In this article you will learn how easy it is to completely disable Cortana in Windows 10, in case you have tried Microsoft’s new digital assistant and find her more annoying than useful or you want to disable Cortana due to privacy concerns.
Why you May Want to Disable Cortana
Microsoft’s clever digital assistant Cortana is designed to make it easy to perform tasks on the computer and provide a customized user experience. For example you can simply say “Hey, Cortana” and ask her to send emails, search files, report weather, set reminders, track flights and do a variety of other tasks.
While Cortana is really good, useful and exciting, there are privacy concerns about how Cortana collects user data and all this information is stored on Microsoft’s servers.
When you use Cortana, Microsoft collects and uses information including your device location information and location history, contacts (People), voice input, searching history, calendar details, content and communication history from messages and apps, and other information on your device. – Microsoft
According to Microsoft, all this information is saved on your device, in Cortana’s Notebook, and on Microsoft’s cloud servers. Cortana makes use of this information to understand you better and hence be in a position to serve you better.
Another point worth noting is that disabling Cortana does not impact your search related activities on a Windows 10 computer. Even with Cortana disabled, you will be able to search and browse the internet the same way as you used to – by typing in your search queries.
Disable Cortana Search Box
This solution is good for those who only want to stop Cortana from annoying them with suggestions. In such a case you can simply disable Cortana search Box and prevent her from annoying you with suggestions.
Follow the steps below to make the Cortana search box disappear from your computer, without actually turning off or disabling Cortana.
1. Right-click on the search box and select Search
2. Select Hidden from the options to Hide the search box (See image below)
In case you change your mind, you can easily bring back the search box
1. Right-click anywhere on the task bar (bottom part of your screen)
2. Select Search
3. Click on Show Search Box
Completely Disable Cortana in Windows 10
Microsoft deserves all the credit for making it so easy to enable or disable Cortana in Windows 10. It practically takes a click to disable Cortana through its settings.
If you go into Settings and take a look at your options, you will notice 3 options with a simple on/off slide bar. The very first option decides whether or not Cortana is enabled or disabled on your computer.
1. Go to Cortana Search settings
You can do this by typing Cortana search in the search box and by clicking on the suggested search result (See image below).
2. You will see these 3 options
- Cortana can give you suggestions, ideas, reminders, alerts and more
- Improve Search results for on-device content using my device search history
- Search online and include web results
3. Slide the very first option to OFF position (See image below) to completely disable Cortana on your computer.
Clear Your Personal Data From Microsoft Servers
Just turning off Cortana will not delete your personal data from Cortana’s memory. In case you happen to switch Cortana back on, Microsoft’s digital assistant will still remember who you are, your browsing habits, preferences and generally everything that it had learned about you, before being disabled.
In case you do not like your information being available on Microsoft servers, you can easily delete this by following the steps below.
1. Go to Cortana Search settings
2. Click on “Manage what Cortana knows about me in the cloud.” (See image below)
You will be directed to a web page that will allow you to clear your personal info from the Microsoft servers. You will basically land on your personalization settings page in Bing.
From there you can clear your personal info, Saved places, Search history, and also make sure to clear “Other Cortana data and personalized speech, inking and typing” section.