Microsoft added a digital assistant in Windows 10 called Cortana which can recognize your voice and do some things for you like giving you information or automating some tasks. But while it is nice to have for fun, it is far from being a seriously useful, powerful tool compared to what you can do by manually searching the web. Not every user finds Cortana useful. Many users are looking for a way to remove it, but Microsoft does not allow uninstalling Cortana in Windows 10. In this article, we will see how it can be done.
Caution: Uninstalling Cortana breaks the Windows 10 Start Menu and probably Search so don't use this if you use the native menu. You will not be able to get it working back easily. You will not be able to-reinstall it quickly without using the genuine install.wim file. For most users, this means that Cortana will be removed from Windows 10 permanently. Think twice before you will continue.
Many people I know use an alternative Start Menu on Windows 10 and getting rid of the memory consuming searchui.exe process is a significant enhancement for them in making Windows 10 perform better. Refer to the following article for more details: How to get world’s fastest Start menu in Windows 10 with Classic Shell.
So, if you decide to uninstall Cortana in Windows 10 and thereby also get rid of the memory-hogging searchUI.exe process, here is what you should do:
- Download the Uninstall Cortana ZIP file I made to make it easy.
- Extract all files from the ZIP archive you downloaded to any desired folder, e.g. Desktop.
- Right click the Uninstall Cortana.cmd file and select "Run as Administrator".
- Wait till the process is done.
- Restart Windows 10.
Behind this trick is an application called WIMTweak which manages Windows Packages and allows you to hide/unhide them from the Windows image (WIM) file. It works on offline images as well as online. WIMTweak was created by MSFN user Legolash2o, so credits for this awesome tool go to him.