Disable Cortana in Windows 10 Anniversary Update version 1607

Cortana is a digital assistant bundled with Windows 10. You can control it using voice commands or type into its search box to find various information from the web or automate certain tasks on your computer. If you do not plan to use Cortana, then you can be surprised that the option to disable Cortana has disappeared in Windows 10 Anniversary Update version 1607.

cortana logo banner In Windows 10 Anniversary Update RTM, Microsoft has removed the option to disable Cortana. In the previous release of Windows 10, which is known as 'version 1511' or 'Threshold 2', the user could click the gear icon in Cortana and quickly disable it:

Windows 10 build 10586 disable cortana

In its place are other options. It can't be disabled from the Settings app either: Windows 10 build 14393 no disable cortana option

There is still a way to disable Cortana with a Registry tweak.

Disable Cortana in Windows 10 Anniversary Update version 1607

Do it as follows:

  1. Open Registry Editor.
  2. Go to the following Registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search

    Tip: You can access any desired Registry key with one click. If you don't have such a key, then just create it. create windows search key

  3. Create a new 32-bit DWORD value here named AllowCortana and leave its value data as 0. Note: Even if you are running Windows 10 64-bit, you need to create a 32-bit DWORD value. Windows 10 anniversary update disable cortana Windows 10 version 1607 disable cortana

Now, restart Windows 10 and you are done.

Also, you can use Winaero Tweaker to disable Cortana:

disable cortana
You might also be interested in disabling web search in Windows 10.

14 thoughts on “Disable Cortana in Windows 10 Anniversary Update version 1607

  1. EBIN

    So is “she” permanently turned on for unsupported regions too?

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      It looks like that.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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      1. EBIN

        Crap. I assume you will add this to your tweaker right?

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        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          Just coded it.
          Going to release it tomorrow with few bugfixes people reported.

          Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

          Reply
    2. Bob

      Cortana’s region lock is reportedly gone with the Anniv. Update, so people anywhere can use ‘her’ with any supported language I guess.

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  2. Bob

    So far I was happy just turning that option off in Win10 10240 RTM and 1511 TH2, but if this continues and MS disables the registry method too, I suppose I’ll have to use one of the drastic unsupported methods to uninstall Cortana completely. Shame that MS continues to shove stuff down people’s throats without leaving even the option to turn it off. >:(

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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  3. waldis

    Cortana should be (or must be?) removed by deleting all of its endless DCOM objects from registry.
    I did it for myself. So have no it anymore :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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  4. George

    I have 1607 and there’s no ‘Windows Search’ key under Windows in my registry. Is there a way to disable her without downloading third party software?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Just create it and you are done!

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  5. Dheeraj

    How much effect does this have on the resources used by Cortana? Does it free up the memory used by her?

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  6. Kyle

    It looks like in the most recent update which just installed on my pc today, that Cortana is back and even though I have the “disable Cortana” box checked in Winaero Tweaker, Cortana is still running on my system and cannot be turned off. Interestingly enough all my windows settings including things like “allow apps to use my camera” which I previously had turned off, are now turned back on. Everything seems to have gone back to the default setting of sharing everything Microsoft wants. Incredibly frustrating stuff.

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    1. Travis

      same for me, its back on

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  7. Jesse

    Thank you for this guide!!! I could not find the setting anymore after getting a new machine with the Anniversary update pre-installed.

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  8. Karan

    Use Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant to upgrade to Windows 10 Anniversary Update

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