How to disable Cortana in Windows 10 May 2020 Update -- or even uninstall it

Windows key on keyboardWith the release of Windows 10 May 2020 Update, Microsoft not only introduced a range of new features and options, but also took some away. One thing that has changed with Windows 10 version 2004 is that Cortana is now a standalone app rather than an integral part of the operating system.

Not that you would necessarily notice, that is. Although the digital assistant is now separate from Windows itself, it still automatically runs at startup – it is possible, however, to disable Cortana and stop it from running in this way, or remove it completely.

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To disable Cortana, you could delve into the Registry, but you may well find it quicker and easier to use the Task Manager. Either right click an empty section of the taskbar and select Task Manager, or press Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Move to the Start-up tab of Task Manager, select Cortana from the list, and then click the Disable button to the lower right.

If you want to take things a step further, it is also possible to uninstall Cortana. Despite the fact that the digital assistant is now an app, you won't see it listed under Apps & Features in Setting ready for removal; Microsoft makes you work a little if you want to ditch the assistant -- you need to use PowerShell.

  1. Press the Start button and type PowerShell
  2. With Windows PowerShell selected, click Run as Administrator (or right click Windows PowerShell and select Run as administrator from the context menu
  3. Type the command Get-AppxPackage -allusers Microsoft.549981C3F5F10 | Remove-AppxPackage
  4. Press Enter

That's all there is to it; you will no longer be pestered by Cortana.

Image credit: Primakov / Shutterstock

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