How to completely disable Cortana in Windows 10 via Registry or Group Policy

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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.

28 Comments

  1. You won’t be able to disable it in the anniversary update unless you have the Enterprise version. Many features in gpedit and secpol will still be listed, but won’t actually change anything in the pro version. Same goes for removing ads and other Settings tweaks.

    Not a very good move from Microsoft.

    http://betanews.com/2016/07/28/windows-10-anniversary-update-takes-back-control/

    http://www.cnet.com/how-to/cortana-is-mandatory-in-the-windows-10-anniversary-update/

    http://www.extremetech.com/computing/232522-cortana-cant-be-disabled-in-the-windows-10-anniversary-update

  2. You are referring to this? https://www.thewindowsclub.com/windows-10-manage-tips-store-app-suggestions. I do not install Preview builds, so cannot say for sure. I am aware of the links you posted – but I think the GPEDIT/REG options will still be allowed. The ability to on/off via the Start Menu however has surely been removed. Anyway, let us wait for a few days and see. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Mike

    I have the Windows 10 Home Anniversary Update which doesn’t have Group Policy and I also can’t find that registry key

  4. Agreed. I have the preview builds on another PC via the fast ring, though I don’t use them on my main PC (for obvious beta reasons) but I already had many features disabled. After the update, they stayed off, but I can’t turn them on again, which is strange. This either shows that they have prevented the changes, or it’s an issue. But we’ll see.

  5. gpedit.msc and secpol.msc are only available in the Pro and Enterprise versions of Windows. It’s always been this way, but most of the changes can be done in the registry. You can use Microsoft’s Group Policy Reference Sheets to find the corresponding GPEDIT settings in the Windows registry.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=25250

  6. Paras Sidhu

    Hi,

    I have successfully disabled Cortana using above trick. I applied the registry change and restarted explorer. That’s it! It’s working.

  7. F Micro$

    it seems that disabling the cortana software is not possible anymore.

  8. I have updated the post. See if this path works:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows Search

  9. Loli

    This hasn’t worked for me. I restarted after putting the AllowCortana reg file and setting the value to 0, to no avail.

  10. Fanny

    You can make the changes but they have no effect. I have editted the registry twice now with NO difference. But I appreciate the attempts to get rid of this annoying resource hogging spy ware!

  11. Fanny

    This didn’t work either, thanks for trying though!

  12. Theodore Rex

    THANK YOU for the very helpful screen captures and instructions. I am a novice at using regedit — but you helped me get some of the EVIL CORTANA out of my life. Cortana sucks and I cannot believe Microsoft is some how going to make money by spying on people.

  13. Stewart Daniels

    Funny, as I made my way to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsWindows Search, the ‘Windows Search’ selection is missing at the end in my tree. Any Ideas???

    Windows 10 Home.

  14. BC

    hello i would like to turn on Cortana in the registry, but i dont know how?

  15. Raad Khan

    Brother you have to make it
    right click on windows and then New > key name it Windows Search

  16. SonnyMD

    If I am running the 64-bit version of Windows 10, do I use the QWORD (64-bit) value or still use the DWORD (32-BIT) value?

  17. Brb

    hi i disabled cortana with regedit, or so i thought, but it still shows up in the proccess, so i thought since it’s there anyway, why not use it. but. i can’t turn it back on. any ideas how to enable it?

  18. disqus_o0e0FeaGOs

    Success. Windows 10 Pro. November of 2017. Creators Update. I applied the policy changes on Windows 10 Pro using gpedit and it worked beautifully. Cortana disabled ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ :). FYI In the same Search component I enabled ‘Do not allow web search’, ‘Don’t search the web or display web results in Search’ and also the metered version of the latter setting.

    Now, when I press Windows key and start typing I finally get a USEFUL set of search results, not littered with the nonsense that Cortana would pull up from the web or suggest (really, I don’t care about the BAD Microsoft weather cards… I only ever use Environment Canada, not some commercial 3rd party website… especially Microsoft weather which has managed to be up to 30 degrees different from the outside temperature. Once it was -18 outside and they listed us as being 12 degrees above 0… when I looked outside there was snow on the ground, not a puddle of liquid water :).

    I guess as a former Mac user I was so used to the relevance of Spotlight search results on a local machine that I’ve always missed them in Windows 10. Finally Windows 10 is getting better. If only Microsoft would allow users to remove that abomination that is Cortana. It’s obviously a privacy nightmare since it’s been fully disabled in Education editions.

    If Microsoft cannot spy on minors and has been forced to remove that ability from the education edition, why is it allowed to continue the practice on people who don’t want Microsoft to know everything about them?

    For that matter, there are minors using Windows 10 all the time at home. When they use Cortana there they are being spied upon, even if their parents do not consent to Microsoft spying on their children!

  19. Sergiu ARES

    Just did all that and : in my : gpedit, cortana is disabled, in registry also.. but in my task manager, I see 3 task of cortana… so ..you know.. your tips sucks

  20. Lewis

    Fun fact: That’s just the name of the microsoft search service, you’ve disabled as much of Cortana as microsoft will let you.

  21. Gamar Elektro

    Cortana won’t be disabled… Windows turn more slow if you are this, and Cortana is in suspend mode, not disabled. This is because Cortana send data to Microsoft to the search statics and advertisment. Is the way to permit Microsoft Windows use cracks… no money gain with the licence, but the user data.

  22. kgbme

    Just btw., TheWindowsClub has info on how to get the (GPO) console on all different versions of Windows!..:)

  23. kgbme

    The ability to SEARCH the Start Menu gets destroyed, when messing with Cortana: even more so, with newer and newer Window$ builds. How nice, right.

  24. kgbme

    Just btw., for anyone reading this now – these days – depending on your Window$ build, it may NOT be possible at all; and /or possible just to an extent. They have made a (REAL!) mess of things, unfortunately, as usual. ;/

    (What I mean by that is that you’re not doing anything “wrong” & the instructions on this page are correct… It’s, just, that your version of Windows can’t do it, meh.)

  25. kgbme

    DWORD (32-BIT) value

  26. kgbme

    Yeah, they’ve made it so that “Apps” in %systemroot%SystemApps are tied to the kernel (imagine!) & can’t be removed and /or disabled. Disgusting, right… Only the process can be killed, using some advanced utilities, for example.

    Anyway, what were you trying to do – get Cortana back?! Go in reverse, what had you done to get rid of it?? If you had followed the instructions on this page, then just remove the Registry entries!? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    EDIT: & as always, back up before deleting (anything!) in case something goes wrong; and /or use System Restore to manually “Create a restore point”.

  27. kgbme

    Yup! To make matters worse (as always, with Microsoft), their ideas /software /agendas are not only annoying, but also USELESS – as you’d mentioned – and also ILLEGAL, in many instances. I don’t get, honestly, WTH is their problem; but, anyway. :f

  28. kgbme

    “Then try to shut down your Cortana from Task Manager and it should be gone”, depending on the Windows version and build, though. As the user above (ARES) demonstrates, theirs can’t be removed… Mine only partially goes away, using Windows LTSB 2016 (if it’s completely killed, then Start Menu can no longer be searched, crazy. :))

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