One of the major features that came packaged into Microsoft’s relatively new Windows 10 operating system is the company’s very own voice assistant, Cortana. It was named after a character in Microsoft’s hugely successful Halo series, but serves as a competitor against things like Siri and Google Now or Assistant. Since launching as Windows 10’s go-to voice assistant, many questions have come up on removing Cortana from computers entirely.
Now, there’s a way to do this, but it might not be as good of an idea as you think. Here’s why.
Cortana is embedded software
It’s not as simple as just uninstalling Cortana from your computer. The voice assistant is embedded into the operating system, meaning that other features of Windows 10 rely on Cortana to work. With that in mind, disabling or removing Cortana from your computer will cause important functions to stop working, with one of those being Windows’ built-in search feature. In other words, you won’t be able to open the Start menu and search for an app or document on your computer.
If you don’t mind losing some extra features, you can disable Cortana just fine. It’s not as simple as just stopping the task process in Task Manager, as it’ll just restart itself. Windows 10 Home users will need to go into Registry Editor and search for this key:
In the left pane in the Registry Editor, right click on the Windows Search folder and add a new DWORD (32-bit) Value. Call it AllowCortana and set its value to 0 to disable Cortana on your PC.
If you’re a Pro or Enterprise user, you’ll need to disable it through the Group Policy Editor. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search. Double-click on Allow Cortana and set the Settings to Disabled. Next, apply your changes, and Cortana has been disabled.
And that’s all there is to it! Got stuck? Join us in the comments section below or over on the PCMech Forums!