How to turn Cortana off in Windows 10

Cortana is a personal assistant built into Windows 10. It helps you search the internet, make appointments, set reminders, and answer questions. You can even press the Cortana button on the Start menu and set alarms and reminders by speaking to it. 

But, even though Cortana is useful for everyday computing, if you use your PC or tablet for things like gaming or media creation, you might want to remove it. This guide shows you how to stop it from installing, or turn it off if it's already installed.

 

Stop Cortana from installing

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If you're upgrading to Windows 10 from an older version, or you're doing a fresh install, you can stop Cortana from activating before Windows installs. 

At some point during the upgrade or install process you'll be asked to select the programs you want to use. At this point, click on the Customise settings option. The menu that opens lets you choose the specific apps you want to install - just make sure Cortana is de-selected before you continue. When you finish the setup and get to the Home screen, Cortana won't be available.

 

Turning off Cortana

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If you've already set up your Windows 10 PC, you can turn off Cortana to prevent it from doing searches or having access to your calendar, search history, and contacts.

1.

Open Cortana. You do that by either clicking the icon on the Start menu, or by typing 'Cortana' into the search bar and clicking the icon when it appears.

2.

Click the settings icon (it's the cog in the bottom-left corner of the screen).

3.

Choose what Cortana has access to by pressing the switches next to each option.

Deleting data already stored in Cortana

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If you've used Cortana for a while and want to remove all the data that it's recorded about you, this part of the guide shows you how.

1.

Open Cortana.

2.

Press the Cog at the bottom of the screen to open the settings menu.

3.

Tap Change what Cortana knows about me in the cloud.

4.

Tap Clear.

To make sure Cortana doesn't store any more information about you, open the Speech, inking, & typing menu from the Settings menu and press Stop getting to know me.

 

Hopefully that's you sorted, but if you need more help, you can get in touch with a Team Knowhow Expert here.

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