Want to uninstall Cortana? It's pretty easy. And that's a sign of shifting times, as it feels like Microsoft is leaving the battlefield to Alexa, Google Assistant and (maybe?) Siri. We've got complete instructions for both regular folks and power users, depending on how deep in your system you want to get.
And that's not the only place Cortana's losing its footing: later this year, Microsoft is expected to shut down the Cortana apps on both Android and iOS. Not only have many users been excited to boot Cortana from Windows 10, but it's also gotten the "see ya!" treatment from its own speaker: the Harmon/Kardon Invoke.
This feature is welcome news, as Windows 10 headlines continue to be more about frustrating updates that lead to bugs that crash systems and break functionality. But giving power back to the users? We're all in favor for these new options, which let you either uninstall the assistant's app or brave the command line to remove it like you're clearing gunk from the gutters.
It seems that Microsoft's not giving up on Cortana, though. Instead, we're seeing Cortana show up in other locations, such as Microsoft's mobile Microsoft 365 apps. So, yes, even though you can remove Cortana from PCs, it's still showing up inside the company's Outlook and Teams apps.
There are two ways to disable Cortana, as outlined by Windows Latest. You can either stop it from automatically opening when you boot your PC (the easier way), or remove the new Cortana app from Windows 10 (which is a little harder). We've got full instructions below.
How to disable Cortana
- Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
- In Task Manager, click the Startup column.
- Select Cortana.
- Click Disable.
- Then, open the Start menu.
- Find Cortana under All Apps.
- Right-click on Cortana.
- Select More.
- Click on App settings.
- Turn off the switch next to 'Runs at log-in.'
How to uninstall the Cortana app
These steps require a little tinkering, so a word of caution. Since you're going to be poking around in PowerShell, back up your system first. Our best cloud backup solutions provide easy ways to protect your data.
- Open the Start Menu and type in PowerShell.
- Right click on Windows PowerShell.
- Select 'Run as administrator'.
- Type the following text (minus the ' marks) in: 'Get-AppxPackage -allusers Microsoft.549981C3F5F10 | Remove-AppxPackage'
- Press Enter.
Of course, power users set on eradicating Cortana will need to dive even deeper into Windows Registry — which is even more risky for everyday users. Since it's less necessary and a bit dangerous, we recommend skipping that part.
You've already shut Cortana up and removed its app presence. That should be enough for some extra peace of mind.