Quick Tip: How To Disable Cortana in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Quick Tip: How To Disable Cortana in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update

In the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update, the second major update for Windows 10, Cortana is playing a very large role with the new functionality that the personal digital assistant is getting in this upgrade.

Despite these improvements there are many who do not want anything to do with Cortana because they are concerned about privacy relating to the information they allow her access to through Cortana's cloud based notebook.

Cortana only uses data that the user explicitly gives her permission to access such as email, calendar, and search history and that data is encrypted when it is shared back to Microsoft as part of her services that are offered in Windows 10.

There are a lot of stories circulating in the last couple of days that Cortana does not have an On/Off switch in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. While this is true in the purest since of not having a single spot to flip between On and Off there is one simple step to preventing Cortana from monitoring the activities you previously granted her access to on your system.

Step One: Open Cortana's Notebook

Cortana Notebook on Windows 10

Click or tap in Cortana's search box on the Windows 10 Taskbar to open Cortana up. The notebook Icon is just below the Home button near the top on the left side of the open program.

Click or tap on About Me.

Step Two: Select logged in Microsoft Account

About Me Page in Cortana Notebook on Windows 10

Once the About Me page is opened look at the bottom of that dialog box and you will see the Microsoft Account you are signed into Cortana with.

Click or tap that email account entry to open the next dialog.

Step 3: Sign out of your Microsoft Account in Cortana

Microsoft Account in Cortana Notebook

Click or tap once again on the Microsoft Account shown in the dialog to reveal the Sign Out option.

Now click or tap the Sign Out link and you will be immediately signed out of Cortana.


You will continue to use some of Cortana's search features locally because in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that is the system search program.

However, now that you are signed out of Cortana no more information will be tracked on those items you previously granted her access to.

If you attempt to use a feature in Cortana that is no longer available since you are signed out you will see an alert like this:

Cortana Related Feature Not Available.

If you should decide that you would like to take advantage of Cortana's features at a later date then it is very easy to log back in.

Step One: Open Cortana's Notebook

Sign Back Into Cortana's Notebook

Click or tap on the Sign In button to select your Microsoft Account for enabling Cortana.

Step 2: Sign back into your Microsoft Account

Sign Back into Microsoft Account in Cortana

Click or tap on your Microsoft Account and you will be immediately signed back into Cortana on your system.


Be sure to check out all of our Windows 10 Anniversary Update Coverage.

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