Skip to content

If you're on a Metered Connection and found that Cortana is eating up your data bandwidth, here is how to completely disable Cortana in Windows 10.

Cortana is one of the new advanced features introduced in Windows 10. It can accept multiple inputs including gestures, ink, voice etc. in order to search your content and provide suggestions. Cortana is however available in selected regions of world and it works only after you’ve switched to Microsoft account (MSA) from your local account. So to avoid Cortana running on your machine, you can stick to local account. But many features in Windows 10 will not work until you switched to MSA, hence you have to necessarily switch to MSA.

How To Completely Disable Cortana In Windows 10

For enhanced suggestions, Cortana is continuously running in background and slowly eating up your data bandwidth. Thus if you’re on a Metered Connection, you must concern about this.

In this article we’ll see how to completely disable Cortana, so that you can reduce the extra data consumption for your Metered Connection. You must be signed in as administrator of your system to follow this method.

How To Completely Disable Cortana In Windows 10

We recommend you to create a System Restore point before trying the steps mentioned below.

1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc key combination your keyboard to open Task Manager and click More details to get its maximize view. Locate Cortana process, right click on it and select Open file location.

How To Completely Disable Cortana In Windows 10

2. In the SystemApps folder so open now, rename the Cortana’s folder from Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy to Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy.old.

How To Completely Disable Cortana In Windows 10

3. While renaming this folder, you’ll see the Folder Access Denied warning. Click on Continue option here.

How To Completely Disable Cortana In Windows 10

4. Then immediately you’ll see another warning with message that The action can’t be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program. Let this alert box remain opened and go to step 5.

How To Completely Disable Cortana In Windows 10

5. In the Task Manager, right click on the Cortana process and select End Task option. This will kill Cortana task propagating currently. Now click on Try again option in warning prompt we received in step 4.

How To Completely Disable Cortana In Windows 10

In this way, you can now easily rename the folder mentioned in step 2. Once you’ve renamed that folder, you’ll find that Cortana is no longer working on your system.

6. Finally, to remove the Cortana search box from taskbar for gaining extra space for other program icons, simply right click on taskbar and select Cortana -> Hidden.

How To Completely Disable Cortana In Windows 10

If you want to enable Cortana again in future, simply rename the folder mentioned in step 2 to its default name and Cortana will start acting again. Then you may enable the search box using Show search box option in above shown image.

That’s it! Also learn how to completely disable OneDrive integration in Windows 10.


Facebook Google+ Twitter

63 Comments

  • No doubt, it worked like charm :) thanks a ton.

  • This simple fix worked for me also… thanks.

    Carknocker – No link rot is a sign of a wasted life.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Glad it worked! :)

  • You rock! Worked great!

    Do I also need to do this for Office 2016, OneDrive, and OneNote 2016? What other apps, or tasks, are running in the background that can still be transferring personal data, or analyzing my files? I have turned off all apps, gone to all MS websites and turned off available selections. If I can not completely stop the hidden mining of my computer files, then the only option left is to format the hard-drive and go to Linux. How much of our data has already been mined, analyzed, transferred, and stored?

  • Houston, we have a problem! Cortona keeps coming back, and with the same file name in “Task Manager.” I have changed the file name in Task Manager 3 times now. Any solutions or explanation?

  • works well to kill Cortana but this disables the search box too which was actually quite useful but Hey I prefer that to having the annoying Cortana running!
    Cheers

  • Thank you. Your recipe works. Appreciate your help.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Glad we could help 😎

  • After ending the task in task manager, you have to quickly hit the “Try Again” for renaming to .old folder. If you give it a few seconds, cortana starts up again and you cant rename. (Windows 10 [Version 6.3.10586], 1st June 2016)

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Thanks for adding this 😊

  • You are awesome!!! Thanks a million for this!!!

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Cool 😎

  • How do I undo this I want search function and Cortana back but cant find the file windows wont let me get into windows sys app.??

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ You can restore your system to some earlier date using System Restore wizard.

  • I can disable Cortana but lose the “Search the Web and Windows” window I used to have.
    How do I get this back?

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ At step 6, select ‘Show search box’.

  • Does NOT work. After closing the Cortana task in task manager, it relaunches itself about half a second later! Can therefore never rename the Cortana directory.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ It worked for all others here, suggest you to retry the steps!

  • Shame it does not work after the Sept 2016 update

  • yeah ! It still works in tuning Cortana off completely but as soon as you do it, Search the web and windows stops working.
    Kapil ! Do you have any solution for this . If yes then must reply !

  • Kapil,

    Thanks. It worked to rename. Now hopefully Windows will not change. I am on metered access, and in Asia, so it is even more important, as internet is really slow.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Glad it worked 😎

  • Problem with the latest forced update, it restarts itself so fast you can’t rename the directory fast enouth.

  • Thank you for this! My laptop was updated today, so I had to kill Cortana (AGAIN!). I’d like to know how to disable Edge too.

  • It worked!!!! Bless you!

