Disable Cortana in Windows 10 Professional

When discussing the Start Menu and Taskbar, lots of students found Cortana got in the way. Personally, I tend to agree. There are so many devices that fill this role, I don’t use Cortana.

Windows 10 Home requires a registry hack to remove Cortana. I don’t recommend this.

I can help Windows 10 Professional users disable Cortana. To disable Cortana, follow the steps below:

  • Open the Group Policy Editor in the Windows Run Dialog:
    • Open the Run dialog (WINDOWS KEY-R)
    • Input “gpedit.msc” without the quotes
    • Press ENTER

The Group Policy Editor opens. The main display is split into two panes.

  • A tree view with system locations
  • A list view through which you can configure settings

By default, focus is in the list view. Press SHIFT-TAB once to focus in the tree view. Navigate the tree view with Windows tree view navigation commands:

  • UP and DOWN ARROW
  • PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN
  • HOME and END
  • First letter navigation
  • First several letter navigation

As you navigate the tree view, you’ll find that branch are “Open” and “Closed.” Open and close branches with Windows commands:

  • Press RIGHT ARROW to open a branch
  • Press LEFT ARROW to close a branch

Navigate the tree view with the above commands

  • Focus on and open the “Computer Configuration” tree branch
  • Within the Computer Configuration branch, open the “Administrative Templates” branch
  • Within “Administrative Templates,” open the “Windows Components” branch
  • Within “Windows Components,” focus on “Search”
    • Press S to quickly focus on this option

Press TAB to move to the right side of the Window. A list view has Search configurations

Navigate the list view with Windows list view navigation:

  • UP and DOWN ARROW
  • PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN
  • HOME and END
  • First letter navigation
  • First several letter navigation

Focus on “Allow Cortana.” Press ENTER to open the “Alllow Cortana” dialog.

Press TAB and SHIFT-TAB to navigate dialog controls.

Focus on the Radio buttons. Listen to your screen reader. There are three radio buttons. The “Enabled” radio button is selected.

Press UP and DOWN ARROW to select a radio button. When a radio button is selected, the other radio buttons are unselected.

Select the “Disabled” radio button.

Press TAB until focus is on the “OK” button. Press SPACEBAR to save the changes and exit the dialog.

Press ALT-F4 to close the Group Policy Editor.

Cortana is disabled in Windows 10 Professional.