HOWTO Windows 10 deactivate Cortana


Hello, happy new year and so on. I’m now trying to recover from the X-mas holidays and a not-so-easy return home, with a luggage lost incident included. I did not finish editing what I wrote up to now, but it’s coming. Definitely. I need to finish it up. But for warming up the blog before the glorious end is written, I will continue typing my computing notes.

Today I learned how to remove Cortana from Windows. Yes, why you want to do that? Easy answer: because you don’t want Microsoft to know every search you do, every tool you type … (insert the Police music here). In principle, it’s not a beginners action, so you should skip it. Anyway, Google knows already everything about you, isn’t?

So let’s go blind. I found the right guide about it in the How-to Geek post about it. I have an enterprise version. I apologize if you don’t and what I write doesn’t work. So:

  • press Windows + R, type “gpedit.msc”
  • Navigate on the menus,  Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search (careful, there are several “search” entries, on other sections)
  • Go to the “Cortana” entry, something like “Allow Cortana”, double click on it, until you see something like this:


  • Change the option to “Disabled”, as in the picture, click “OK”, close everything and restart the computer.

The ominous circle should be gone by now. Note that you can use that corner to quickly search on your local machine, that is usually also quite needed. In the place Cortana was, now you have a mac-searchlight kind of tool. And you can always revert it if you go back to the above menu and reboot 🙂

So see you on my dreams.


About bitsanddragons

A traveller, an IT professional and a casual writer
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