Cortana is a virtual assistant bundled with Windows 10. Cortana appears as a search box or an icon on the taskbar and comes with tight integration with the Search feature in Windows 10. Signing in to Cortana with your Microsoft account allows it to keep track of what interests you, save your favorite places to its Notebook, collect notifications from other devices, and sync your data between all your devices with Cortana enabled.
Starting with Windows 10 build 18305, Microsoft separated the Search and Cortana UI in the taskbar by giving them individual taskbar buttons and flyouts. At the moment of this writing, this feature is enabled to a small select group of Windows Insiders.
The user is now able to enable and disable the Search and Cortana taskbar icons separately.
If you have this feature available in your Windows 10 Insider Preview, or you have enabled it manually (see Enable Separate Search and Cortana UI in Windows 10), you can hide or show the individual Cortana button on the taskbar.
This can be done via the taskbar context menu, or by applying a Registry tweak.
To hide the Cortana button from the taskbar in Windows 10, do the following.
- Right-click on the taskbar to open its context menu.
- Select the item Show Cortana button to uncheck this entry. It is enabled (checked) by default.
- The Cortana icon will disappear from the taskbar.
You can always re-enable it by checking the Show Cortana button menu entry of the taskbar context menu.
Alternatively, you can hide the Cortana button by applying a special Registry tweak.
Hide the Cortana button with a Registry tweak
- Open the Registry Editor app.
- Go to the following Registry key.
See how to go to a Registry key with one click.
- On the right, modify or create a new 32-Bit DWORD value ShowCortanaButton.
Note: Even if you are running 64-bit Windows you must still create a 32-bit DWORD value.
Set its value to 0 in decimal to disable the Cortana button. A value data of 1 will enable it.
- To make the changes done by the Registry tweak take effect, you need to sign out and sign in to your user account. Alternatively, you can restart the Explorer shell.
To save your time, you can download the following ready-to-use Registry files.
The undo tweak is included.