Microsoft’s Windows 10 virtual assistant, Cortana, isn’t for everyone. The feature is easy to disable, but tricky to remove. Here’s how to completely remove Cortana from your Windows 1
Removing Cortana from your computer isn’t as easy as using the Settings app. In previous versions of Windows 10, if you had removed Cortana, you would eventually also delete Windows Search and break the Windows Start menu.
Fortunately, Microsoft has made it possible to properly remove Cortana from Windows with the Windows 10 May 2020 Update (version 2004). So, before you start, make sure you are running Windows 10 version 2004 or higher.
You can see your current Windows version by opening Settings and navigating to System> About, scrolling down and reading the “version” of Windows you are using. If the number is “2004” or higher, you are good to go. Otherwise, don’t try to remove Cortana without updating first.
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How to Uninstall Cortana in Windows 10
Since you can’t uninstall Cortana like any other app, you have to open Windows PowerShell and run a special command to do this. You can remove Cortana just for yourself or for any account on your computer.
To start PowerShell, open the Start menu and type ‘PowerShell’. When the PowerShell icon appears, click “Run as administrator” in the right pane to run it with administrator privileges.
When the PowerShell window opens, type the following command in the window (or copy and paste it there) and hit Enter to remove Cortana for the current user only:
Get-AppxPackage *Microsoft.549981C3F5F10* | Remove-AppxPackage
After you run the command, you will see a blank command prompt on the next line. If you don’t see any error messages, the process has worked.
To remove Cortana for all users, type (or paste) this command and press Enter:
Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers -PackageTypeFilter Bundle -name "*Microsoft.549981C3F5F10*" | Remove-AppxPackage -AllUsers
Then close PowerShell. If you open the Start menu and use Windows Search to search for Cortana, it will not appear as a system app in the search results.
How to reinstall Cortana in Windows 10
If you change your mind later, you may want to reinstall Cortana on your computer. Fortunately, reinstalling Cortana is a much more user-friendly process involving the Microsoft Store.
To begin, click Start, type “Microsoft Store” and hit Enter.
When Microsoft Store opens, click the “Search” button in the top right corner of the window and type “Cortana” and then select “Cortana” from the search results.
On the Cortana app page, click the “Get” button.
Then click “Install” and the Microsoft Store will install Cortana on your computer.
After a while, the “Install” button turns into a “Start” button when Cortana is fully installed. When you see that, you are free to close the Microsoft Store.
To start Cortana, click Start, type “Cortana” in Windows Search and press Enter.
If necessary, sign in to Cortana with your Microsoft account and you are good to go!
Tip: If you cannot log in, switch to a local user account and restart your computer. After signing in, switch back to your Microsoft account to sign in to Windows. This trick allows you to log into Cortana with your Microsoft account.
That is it. Using the methods described above, you can remove Cortana and get it back whenever you want.
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