How to Disable Cortana Permanently in Windows 10

Cortana is a personal assistant that could help you to search the web, set reminders, and provide answers to voice based questions. Despite all these cool features people are still looking for an option to disable cortana and this article will help you to achieve the same.
The simplest way is to turn off cortana is via the settings menu.

disable cortana from settings area

But even though you do as mentioned above you can still see the cortana listed in task manager under background processes.

The Powershell Remove-AppxPackage method also doesn’t work, and you will get the below message

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.

I am however listing the steps here for your information:

STEP 1: In the search windows area type PowerShell. In the search results right click on the Windows Powershell and select Run as administrator option.

Launch powershell from the windows search

STEP 2: If you have UAC enabled then click on Yes button for a dialog box that will ask you whether you would allow this app to make changes to your PC or else proceed to the Step 3.

STEP 3: The PowerShell window is something similar to our good old command window (cmd) but it has its own commands. Copy and paste the below command into the PowerShell window and press enter key.

Get-AppxPackage | Select Name, PackageFullName

The above command will list all the packages that are available in your system.

Or you can directly type

Get –AppxPackage *cortana*

get publisher id of app

The above command will return the cortana package alone with details like version, install location, publisher id etc. Just copy the publisher id and use it in the below command,

Remove –AppxPackage <place your publisher id here without these brackets>

The above command will not allow removing cortana.

So let us quickly see how to permanently disable cortana which would also disable the windows search area.

Cortana can be directly found under the below path:

C:\Windows\SystemApps

You can find a folder with the below format:

Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_

Try renaming it by prefixing underscore (_) to the folder name. When you try to rename the folder you might get the folder in use warning message. Leave this message as it is, don’t press cancel button.

Use the shortcut key windows + X and select Task Manager,

Under Processes tab you should see Cortana listed under Background processes. Right click on it and click Go to details.

cortana is listed under background process

Now you will be in Details tab and SearchUI will be selected. Now right click on that and click End process tree which will close the process.

End process tree of SearchUI process

Now quickly use ALT + TAB keys to get back to the folder in use warning message and hit the try again button. Now the folder should be renamed.

That’s it, you have now successfully disabled Cortana and the search windows option. If you would like to restore cortana just remove the underscore from the folder that you had renamed and cortana will start working as usual.

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