Home > Think Tank > Home Users: Disable Cortana via the Registry
August 12, 2016

Home Users: Disable Cortana via the Registry

If you have Windows 10 Home, you’ll have to edit the Windows Registry to make these changes. You can also do it this way if you have Windows 10 Professional or Enterprise, but just feel more comfortable working in the Registry as opposed to Group Policy Editor. (If you have Pro or Enterprise, though, we recommend using the easier Group Policy Editor, as described in the next section.)

Standard warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool and misusing it can render your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a pretty simple hack and as long as you stick to the instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. That said, if you’ve never worked with it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor before you get started. And definitely back up the Registry (and your computer!) before making changes.

You should also make a System Restore point before continuing. Windows will probably do this automatically when you install the Anniversary Update, but it couldn’t hurt to make one manually–that way, if something goes wrong, you can always roll back.

Then, open the Registry Editor by pressing Windows+R on your keyboard, typing “regedit” into the box, and pressing Enter.

Navigate to the following key in the left sidebar:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindowsWindows Search.

If you don’t see a “Windows Search” key (folder) below the Windows folder, right-click the Windows folder and select New > Key. Name it “Windows Search”.Right-click the “Windows Search” key (folder) in the left pane and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the value “AllowCortana”. Double-click it and set the value to “0”. You can now close the registry editor. You’ll have to sign out and sign back in or restart your computer before the change takes effect. To undo your change and restore Cortana in the future, you can just return here, locate the “AllowCortana” value, and delete it or set it to “1”.

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