How to Completely Disable Cortana in Windows 10?

Cortana is a Siri-like voice assistant feature, which has been ported from Windows Phone to Windows 10. Cortana has been a major spotlight for Windows 10, and Microsoft has done it’s best to market this feature as a useful technology for consumers. However, many users are finding Cortana annoying and wants to disable it completely. Makes sense, as if you have such feature in mobile, people would use it, however on a PC, where your mouth is much far from microphone and then you’ve a full fledged keyboard and a mouse at your disposal, there isn’t much use of Cortana at any point. nor it doesn’t make any sense to use it. It’ll take less type and efforts to type a query, rather than you may first speak and then it’ll analyze your query and then execute it.

How to Completely Disable Cortana in Windows 10?

Solution 1

  • Open Cortana from the taskbar or start menu.
  • Go to Settings of Cortana by clicking the button on top left.

Disable Cortana settings in Windows 10

  • Switch off all toggles which may initiate any trigger for Cortana to work even in background.

Next Step is to remove Cortana from the Taskbar.

  • Right click on sidebar.
  • Open Search Menu and select “Disabled“.
  • This Cortana shall not be initiated now automatically.

Now even when you’ve disabled Cortana, you’ll still find it working in the background.

Hence, to remove it completely, we have to remove it from it’s path. Bit of a hacking kind of method. So, here’s what we need to do:

  • Open Task Manager.
  • In Processes tab, select Cortana and right click on it.
  • Select “Open File Location“, Cortana folder would be opened from where it is getting executed.
  • Go back one level in folder path i.e. to SystemApps and find folder of Cortana. Most likely you’ll find it with a name starting from:

Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_randomcode (where random code can vary with versions)

  • Now, go back to task manager and right click on Cortana process and click “End Task“.
  • Now go back to located Cortana folder and rename it, add prefix or completely change the name.

Solution 2

You can remove Cortana or any other System App this way.

  • Open Windows Powershell or Windows Powershell ISE¬†with administrator access
  • Then Type following command:

This command shall lists all packages installed in your computer. Now find the package name of cortana and run following command:

Usually applications packages name would be same for everyone. Hence i have added cortana package name in above command, which you can copy paste to execute in your command prompt for removing cortana package completely.



  1. This works to remove Cortana so that it no longer runs in the background and uses up your resources. The only problem is Microsoft has coded the search function into Cortana so that disabling Cortana disables the search function on your computer. You now have to dig through everything to find a file. You can no longer simply ‘search’ for it. Dirty trick, Microsoft.

    • That’s not correct Mary. You can safely delete Cortana using the method i described above. And you’ll not loose search functionality. Also if you want a very fast search functionality, you can install “Everything” application from Voidtools. It does real time search and gives instant results of the files.

      • I know it’s been awhile since you posted this, but with the newest version of Windows 10, which I just got on a new computer, it does disable the search completely. When you click on the search bar to type, it won’t type.

  2. @robert, I’m pretty sure you meant to say open “Windows Powershell” rather then “Command Prompt”. Neither command is recognized by Cmd Prompt. However Powershell will recognize the commands, although it will still fail because Microsoft has their grip so tight on this issue. See below for the result you’ll get:

    Remove-AppxPackage : Deployment failed with HRESULT: 0x80073CFA, Removal failed. Please contact your software vendor.
    (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80073CFA)
    error 0x80070032: AppX Deployment Remove operation on package
    Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_1.6.1.52_neutral_neutral_cw5n1h2txyewy from:
    C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy failed. This app is part of Windows and cannot be
    uninstalled on a per-user basis. An administrator can attempt to remove the app from the computer using Turn Windows
    Features on or off. However, it may not be possible to uninstall the app.
    NOTE: For additional information, look for [ActivityId] 8d62025e-3d15-0000-6094-******* in the Event Log or use
    the command line Get-AppxLog -ActivityID 8d62025e-3d15-0000-6094-********
    At line:1 char:1
    + Remove-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_1.6.1.52_neutral_neutral …
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : WriteError: (Microsoft.Windo…l_cw5n1h2txyewy:String) [Remove-AppxPackage], IOException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : DeploymentError,Microsoft.Windows.Appx.PackageManager.Commands.RemoveAppxPackageCommand

    If you have another solution, that would be awesome.


  3. Yes, it’s powershell. Thanks for pointing it out. Corrected that in article. Now, for your issue, did you killed “Cortana” process in the task manager before running the command?

    If that doesn’t help, then you can run this batch file with administrator access by HwInfo here –

    This batch is not created by me, hence i won’t be responsible for any mishap, however i do take it as a trustable source to recommend.

  4. Robert,

    Cortana cannot be stopped via the task manager. Even in the short interim between killing it there and running the powershell command, the same error occurs. Have you successfully ran this command? If so, let me know what you did. It’s not working, even with full administrator access. Thanks!

  5. wasn’t able to delete the file but managed to change the name of the file and that was enough to get it to stop activating in the background following your step one. just named it ccc and that canceled the startup path.
    but even running as admin on this computer I’m still denied the access to delete the nearly three thousand files. need permission from a trusted installer app thing and since it’s MS… yeah right like I’ll get that

  6. yeah Cortana really blows, I don’t get why MS has to feel like they have to force this down everybodys throat. They must be spying with it or something. Their new update made it impossible to turn off. I just pulled all my pictures off and I plan on dumping Windows 10 all together. Windows 10 is as bad as Vista was and they forced that upon everyone. its too bad I am so poor I am stuck with old windows computers. I love my iPhone and I never use siri ..

  7. There’s a trick to blocking programs that keep starting up. Find the directory/folder your dirty rotten program is in (I’ll use the example SLEAZEBALL. Open Windows Explorer5 and navigate to where SLEAZEBALL is at. Right click on SLEAZEBALL and you see the option to rename. Now wait a sec here. If you try to rename SLEAZEBALL while its little warped processes are going you’ll get aa lovely window that tells you the file is in use. What ya gotta do, is click Rename and change it to BYE BYE SLEAZEBALL, BUT….DO….NOT….HIT.,….ENTER….YET, Now go to Task manager (and this step here is optional: Play that NA NA NA HEY HEY GOODBYE song as you do these next 2 steps). End the task on SLEAZEBALL and then go back to Windows Explorer and hit enter where you changed the name. SLEAZEBALL won’t be bothering you agaib (at least on that computer).

  8. My microphone does NOT operate in “Speech”. Says, “Could not access volume meter” OR tells me my rig is not configured correctly !


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here