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Do you want to disable Cortana? But you don’t know how to completely remove it from your system?

This is your guide to remove or uninstall Cortana from Windows 10!

As you know Cortana is a voice-based assistant that helps you do multiple tasks or searches using only your voice.

It was firstly available for Windows Phone users and now is available for Windows 10 users, it’s basically an advanced feature that uses voice inputs or gestures to interact with your computer.

Cortana runs in the background to ensure getting quick results for your search keywords.

Having Cortana running in the background shouldn’t be a big problem for users with unlimited internet bandwidth (e.g Wi-Fi). However, users with metered connection or limited bandwidth internet won’t be happy to just keep Cortana running and earing his bandwidth.

The Cortana App requires you to be logged in to your PC using a Microsoft account, the service is only available is selected regions. To keep Cortana quiet you can use a local user account rather than a Microsoft account on your PC.

A second method would require you top remove some files from the system Apps section on Windows 10.

Don’t worry, you can recover Cortana at any time in the future ; in this article you will learn both methods and how to recover Cortana if you wish.

Disable Cortana Completely on Windows 10

1st Method. Use a Local User Account

As I told you in the beginning, one of the ways to keep Cortana quiet is to login to a Local User Account instead of a Microsoft Account. Because Cortana works only using a Microsoft User Account, you can disable it by switching to a Local User Account.

You can learn how to create a local user account by following this tutorial on  how to create a local user account with administrative rights on Windows 10 .

2nd Method. Rename Microsoft Cortana System folder

Sometimes you need to switch back to your Microsoft Account as some features require you to be logged in with a Microsoft Account on Windows 10. This time you won’t be able to stop Cortana from using your bandwidth using a Microsoft User Account.

This time we will need to tweak the Cortana System Folder from System Apps Section. Please follow these steps to learn more about it.

Before you proceed with editing the files, it is recommended that you create a System Restore Point in Windows 10 and then move to disabling Cortana steps given below.

After you have created a restore point open the Task Manager by right-clicking on the taskbar and then choose Task Manager.

You can also open the Task Manager using the shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+ESC or CTRL+ALT+DEL.

Once you have opened the Task Manager, search and locate the process named “Cortana” or “Search“. Right-click on it and select “Open file location“.

This will open your Windows System Apps folder. Here you have to rename the Cortana folder named as Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy, but you can’t since Cortana is still running in the background.

Before you rename the folder, you have to kill the Cortana process from the Task Manager. Else, you will see an error message:

The action can’t be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program.

To do this, go to Task Manager, find the Cortana process again and click on End Task” button. This will end the Cortana process in your PC.

Rename the folder Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy to Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy.old immediately, if Cortana launches again and you have the error window showing up, end the Cortana task from the Task Manager and hit “Try Again” as fast as you can.

You will be asked to provide administrator permission to complete the renaming task. Click on “Continue” and rename the folder.

Once the folder is renamed successfully, Cortana will stop working on your Windows 10 PC.

If you want to remove the Cortana search bar from the taskbar, then right-click on it (taskbar), go to Cortana and select “Hidden” option.

To re-enable Cortana all you need to do is go to the folder “C:\Windows\SystemApps” and remove .old from the folder Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy.old.

3rd Method. Registry Trick

Open the Run command prompt using the Windows+R shortcut and type in REGEDIT. Hit Enter.

Naviguate to the following path in the Registry Editor:


And right-click on the “Windows” key > “Create New” > “Key“. Name it “Windows Search“.

Select the newly created key “Windows Search“, go to the right side of your screen and right-click ; choose “New” > “DWORD (32-bit) Value” and name it “AllowCortana“.

Double-click on AllowCortana and make sure the value is “0(zero).

You can download this fast Registry trick file .reg for fast changes: https://thewindowscollege.com/wp-content/uploads/Cortana-Registry-Hack.zip

4th Method. GPEDIT.MSC

Open Run using the Windows+R key combination and type in GPEDIT.MSC command, then click “OK“.

Go to “Computer Configuration” > “Administrative Templates” > “Windows Components” > “Search“.

Then look for “Allow Cortana” and double-click on it.

Choose “Disabled” in the new window “Allow Cortana“. Click “OK“.

To re-enable Cortana, return here, double-click the “Allow Cortana” setting, and change it to “Not Configured” or “Enabled“.

Bonus: Troubleshooting

It may happen that while trying to rename the folder, the process may not have completed successfully, and you may face problems with your Windows 10. After the reboot, you may see a delay in Start button and also the Search function may not work in Windows 10.

To fix this follow the solutions given below. In most of the cases, it should fix the problem with Start button delay and Windows 10 search function not working.

Fix Search Function Not Working Issue in Windows 10

To fix this, we will be using an inbuilt system file checker tool to repair the missing files.

Open the command prompt as administrator by pressing Windows+X then A. Or search CMD in Start and right-click to choose “Run as administrator

In the command prompt copy/paste following command and hit enter:

sfc /scannow

Let the scanning and repairing process complete. Once the process has been completed successfully, you should have search function working fine in Windows 10.