How to turn off Cortana on a Windows 10 computer, so it doesn't take up power and can't hear or respond to your voice

Hollis Johnson/Tech InsiderTo turn off Cortana in Windows 10, you’ll need to turn off some settings.

  • You can turn off Cortana in Windows 10 through the Settings menu by taking away its ability to respond to your voice.
  • Cortana is Microsoft’s personal digital assistant, built into Windows 10. It listens for and responds to the wake phrase, “Hey Cortana.”
  • If you’re concerned about privacy, you can also disable Cortana’s permission to access your personal information.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Cortana is Windows 10’s digital assistant, similar to Siri on the iPhone and Mac, or Alexa on the Amazon Echo.

Named after the artificial intelligence in the computer game series “Halo,” it’s available via voice command when you say, “Hey Cortana.” Once you do so, it can help you in a variety of ways, including planning trips, giving you the weather, or finding files on your computer.

If you don’t like Cortana – or are concerned about potential privacy issues – you can turn this feature off through Windows 10’s settings.

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How to turn off Cortana in Windows 10

1. Click the Start button and then click the Settings icon, which resembles a small gear.

Cortana 1Dave Johnson/Business InsiderYou can find Cortana’s controls in Settings.

2. In the Settings search box, type “Cortana” and then click “Change how you talk to Cortana” in the search results.

Cortana 2Dave Johnson/Business InsiderYou can disable Cortana’s ability to respond to you by choosing ‘Change how you talk to Cortana.’

3. In the Hey Cortana section, turn off “Let Cortana respond to ‘Hey Cortana'” by clicking the button to the Off position.

Cortana 3Dave Johnson/Business InsiderTurn off Cortana on the Talk to Cortana page in Settings.

4. In the Keyboard shortcut section, turn off the option to let Cortana listen for commands when you press the Windows logo key + C.

After making these two changes, Cortana is effectively disabled, and can no longer listen for you.

If you prefer, you can go one step further and take away Cortana’s permissions.

5. In the Settings search box, type “Cortana” and choose “Cortana permissions” from the drop-down set of search results. It may also appear in the search results as “Manage what Cortana can do, see, and use.”

6. In the Permissions section, click “Manage the information Cortana can access from this device.”

7. Turn off all the settings on this permissions page.

Cortana 4Dave Johnson/Business InsiderYou can disable Cortana’s access to your personal information.
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