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. By default, Cortana is able to read your contacts, email conversations, and calendar events in Windows 10. If you are not happy with defaults, here is how to change browsing history permissions for Cortana.
Cortana can be very useful. For example, you can ask Cortana to look up information or even shutdown the OS using your speech. Also, you can use Cortana for simple calculations. The Redmond software giant is constantly improving Cortana and adding more and more useful features to it.
For upcoming Windows 10 releases, a new Cortana UI is planned. In the latest Insider Preview build, developers separated Cortana and search in the taskbar by giving them individual taskbar buttons and flyouts.
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Cortana works best when you sign in with your Microsoft Account. To provide you with personalized experiences, Cortana collects certain data like your search queries, calendar events, contacts, and location. Here is how to prevent it from reading your data.
Prevent Cortana from Accessing Contacts, Email, and Calendar
Cortana has a number of options in a dedicated section of the Settings app. There, you can enable or disable Cortana to access your private data.
To prevent Cortana from Accessing Contacts, Email, and Calendar in Windows 10, do the following.
- Open the Settings app.
- Click on the Cortana icon.
- On the left, click on Permissions.
- On the right, click on Manage the information Cortana can access from this device link.
- On the next page, disable the Contacts, email, calendar & communication history option.
From now, Cortana won't collect and use your contacts, email, and calendar data. Note that this will prevent it from offering personalized suggestions. To delete the already collected data, you need to sign out from Cortana, as described here: