How to Turn Cortana Off in Windows 10

Welcome to this article on how to turn Cortana off in Windows 10! For those who are unaware, Cortana is a virtual assistant created by Microsoft to help users navigate their computer and perform tasks with ease. While some may find it useful, others may prefer to disable it. In this article, we will go through 12 easy steps to turn off Cortana in Windows 10. So, let’s get started!

Steps to Turning off Cortana:

Step 1: Accessing Cortana Settings

The first step is to access the Cortana settings. To do this, click on the Start menu and then click on the gear icon to access the Windows Settings. From there, select Cortana.

Step 2: Accessing Permissions

Once you have accessed Cortana settings, click on “Permissions & History”. From there, turn off all the options on the page.

Step 3: Turning off Lock Screen Options

To turn off Cortana on the lock screen, click on “Lock Screen” and turn off the option to “Use Cortana even when my device is locked.”

Step 4: Turning off Voice Activation

If you’re concerned about Cortana accidentally being activated by voice, go to the “Talk to Cortana” option and disable the “Hey Cortana” option.

Step 5: Disabling Cortana Icon

To disable the Cortana icon, right-click on the taskbar, click on “Cortana” and then select “Hidden”.

Step 6: Turning off Bing Search

If you don’t want Cortana to show Bing search results, go to the “Search online and include web results” option and turn it off.

Step 7: Turning Off Cortana Suggestions

Cortana may suggest various things such as news, weather, and reminders. To turn these off, go to “Cortana” and select “Permissions & History”. From there, turn off everything.

Step 8: Disabling Cortana Taskbar Tidbits

The taskbar tidbits are little information cards that pop up from time to time. If you wish to disable them, right-click on the taskbar, select “Cortana,” and then select “Hidden.”

Step 9: Disabling Cortana Web Integration

Cortana integrates with your Windows search to provide you with information from the web. If you’d like to turn this off, go to the “Cortana” option and select “Permissions & History”. Then, turn off “Search online and include web results”.

Step 10: Turning off Cortana Notifications

Notifications can be a bit distracting at times. To turn off Cortana notifications, go to the Cortana settings, select “Notifications & actions,” and then turn off the “Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows” option.

Step 11: Disabling Location Tracking

If you’re concerned about Cortana tracking your location, go to the Cortana settings and select “Permissions & History.” From there, turn off the “Location” option.

Step 12: Disabling Background Apps

Cortana may run in the background even when you’re not using it. To disable Cortana from running in the background, go to the Cortana settings and select “Permissions & History.” From there, turn off the option to “Cortana can run at startup and remain running in the background.”

Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Use the Group Policy Editor

If you have the Pro or Enterprise version of Windows 10, you can use the Group Policy Editor to disable Cortana more easily.

Tip 2: Use Registry Editor

If you’re comfortable with using the Registry Editor, you can disable Cortana by modifying some registry settings.

Tip 3: Use Command Prompt

Another way to disable Cortana is to use Command Prompt. However, this method is not recommended for inexperienced users.

Tip 4: Use a Third-Party Tool

There are several third-party tools available that can disable Cortana. However, make sure to use a trusted tool to avoid any issues.

Tip 5: Disable Cortana Through Windows 10 Setup

If you don’t want to deal with Cortana at all, you can disable it during the Windows 10 setup process.

Tip 6: Keep Cortana for Search Only

You can keep Cortana for search purposes only by disabling all the other options.

Tip 7: Use a Local Account Instead of a Microsoft Account

If you don’t want to use Cortana, consider using a local account instead of a Microsoft account.

Tip 8: Disable Cortana for Specific Users

If you have multiple users, you can disable Cortana for specific users only.

Tip 9: Restore Cortana Defaults

If you wish to restore Cortana to its default settings, you can do so by going to the Cortana settings and selecting “Reset Cortana.”

Tip 10: Keep Cortana Off for Better Performance

If you don’t find Cortana useful, keeping it turned off can improve your Windows 10 performance. That concludes our article on how to turn off Cortana in Windows 10. We hope these steps were helpful to you. Remember to use caution when disabling any built-in features of your operating system and always backup your data before making any changes.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Turning Cortana off in Windows 10


1. Increased Privacy: By disabling Cortana, you can prevent Microsoft from collecting personal data such as search queries, voice recordings, and location information. This can help protect your privacy and prevent unwanted surveillance.

2. Enhanced Performance: Cortana constantly runs in the background, which can slow down your computer’s performance. Turning it off can free up system resources and improve overall speed and responsiveness.

