Prevent Cortana from Accessing Contacts, Email, and Calendar in Windows 10

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.

Taskbar Icons Search Cortana Split

Search Cortana Split Windows 10 01

Refer to the following articles:

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.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Click on the Cortana icon.Cortana Icon Settings
  3. On the left, click on Permissions.Settings Cortana Permissions
  4. On the right, click on Manage the information Cortana can access from this device link.Settings Cortana Manage The Information
  5. On the next page, disable the Contacts, email, calendar & communication history option.Cortana Prevent From Accessing Contacts

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:

Sign out from Cortana in Windows 10

That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

2 thoughts on “Prevent Cortana from Accessing Contacts, Email, and Calendar in Windows 10”

  1. I assume your assuming one is using the built in windows mail and calender apps as well as a microsoft account to login to thier pc?

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