Windows Search: How to disable Cortana temporarily

Known as “Microsoft’s personal productivity assistant”, the virtual assistant Cortana is supposed to ease the life of many Windows users. Cortana is software that, similar to Google Now and Apple’s Siri, processes commands in naturally spoken language and can thus perform simple tasks using voice control. In reality, however, many users find the assistant irritating, as it sometimes opens accidentally.

Cortana is heavily integrated into the Windows 10 search functionality. Therefore, fully disabling Microsoft’s so-called “personal productivity assistant” can impact your user experience. In the following, you’ll read about how to prevent Cortana from opening accidentally without affecting your search experience.


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How to disable Cortana temporarily Step-by-Step

In the following, you can read about how to disable Cortana while still being able to activate it manually.

Step 1: Select Cortana in the taskbar or open it by typing the name in the Windows search field.

Step 2: The next step is to select the three vertical dots in the upper-left corner of the Cortana app.

Step 3: Select Settings.

Step 4: Select Keyboard shortcut and turn it off. You will need to restart your PC to apply the changes.

Step 5: After restarting, repeat Steps 1 to 3: open Cortana and select Settings. Now, you should select Voice activation.

Step 6: Select Voice activation permissions.

Step 7: Turn off the Let Cortana respond to “Cortana” keyword button.


This way, you disabled Cortana’s ability to automatically respond to a keyboard shortcut or voice command. This is enough for many users, as it will prevent Cortana from getting accidentally activated. Otherwise, it won’t affect your search experience.

Uninstall Cortana

There are some solutions on the Internet to completely uninstall Cortana, but keep in mind that Cortana is an integral part of the operating system. Any changes affect the system directly. Corresponding programs should – if at all – only be used from trustworthy sources.


This article should help you to disable Cortana from opening unintentionally without having to uninstall the search assistant. If you need any more information regarding this topic, you are welcome to leave your question in the comment section!

Good Luck!

Aline & the Lookeen team

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