Cortana is a virtual assistant that uses API (Application Programming Interface) to perform tasks such as setting reminders, making calls, launching applications, and operating third-party applications such as Facebook and Twitter. It can also convert currency and other measuring units, perform mathematical operations, tell the weather forecast, etc. It was developed by Microsoft for Windows Phone 8.1 and is now a part of Windows 10 in PCs.
Microsoft Cortana works similarly to Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant. It has the ability to operate smart appliances of your home through voice command.
Advantages of Cortana
As one would expect from any virtual assistant, Cortana is always available for your queries once you log into your windows. It has the following advantages over other voice assistants:
- Write to her: There are times when we cannot call to cannot speak to the virtual assistant but want to give her a command. On these moments, Cortana can be helpful as you can write your query or command to her, and she will see through it.
- Updates: Cortana gets separate updates from Windows 10. This makes it a stand-alone app and not a part of the package. This way, Microsoft can ensure that Cortana gets updates quicker and frequently.
- Complex Search: For those who are bad at organizing, Cortana can prove to be amazingly helpful as it can perform complex searches. You can search for a file that has a specific word in it, and Cortana will bring all the related searches to you.
- Learning: Cortana keeps track of your favorite places, the places that you frequent, and shows them to you on map. It also learns your time on the road and alerts you about the traffic and weather conditions that may affect your trip.
Disadvantages of Cortana
- Lagging: Cortana lags with its stocky and slow features. The market is taken over by Siri, Alexa, and the likes. The updates that Cortana has and the features it provides are either late or lack in terms of speed and responsiveness.
- Gateway to Bing: Most of the time, when you give Cortana a command, it redirects you to Bing search results. The results that we get could be satisfactory in some cases, but a better response is expected.
- Information: Cortana stores a lot of information about its user’s preferences and search-related data. This data can be hacked and used wrongly.
How to Disable Cortana completely
There could be various reasons for one wishing to disable Cortana from their computer. The sheer amount of data that Cortana collects and still fails to personalize search results being one of them. Or you could just want it to stop collecting personal data, or you do not want it to take up space and occupy your RAM. Whatever the reason be, given below are the ways to disable Cortana on Windows 10. Remember to backup your data before performing the following methods, just in case.
1. Disable Cortana Temporarily:
- Search for Cortana in the Windows search bar and select Cortana and Search Settings.
- Switch off Hey Cortana and Keyboard Shortcut switches.
- To prevent Cortana from recording your data, you can go to the Permissions and History tab.
- Set all the options on the page as ‘off.’
- Go to Search Privacy Settings and set online speech recognition as ‘off.’
- Go to What Cortana Knows About Me in Cloud and press Clear at the bottom of the Personal Information page.
2. Using Registry Editor:
- First, you need to open the Run Window, For this, press Windows key + R.
- In the Run window, type ‘regedit’ in the box next to open.
- If you are asked for permission to make the changes, agree.
- You have now entered the registry editor. Now go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>Software > Policies > Microsoft > Windows > Windows Search.
- If there is no folder named Windows Search, right-click on the Windows folder and go to New > Key.
- Name the folder Windows Search. Enter the folder.
- Select New from the drop-down menu. Then click on DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- Type AllowCortana in the new window created and enter 0 in the Value Data section.
3. Using Local Group Policy:
- Again, open the Run window by pressing Windows key+R.
- Type ‘gpedit.msc’ into the box next to Open and hit enter.
- You are now in the Local Group Policy. Now, go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Template > Windows Components > Search and open settings.
- Open Allow Cortana, change the setting to Disabled.
- Apply the changes and exit.
How to remove Cortana from Task Bar
If the small white circle near the Windows logo in your taskbar is annoying you, then you can remove it in seconds. Right-click on the Cortana icon and uncheck the Show Cortana button.
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Problems That You May Face: Once you disable Cortana, certain functions such as reminders, weather updates, etc. also get turned off. This also results in uninstalling or disabling Windows Search from your desktop, and you will not be able to search for files and applications on your PC.