3. Reduced Distractions: If you find Cortana’s reminders and notifications distracting, disabling it can help you stay focused and minimize interruptions during work or study sessions.

4. Customizable Settings: By turning off Cortana, you can customize your search and virtual assistant settings according to your preferences. This can give you more control over your digital experience and make it more tailored to your needs.

5. Compatibility with Legacy Systems: If you’re using an older computer or software that’s not compatible with Cortana, turning it off can prevent compatibility issues and errors.


1. Limited Access: Turning off Cortana can limit your access to certain features and functionalities, such as voice commands, reminders, and personalized recommendations. This can make it harder to navigate and use your computer effectively.

2. Incomplete Search Results: Without Cortana, your search results may be less comprehensive and accurate, as the virtual assistant uses machine learning and natural language processing to provide relevant information.

3. Missed Updates: Cortana can provide helpful updates and alerts about weather, news, and other information in real-time. Disabling it can cause you to miss out on important updates and events.

4. Learning Curve: If you’re used to using Cortana and other virtual assistants, switching to a different search and command system can be challenging and require a learning curve.

5. Reduced Integration with Other Apps: Some apps and services may require Cortana to work effectively, such as the Calendar app and Microsoft Teams. By turning it off, you may lose integration with these programs.


1. What is Cortana?

Cortana is a voice assistant AI system in Windows 10 that can help you with various tasks like launching applications, setting reminders, and searching the web using your voice commands.

2. Why would I turn off Cortana?

If you do not prefer to use a voice assistant, or if it is affecting your computer’s performance, you might want to turn it off.

3. How do I turn off Cortana in Windows 10?

You can turn off Cortana in Windows 10 by following these simple steps:

  1. Press the Windows key and type “Cortana settings” (without quotes) in the search bar.
  2. Open “Cortana & Search settings” from the search results.
  3. Toggle the switch button to turn off Cortana.

4. Can I partially turn off Cortana?

Yes, you can partially turn off Cortana by disabling some of its features, such as location tracking, search history, and voice activation. You can do this in the “Cortana & Search settings” menu.

5. Will turning off Cortana affect my computer’s performance?

Turning off Cortana is unlikely to directly affect your computer’s performance. However, if you disable Cortana’s features, it may result in a slight improvement in performance.

6. What happens to my data if I turn off Cortana?

If you turn off Cortana, your previously collected data from voice commands, search history, and location tracking will be deleted from Microsoft’s servers.

7. Will I lose the ability to use voice commands after turning off Cortana?

No, you can still use voice commands even if you turn off Cortana. However, you will need to use the built-in speech recognition system instead.

8. Can I turn off Cortana for specific users only?

Yes, you can turn off Cortana for specific users by creating a group policy. However, this requires technical knowledge and is not recommended for casual users.

9. What are the benefits of turning off Cortana?

Turning off Cortana can improve your privacy, save system resources, reduce the risk of unwanted activation, and avoid unnecessary data collection.

10. What are the downsides of turning off Cortana?

You will lose the convenience of using a personal voice assistant and the ability to use some of Cortana’s features, such as setting reminders and sending emails using voice commands.

11. Can I turn Cortana back on after turning it off?

Yes, you can turn Cortana back on by following the same steps as turning it off. However, your previously collected data may not be restored.

12. Why is the Cortana switch grayed out?

If the Cortana switch is grayed out, it means that the Cortana feature has been disabled for your organization or by your system administrator using group policies.

13. Is it safe to turn off Cortana?

Yes, it is safe to turn off Cortana if you do not need its features. However, make sure that you have an alternative way to perform the tasks that you used to do with Cortana.

How to Turn Cortana Off Windows 10

Are you tired of Cortana taking up your computer’s resources and privacy? Or maybe you just prefer to have a more traditional search bar. Whatever the reason, turning off Cortana on your Windows 10 can be done easily. Here are the steps:


Taking control of your computer’s functionalities is essential, and that includes deciding whether or not to use Cortana. With these simple steps, you can turn off this feature and enjoy a more traditional search bar. Remember that personal preferences and needs can differ, and that is okay. It is your computer, and you should always feel empowered to make the changes you require.


Thank you for reading this brief guide on how to turn Cortana off in Windows 10. We hope that this article has provided clarity and helped you make the best decision for your computer’s performance and privacy. Remember to always be familiar with the features and settings of your computer, so you can tailor it to your needs. See you in the next article.