If you suspect that the big companies spy on you. You guessed right. Google, Facebook and even Microsoft gather your precious data and personal information. Have you ever noticed that after saying something or searching something you then see an advertisement about it a few moments later?
That’s your personal data and information being used to show you the advertisements you might be interested in. Microsoft’s Cortana is a virtual assistant that is found in every Windows 10 installation. It is integrated into the Windows search and anything you use it for search it stores your voice, personal data and information.
Before you could easily disable Cortana with a toggle switch. But after Microsoft’s Windows, 10 Anniversary Update happened this option has been removed. This shows that Microsoft was thinking ahead.
Fortunately, you can completely disable or remove Cortana from your Windows 10 computer using these methods. Nothing wrong with protecting your own personal data and information.
Disable Cortana Using How-to-Geek’s Awesome Tool
This is probably the easiest way to turn off Cortana hence the first to be mentioned.
- Download the disable-Cortana file.
- Create a folder and name it Disable Cortana.
- Extract the contents of the zip file into the Disable Cortana folder.
- Right-click Disable Cortana.reg and click Merge.
- Proceed to click YES to continue.
- Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
Very quick, clean and easy to do. No need to go through the long process of disabling Cortana. This gets it done in less than 2 minutes.
You also don’t have to worry about messing up the Windows Registry which can cause some problems for you.
How To Remove Cortana In Windows 10 Home
One way of completely turning off the Cortana is using the Windows Registry. The Windows Registry is a powerful database repository tool that you can use to modify or create entries of all the programs installed on your computer.
Because it is so powerful not using it correctly can cause some major problems for your computer. Make sure to follow the instructions so that nothing can go wrong.
N.B. Make sure to create a backup or restore point before attempting this method. Just in case something goes wrong.
Step 1 – Opening Run
Right click the Search Magnifier Button in the task bar and enter Run into the search menu. You can also hit the Windows + R buttons to open run.
Step 2 – Entering Regedit
Once Run opens. Type in regedit and click OK.
Step 3 – Locating Software
Once Registry Editor opens search for SOFTWARE under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. Click on it to get access to its sub-folders.
Step 4 – Expanding Policies
Locate Policies under SOFTWARE. Proceed to then click it to get access to its sub-folders.
Step 5 – Expanding Microsoft
Look for Microsoft in the sub-folders after expanding the Policies folder. Click on the arrow to expand its folder.
Step 6 – Creating Windows Search
Now under the Microsoft folder right-click on it, choose New and select Key. This creates a new folder under the Microsoft. Rename the new folder Windows Search.
Step 7 -Creating DWORD Value
Click on Windows Search and in the right-panel, right-click the white space. Proceed to then create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value.
Step 8 – Renaming DWORD Value
Rename the newly created DWORD (32-bit) Value as AllowCortana by right-click and choosing rename. You can also quickly rename the it as soon as it is created.
Step 9 – Modifying AllowCortana
Proceed to right-click the AllowCortana and select Modify Data. A dialog box will open. You can then change the Value Data to 0.
Proceed to restart your computer for the changes to take effect. Voila! No more spying Cortana eavesdropping on everything you say.
How To Remove Cortana In Windows 10 Pro And Enterprise
If you are using Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise you can get rid of Cortana by using the Local Group Policy Editor to make things easier.
You can disable it using the Windows Registry but it is so much easier using the Local Group Policy Editor because you don’t need to create new keys or values.
Related: Tech Consumer Guide Laptop Finder
It is pretty straightforward. Don’t forget to create a backup or system restore point. If something goes wrong you can always go back.
- Hit the Windows + R buttons or you can enter RUN into search by clicking the search magnifier button on the task menu.
- Once RUN is open enter gpedit.msc and click OK.
- A Local Group Policy Editor will then open.
- Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search.
- Locate Allow Cortana and double-click it to open the settings
- Select the Disabled radio button and click OK.
- Close the Local Group Policy Editor and restart your machine for changes to take effect.
There is nothing honestly wrong with disabling Cortana to protect your personal data and information. There is also nothing wrong in getting rid of it if you don’t use Cortana.
People still hack corporations to get access to massive information and data about people which can then be used against you. This is not to say Cortana is not useful. Having an assistant that listens to you and makes search easier.
Cortana also allows you to stay organized, track flights, send emails and text. The functions are numerous. But, if you don’t really use it for these things you can disable it.
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