In this guide, we will take a look at how you can remove the Windows search bar and Cortana from your Windows 10 task bar (positioned right beside the search icon).
Let’s try and get rid of Cortana first, though.
How to Remove Cortana Search Box From Taskbar on Windows
Step 1: Press R + Windows Icon Key
Step 2: Type winver
You should see a box open up on your screen once you complete step one. You need to type winever in that box. And then move to step 3.
Step 3: Click OK
Step 4: Perform a Right-Click Anywhere On Taskbar
After the previous three steps, now, we are ready to remove Cortana from the Windows 10 taskbar. To do that, we need to access the Taskbar.
And the easiest way to do that is to perform a right-click on your Taskbar. Make sure you do it on an empty space (any blank area, really) so that you actually open the taskbar context menu or the pop up menu.
Assuming you did it correctly, you should see a new sub-menu with lots of configuration options (such as Windows Ink), including the ones via which you can disable or enable Cortana.
Step 5: Click on Show Cortana Button
From the list of options, you shouldn’t have to work hard to find the Show Cortana Button. You need to deselect it as it will be selected by default.
Once you do that, Cortana is gone.
And that is pretty much all you need to do to remove Cortana from your taskbar.
How to Disable Cortana Icon in Windows 10
Okay, so maybe you want to do more than just get rid of Cortana from your task view or don’t want it beside the start menu. Maybe you want to disable it, so it doesn’t listen to you secretly.
In that case, follow the steps given below.
Step 1: Click on the Cortana Button
The Cortana button (if you haven’t removed it already from the previous section) is present in the bottom left corner of your screen on the Windows 10 taskbar.
Once you click it, move on to the next step.
Step 2: Click on the Menu Icon
Once you click the Cortana buttons, you should see Cortana slide up the screen and show you a box. In the top left corner of that box, there is a menu icon in the shape of three horizontal dots (there could be three vertical dots if you have an older version of Windows 10).
Step 3: Click on Settings
Upon clicking the menu icon, you should see another sub-menu with four options. You need to click the option that says Settings.
Step 4: Click on Keyboard Shortcut
Once you access the Settings menu, you need to look under the heading This Device (the heading doesn’t matter) and look for the option Keyboard Shortcut. Click it when you find it.
Step 5: Turn Keyboard Shortcut Off
Following from step 4, you should now see a toggle button in front of the only option on your sub-menu screen, Keyboard Shortcut.
Click the toggle button to turn off Keyboard Shortcut.
Step 6: Restart Your Computer
Step 7: Disable Voice Activation
In this step, you need to go to the place where you saw the option Keyboard Shortcut.
You can refer to the steps above or just click on Cortana > click on the menu icon > click on Settings > Click on Voice Activation under Keyboard Shortcut and/or Microphone.
Step 8: Choose Voice Activation Permissions
Once you click the Voice Activation option, you should see a new screen where the only option on display is Voice Activation.
Click on the only link present on that Window, which says Voice Activation Permissions.
Step 9: Disable Let Cortana Respond to Cortana Keyword
Going through Step 8 should take you to a new window that says Voice Activation on the top and shows you two options with toggle buttons in front of them.
You need to disable the option that says Let Cortana Respond to Cortana Keyword by clicking the toggle button in front of it.
And that is it.
How to Disable Cortana Permanently Via Windows Registry
You don’t want to see Cortana on your system again, and we are here to let you do that.
Follow the steps given below.
Remember that depending on how you have set up your machine, this could be an irreversible process. SO think hard before you want to disable Cortana via Windows Registry Editor.
Step 1: Click on the Windows Logo
The Windows Logo is present in the bottom left corner of your screen.
Step 2: Type ‘Run’ And Then Hit Enter
This should open the Windows command prompt screen.
Step 3: Type Regedit
Simply type ‘regedit’ in the text box provided. Then hit the enter key on your keyboard.
Step 4: Go to HKEY_Local_Machine
Once there, you need to click on Software.
And then click on Policies. From there, click on Microsoft and then on Windows.
When you perform a right-click on the Windows item, you will see a new sub-menu from which you need to click New and then Key.
Step 5: Choose Windows Search As The Name Of Your New Folder
Step 6: Select The Windows Search Folder And Right-Click It
And then choose the option that says New. And then click on DWORD (32-bit) Value.
Step 7: Type AllowCortana as the Name of the New File
Step 8: Open AllowCortana
To open AllowCortana, double-click on the file. When you do so, you should see a value filed. Input ‘0’ in that. Then hit the Ok button.
Step 9: Quit The Windows Registry Key Editor
And then go ahead and reboot your machine once again.
Quickest Way to Disable Cortana UI Search Button Via Local Group Policy Editor
Step 1: Open The Run Window By Pressing Windows Key + R
Step 2: Type gpedit.msc in the Text Box Provided
And then hit the Enter button.
Step 3: Click on Computer Configuration
Step 4: Click on Administrative Templates
Step 5: Click on Windows Components
Step 6: Click on Search
Step 7: Click Allow Cortana
You should see this option located on the right pane (forget about the left side pane for the moment). Uncheck the current option.
Step 8: Choose Disabled
Check the radio button for Disabled.
And then hit OK.
Step 9: Restart Machine And Hide Cortana Button Forever
Conclusion: Get Rid of Cortana Search Icon And Keep it Hidden on PC Without Using An Apps
Now, you have done enough right-clicking and double click/clicking to get rid of the Cortana feature on your user account. Having Cortana enabled and working well as your digital assistant doesn’t have to be bad.
Of course, some people want to keep Microsoft separated from their personal lives. Disabling an app like Cortana (among many other features) is a good start.