Disable Cortana Search Box in Windows 10 taskbar

The Taskbar assumes much importance in all the versions of Windows. One of the most noticeable changes in Windows 10 from previous versions of Windows, are two new controls to the right of the Start Button:

  1. The Cortana Search box
  2. The Task View button.

The taskbar search box allows users to access both standard Windows and Web searches, as well as the new Cortana interface. All’s well, but the search box residing between the Start button and your pinned taskbar items is relatively wide and consumes a sizable amount of space. This, poses a problem to the users who prefer devices with smaller screens and lower resolutions.

Read: How to set up Cortana in Windows 10.

Disable Search Box from Taskbar in Windows 10

If you wish, you can cut down the amount of space required by this Windows 10 taskbar search box and still get full access to all of its features.

You can change the search box into an icon or have it removed entirely. In such cases, the search box will show up on the taskbar only when you open the Start Menu.

To do this, right-click on any empty space on the taskbar, go to Cortana/Search, and then change Show search box to either Show icon or Disabled/Hidden.


If you change it to Show search icon, it’ll display a small symbol as seen in the screenshot below.

Search icon

If you disable it entirely, it’ll be removed from the taskbar.

Disable Cortana in Windows 10

If you don’t want Cortana to show up in your search box, click on the little 3-lined hamburger icon on the top left and then choose Settings.


Now, simply toggle the setting to Off to disable it. This will delete all the data Cortana has about the device and disable itself completely.

Things have changed in Windows 10 Anniversary Update. You may not see these settings. While signing out of Microsoft account may disable Cortana, it will still run in the background. You may therefore need to changed Registry or Group Policy settings.

You can also completely disable  Cortana in Windows 10 via Registry or Group Policy.

Want to remove the Task View button too?

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.