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Thanks for your feedback!

    @Bundle, rename Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe folder at window shown in step 2.

  • I renamed the folder but I cannot reenable cortana

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Please refer: https://www.kapilarya.com/why-is-cortana-not-available-to-me-on-windows-10

  • your my hero

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Awesome!

  • Yes that work but the Search Windows will not work anymore…

  • Cannot get Cortana file name changed. When I end Cortana in the task manager it reappears immediately and so the try again button does not work.
    Who ever thought that Cortana popping up all the time was a good idea needs to get out more. What were they thinking?
    How do I get rid of this flippin’ thing?

  • I heart you!!! THANK YOU!! it works!!

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Awesome 😎

  • Voice search may be useful on cell phones with their wretched “keyboards”, but it is an unneeded and resource expensive toy on a PC. I do not even use Bing as my primary search engine. Give us back the option to shut this thing off from the settings menu. Just because people at Microsoft may thing it is “cool” is not justification for jamming it down our throats.

  • To end Cortana in Task Manager, click End Task. It will pop up again, but after repeating this six times, it will finally end and you can change the name.

  • thx bro that was freaking helpful !

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Happy to help 😊

  • You are my HERO! I have tried for months to stop Cortana from randomly popping up, looked on windows.com, forums, everywhere. Glad I found you! THANK YOU!

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Glad I could help 😊

  • Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Cortana was driving me CRAZY!

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ 👍

  • I had to use the six kills in task manager AND then also to kill another Cortana background task before I could rename the folder. Hope this finally kills the monster. Thanks Kapil and all.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Thanks for your feedback 😊

  • THANK YOU for helping get rid of this Supremely Annoying App! It popped up 4X while I was trying to read how to kill it! DIE! DIE! DIE!

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Thank you Greg, for your comment 😊

  • Cortana’s behavior is similar to a virus I encountered that would restart after being stopped in TaskManager. Your fix here worked like a charm! But the big question is why does MS force this resource hogging crap on us when all it does is makes their OS less responsive? Apple iOS is going in the same direction with “features” that you can’t disable.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Glad the steps helped 😊

  • I LOVE YOU MAN got some of my memory back by getting rid of that piece of garbage thanks a ton your the best!

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Thanks for the feedback 😊

  • Cortana is like a hideous vampire that sucks up all of your memory. I have searched for days to find a solution, and I guess being persistent paid off when I found your site. Thank you Kapil!

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Thanks a lot Bill for awesome feedback!

  • Cortana just starts again before I can rename the folder. AARGH

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Refer previous comments for hint 😉

  • This worked for me in 2016 but now [Ver 1703], I found that renaming the Cortana folder had the side-effect of freezing my Start menu.

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Thanks for your valuable feedback!

  • It’s now 2017, and Microsoft must have added a “don’t think you can disable Cortana” feature into Windows 10. Cortana WILL NOT close in the Task Manager, and there’s another Cortana background function running.

    Any new ideas?

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ They have worked hard to code Cortana, I don’t think they would offer an option to disable it. If you want to disable Cortana, you’ve to manage with workarounds like the one mentioned in this article 😊

  • If you’re persistent (and I mean, really persistent!), and keep right clicking/end task for both Cortana and Cortana background function, and you can get them both to ‘end task’ at the same time, you have a split second to switch back to SystemApps and rename the Cortana file. It took several tries, but I finally was fast enough and it seems to be working. Thanks for the tip!

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ Thanks for sharing this 😊

  • Today is July 15, 2017 and I cannot get it to work. As others have said, Cortana comes right back on instantly. And I didn’t waste time with using a mouse, I just held down on the return key and probably ended up hitting retry about a hundred times. Interestingly enough, I kept removing it from the task bar and it eventually did stop coming back, but I still could not do a rename of the file. I shut everything down and restarted from scratch 3 times, but got the same result each time. Great idea and it was certainly worth a shot. I guess they got wise to it, since it’s been 2 years. Maybe when I have more time I’ll try it in safe-mode???

  • Kapil Arya

    ^^ I don’t think you’ll have more time in Safe Mode but you may give it try, however 😊

  • This is inane. Please fix this. All the hours I lose to updates, I would gladly lose several to get rid of Cortana. It should be a simple toggle. I am also in Asia, and necessarily on a VPN. Talk about a deterrent to buying Microsoft. I have grown to loath Apple, but on some days they look tasty.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    What's New


    Recent Comments

    • miracle lady : I've downloaded the media creation tool, it did not give me ...

      3 hours ago

    • miracle lady : Should I remove the window 10 pro and download the home befo...

      3 hours ago

    • miracle lady : Good morning from Nigeria kapil, I’ve been going through som...

      4 hours ago

    • miracle lady : Hello Karpil You are yet to attend to my problem...

      4 hours ago

    • Kapil Arya : ^^ You're always welcome and I'm doing well 😊 It is the read...

      1 day ago

    • miracle lady : Good morning from Nigeria kapil, I've been going through som...

      2 days ago