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How to Turn Off Cortana
Cortana is Microsoft's “Digital Agent”, Micorsoft's words, not mine. And was introduced with Windows 10. Since Windows 10 is supposed to work on desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones, having a Siri like helper was built in. That would be great except for a few things: There are very few Windows phones, like none; Tablets are used differently than “full computers”; Cortana is but ugly slow and not very accurate.
Sorry to burst Redmond's bubble. Siri and Cortana would prove it to you but you would need to give Cortana a five minute head start. And expect the first answer to be wrong.
I like Windows 10. For someone who spends a lot of time on a computer, it works better most of the time. It does start faster (even if it cheats) and has a better interface once you tweak it out than Windows 7 or 8.
And there is the problem. I already tweaked out Windows 10. I turned off the
advertising policies privacy invasions. I got rid of Bing. I turned off Cortana since I need to find the things I need for work the same day I want them. Then came Windows 10 Anniversary Edition. Thank you Microsoft for turning back on all of the things I turned off. And a great big double thank you for removing the quick and easy control settings to do it all over again.
Luckily the controls actually do exist. And it takes about five minutes to reset everything and banish Cortana to the slow lane to nowhere where it belongs.
A few notes:
Go to Control Panel > All Control Panel Items >System to find what version of Windows 10 you have. The key word is home or pro. Follow the instructions for your version.
If you are on a work computer, you may not be able to make these changes. Ask your IT staff to either fix them or let you fix them.
The link includes using REGEDIT. REGEDIT can be a little daunting. And yes, you can seriously screw things up in the Registry and that can be very, very bad. Follow the directions for backing up the Registry before you start.
Follow the instructions step by step. There are several steps, just do them one at a time.
How to Disable Cortana from How To Geek