Windows 10 Anniversary Edition and Cortana

I’m starting to see Windows 10 Anniversary Edition on my customers’ PCs.

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Windows 10 Anniversary Edition

One of the things I don’t like is that Microsoft has made it harder to turn off Cortana.

Many of my customers don’t want to talk to their PCs, and they find Cortana unhelpful, so I usually turn it off.

If it’s off when you upgrade to the Anniversary Edition (also called version 1607), it will stay off. But if it was on, or it’s a new installation, it will be on by default.

In the older Fall Edition (version 1511), turning off Cortana was easy – Search Bar | Settings | Cortana OFF. But in the Anniversary Edition, that setting has been removed.

Luckily, the HowToGeek website has produced a handy guide to turning it off, and a downloadable file to do the work for you (and one to turn Cortana on again). I’ve copied the file to my website here for convenience.

Note: the download is a .zip file containing two .reg files which will amend the registry – as always, you should be suspicious of anything you download from the Internet. You can read the .reg files with any text editor (for example Notepad) to see what they do, or submit them to Virustotal as I mention in Am I About to Download a Virus?