How to temporarily turn off Cortana without completely disabling it

Cortana on Windows 10 has become almost useless, especially after Windows 10 Feature update v1903. Microsoft has decoupled it from native integration, and its now only a digital assistant. In this post, I will share how you can temporarily turn off Cortana on Windows 10 without completely disabling it.

Turn Off Cortana in Windows 10

Temporarily turn off Cortana without completely disabling it

Now that Cortana is only waiting for you speak the wake word, for most of the users, disabling Cortana means it should not automatically wake up using voice or keyboard shortcut or if you are worried it keeps listening to you.

  • Open Windows Settings using WIN + I shortcut
  • Go to Cortana > Talk to Cortana
  • Here toggle off “Let Cortana respond to Hey Cortana,” Keyboard shortcut toggle (Win Logo key + C) and Lock Screen so its not available on the Lock Screen.

How to temporarily turn off Cortana without completely disabling it

If you are not interested in Cortana at all, uncheck the option which gives it access to the calendar, email, messages,  and Power BI when the device is locked. Further, you can go to Permissions > Manage the information Cortana can access from this device. You can then configure these settings:

  • Location
  • Contacts, Emails, Calendar, and communication history
  • Browsing History

Lastly, right-click on the taskbar, and deselect show Cortana button. It will remove the icon making sure there are not accidental touches.

These settings will make sure that Cortana is temporarily turned off on your Windows 10 computer.

Do not want to use Cortana at all?

To get this done, you should go to Cortana’s permission section. Click on the link “Manage the information Cortana can access from this device.” Here you can turn off location, access to Contacts, emails, calendar, communication history, browsing history.

Next, click on Cortana button > Hamburger menu > Signout. Your Microsoft account will no more be connected to Cortana.

Are you still using Windows 10 Mobile/ Windows Phone?

  • Turn off location from phone settings.
  • Press the search button, and you have Bing Vision instead of Cortana.

That said, the phone search will still work for you, which explains why many people have this feature even without Cortana enabled. However, you cannot execute any commands like Turn Off WiFi and so on.

Disable Cortana for a While

You can instantly turn on Cortana by turning on the location. But for her to work correctly, it might take a while as it collects your location and all the data back into her senses.

It’s interesting to see that Cortana is heavily based on location because it suggests everything. Her phone features and interaction with a few other phone features could at least be entirely offline. While there is nothing to blame here as she is still in beta, maybe in future we will see Cortana able to work on these features even offline

Ashish Mohta
A die-hard fan of Windows, PC Gaming, and Xbox. He is a seasoned content writer with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He is a specialist in writing about Windows, software reviews, troubleshooting Windows, and automation.


  1. Ashish, I put cortana onto my nokia 525 windows phone and lost the daily Bing picture, which I really love. I cannot find any method for turning Cortana off or better still, uninstall it completely. i am not very technically minded, so I have not been impressed with Cortana. I would really appreciate some help from you. Thanks. David Holland

  2. Hi David, I found that if you switch the speech settings for Cortana to Mexican Spanish, it will disable Cortana.

  3. I accidently changed my region and lost my cortana in WP Lumia 535, before changing region it was working fine but now its gone, now i want cortana back but i have failed, i also changed region back to US but it didn’t work, have i completely lost cortana or there is any way to get cortana back ?

  4. As mentioned by another reader, I too like the awesome Bing images. I do like Cortana, but it would be nice if we could keep Cortana on as a separate app, and still use the Bing page for searches. Holding down the Windows or the Search key could be used for the Cortana shortcut.

  5. I ve Lumia 535, I read in order to turn on corttana u ve to go to applications from.settings and enable it. However I couldn’t see any cortana option there. I am from Pakistan

  6. The reason I would want to turn off Cortiana is that she/it is totally useless and unresponsive to anything I want to do. I can’t even get her to talk to me, because she wants me to fill in absurd boxes about languages and settings etc.

  7. I tried to complete those sections but it wasn’t interested in hearing from me. I would have thought my settings would be the simplest ever. Then I found out I didn’t have a mic and that made me an outcast from the Cortiana world.

  8. My computer force restarted and updated and even though I disabled cortana earlier, it’s now forcing me to use it. There’s no option to turn it off.


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