Is Cortana before applying the above Registry tweak.

Last Step:
And here's the result. Upon trying to access Cortana via the search box, as you can see, the feature Is no longer available. Any attempts to access It, will fail.

Final Thoughts:
There's no right or wrong as to whether you want Cortana actively running on your computer. Some users find that they cannot do without It, whilst others (like myself), find It a waste of resources. To reverse the change and have Cortana back to It's original state, refer to Step Five above and In the Value data field, give It a value of 1. Don't forget to hit OK and Sign out & Sign In again.


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