Photo: Microsoft

How to disable Cortana after Windows 10 Anniversary update (with screenshots)

Bradley Wint
By - Founder/Executive Editor
Oct 2, 2016 1:53am AST
Photo: Microsoft

If you’re not a fan of Cortana, it can get in the way of simple searches such as “notepad” or “cmd” because of the query time between your PC and Microsoft’s servers.

When Windows 10 was first launched, disabling Cortana was relatively easy once you knew where to look for the option. However, the Anniversary update has removed this feature. They also re-enabled Cortana in the process. It’s now a bit trickier to disable the search option, but we have a quick guide on how to disable it.

Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise edition

If you have either of the above versions of Windows 10, the process is still relatively simple.

  1. Launch the Group Policy Editor by typing gpedit.msc in the run field within the start menu (click the Windows button and just start typing)
  2. Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Search > Allow Cortana
  3. Set the option to disabled.
  4. Log off and log back in. The option would take effect across all profiles on the machine (or network) as the case may be.

Windows Home edition

Most of us (like myself) have the home edition, which does not have a Group Policy Editor. This means we’re going to have to get down and dirty with the Registry Editor.

Before we proceed, always make a back up of your registry configuration in case you mess up the settings.

As most ‘regular’ Windows users may be unfamiliar with editing their registry, I will provide some screenshots as well, just so you can’t mess anything up.

First, open your start menu and type regedit


Click on the regedit app. You should see something like below.


Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software > Policies > Microsoft > Windows

Look for a folder called Windows Search. If you find it, skip the next step and go straight to adding a DWORD value.

If you can’t find the folder though, continue by right clicking on the Windows folder and creating a new Key as follows.


A new Key folder will be added to the list. Rename it to Windows Search

Once that’s done, it should look something like this.


Click on the Windows Search folder. In the right hand column, right click and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) value.


The new value option will appear. Immediately rename it to AllowCortana

Right click on it and choose Modify. Then set the value to 0 (it usually is 0 by default any way).


Close the editor, then log off and log back in. That’s it!

As above, this change will affect all user accounts on the machine.

Once you log in again, Cortana should be disabled, making offline Windows searches the only option (which I personally prefer).

Stay in check with our daily burst of news stories delivered to your inbox.

Read more

The 9 best vlogging cameras for 2018

Entertainment - Even with the YouTube apocalypse, vlogging is still a huge deal. Last year we talked about some of the top…

By - Jan 19, 2018 1:42am AST

YouTube and Facebook pull Tide Pod Challenge videos because people are stupid

Social Media - It’s a new year and people are already doing dumb things for their 15 minutes of internet fame. Both Facebook…

By - Jan 18, 2018 11:10pm AST

Apple will soon allow you to disable battery management software on older iPhones

Mobile - After a wave of mounting criticism, lawsuits, and PR statements, Tim Cook has announced that users will now have the…

By - Jan 18, 2018 3:21am AST

7 things the media gets wrong about air travel and aviation

Travel - When there is ‘trouble’ in the sky, there tends to be ‘trouble’ with the reporting as well. Many news agencies,…

By - Jan 18, 2018 1:47am AST

Apple issues iOS 11.2.2 to address Spectre vulnerability

Mobile - In the wake of the industry-wide Spectre and Meltdown chip flaws, Apple has issued a security update for iOS 11…

By - Jan 8, 2018 2:55pm AST

Social media “Fear Of Missing Out” detrimental to our mental well-being

Science/Space - Human beings generally see themselves in the best light possible compared to others. This psychological phenomenon is called illusory superiority….

By - Jan 2, 2018 11:50pm AST

Passengers on Hawaiian Airlines flight celebrate New Year’s Day twice due to delay

Travel - Passengers on board a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Auckland, New Zealand to Honolulu, Hawaii were able to celebrate New Year’s…

By - Jan 1, 2018 11:13pm AST

LG shows off world’s first 88-inch 8K OLED display for CES 2018

Technology - LG is stepping up the display game with the unveiling of a world first 88-inch, 8K OLED display. When compared…

By - Jan 1, 2018 10:33pm AST

How to fix Samsung Galaxy Note 8 charging issues

Technology - Some Samsung Galaxy Note 8 customers have run into a peculiar situation where their phones refuse to charge after being…

By - Jan 1, 2018 12:31am AST

Apple apologizes for iPhone slow down; offers battery replacement for $29

Technology - After lots of press blow back, Apple has finally given in to the whole battery fiasco, issuing a letter of…

By - Dec 31, 2017 1:55pm AST