How do I turn off Cortana?


Updated: 05/19/2017 by Computer Hope

Microsoft included Cortana in the Windows 10 operating system for desktop and laptop computers. Cortana can help answer questions that users have or help users find something on their computer or the Internet. Cortana accepts typed commands by using a keyboard or spoken commands by using a microphone connected to the computer.

Some users find Cortana helpful, while others find Cortana a potential privacy concern because it is always “listening” to determine if a command is being spoken. If you have Windows 10 and want to turn off or disable Cortana, follow the steps below.

Windows 10 Home edition

Note: Before performing the following steps, we recommend that you backup the Windows Registry.

  1. Open the Windows Registry.
  2. Navigate to the following Registry key:
  3. Under the Windows key, see if there is a subkey named Windows Search. If there is, move to the next step. If the subkey does not exist, right-click on the Windows key and select New > Key. Name the new subkey as Windows Search.
  4. Right-click on the Windows Search subkey and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the new DWORD value as AllowCortana.
  5. Make sure the AllowCortana value is set to 0.
  6. Close the Windows Registry and restart the computer.

Windows 10 Professional edition

Note: In Windows 10 Pro, you can update the Windows Registry by following the same steps above for Windows 10 Home or you can follow the steps below as an alternative option.

  1. Type gpedit.msc in the Search box on the taskbar and press Enter.
  2. In the Group Policy window, navigate to the following section:
    Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search
  3. Double-click on the Allow Cortana entry to change it to Disable Cortana.
  4. Close the Group Policy window and restart the computer.

Additional information

  • See our Cortana page for further information on this term and related links.
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