How to disable or limit Cortana


Cortana initially made its debut on Windows Phones back in 2014. It made its way into Windows 10 a year later. This virtual personal assistant from Windows, in addition to providing voice assistance, can remind you of events scheduled in your calendar or even search your device for a particular item that you are looking for.

How to disable or limit Cortana

The functions Cortana is capable of performing is wide and varied. But the downside of this is that in order to ensure a seamless experience, your preferences and data is collected and stored by Microsoft.

This includes travel itinerary and personal information as well, for those of you who wish to disable or at the least, limit the functions of Cortana, the steps to be taken to achieve the same has been listed below.

Disabling Cortana

Disabling Cortana

Accessing ‘Settings' and glancing through your options will show a simple on/off slide bar at the top of the list. Switching the bar to off is enough to disable Cortana.

But this will not delete the data that Cortana has about you. When or if you switch Cortana back on, Cortana will still remember all of your preferences and will respond in adherence to it. Disabling Cortana will have no effect on your Windows search option. You will still be able to find whatever you were looking for the old-fashioned way, this way your data security will also be improved.

If the thought of Cortana saving your data makes you uncomfortable, you can visit the link under "What Cortana knows about me" which will redirect you to a web page that will let you delete whatever data Cortana has about you.

Disabling “Hey Cortana”

Disabling “Hey Cortana”

When Windows 10 is accessed for the first time, Cortana will respond to "Hey, Cortana" by default. You can disable this if you wish to partially disable Cortana but still leave the voice assistant functioning to help with searches and to help out with searching the internet.

Making Windows 10 be in a state to always respond to "Hey, Cortana" will be a tremendous drain on the battery of your laptop. And if you happen to be using a laptop without a mic, this is of no use.

Limiting the functions of Cortana

Limiting the functions of Cortana

Limiting the access and functions of Cortana without infringing on your Windows 10 experience can also be done by visiting Cortana Home, and from there to Cortana's settings. Information like info-tracking can be kept away from Cortana by turning the feature off. Features like taskbar pop-ups can also be turned off in the features.

To learn more about how Cortana processes data, you can visit the Permissions & History section. You can do the following from here:

1) Change how Cortana processes cloud data.

2) View everything Cortana has done in the past.

3) Set limitations for a specific Windows device.

4) Limit the data that Cortana will be able to collect from other Microsoft services or apps.

 How to bring Cortana back

How to bring Cortana back

1) Visit Cortana home.

2) Go to Notebook.

3) Select settings.

4) Select On.

If Cortana has been hidden, you may verify if you have selected to view Cortana and search box by right-clicking the taskbar.

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update - GIZBOT
Cortana’s Notebook

Cortana’s Notebook

If you begin to feel Cortana is unable to provide you with personalized assistance, providing more information in the Notebook will help you have a Windows 10 experience that is tailor-made to fulfil your taste in music, transportation, food and more.

Notebook is the central location from which Cortana accesses the information it needs to make your experience more enriching. And if you are still uncomfortable about Microsoft being in possession of all of our data, you can go back and delete the information whenever you wish to do so.

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