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How Do I Get Rid Of Cortana?

Monday, October 3rd, 2016 by | Filed Under: Security Help, Windows 10

A reader noticed a change in Windows 10 after the Anniversary Update:  “Within the last 2 weeks several of the Win 10 machines I work on ran an automatic update and changed the search box in the lower left to Cortana. How do I get the search back?”

You no longer have the option to turn Cortana off. Previously you could open the settings and hit the off button.


Now you can’t turn Cortana off. You can still search by typing whatever you’re looking for into the search box and you’ll get the same type of search results. You do not have to use voice search if you don’t wish to.


Cortana is baked into Windows 10 as the technology that does searches. Even when it appeared to be turned off in Windows 10, it was really more changing the appearance of the search box and not actually turning Cortana off completely.

You can search for things like programs, documents, and images on your PC and also search the Internet and Windows Store.

You can control how much of your information Cortana has access to. Open Cortana and click the Settings icon.


You’ll be able to control whether Cortana has access to things like your contacts, location, and search history. This can enable “her” to give you search results that are suited to your needs.


If you don’t wish to share that info, just slide the buttons to the Off position.


Hope this helps.

~ Cynthia


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5 Responses to “How Do I Get Rid Of Cortana?”

  1. Hedley Grenfell-Banks says:

    You can, effectively, get rid of Cortana, by running C;assic Shell and returning to the look of Windows 7.

  2. Susan says:

    The question was ‘how to get the search back’. Right-click the taskbar, select ‘Search’, select ‘Show search icon’. I will not use Cortana nor Bing and am having to change my settings after every update.

  3. Frank A Wheeler says:

    Cortana is basically Bing on the task bar. Actually it never gives an answer pennant to the system, but takes you to MS pages where you get a non answer. Gone are the days when you could type in the near name or category of of the question. For instance, the ‘Restore Point’ that we have all had and used in the past to protect ourselves when changing the system. It still exist, hidden in a maze. However it does not always put you back where you were and I know personally. Also they use it to describe more than one thing and you can really really lose stuff.
    So far I have never got a correct or per answer to question you ask. I don’t think Cortana made it past grade school.

    • cynthia says:

      Actually Frank, Cortana does indeed search the system and return apps, settings and other pertinent results. Is it possible you only have her set to search the web?

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