Sometimes you don’t need a PA
Windows 10 released last year and brought with it a ton of new features and a fresh look to the Windows Operating System. One of these new features was Cortana, a personal assistant that can help you find things on your PC, manage your calendar, tell awful jokes, and answer your questions. However, in order to get the most out of Cortana, she requires a bunch of personal information that not every PC user wants to give out. Here’s how to disable Windows 10’s personal assistant so you won’t get pestered by her any longer.
To disable Cortana in Windows 10, first you’ll need to open her by clicking in the search bar where it says ‘Ask me anything’. Once you’ve done this, make your way to the second icon down on the left-hand side below the little house icon. From here, select Settings and you should see a “Cortana can give you suggestions, ideas, reminders, alerts and more.” Turn the slider off, and this will disable the personal assistant on your PC and will also remove any locally stored data about you.
While this will remove your data from your local drive, it won’t remove what Cortana has sent up to the cloud. If you’re wanting to ensure all of your personal data remains completely safe from any unexpected hacks on Bing or the like, you’ll want to go to “Manage what Cortana knows about me in the cloud.” This option should be just below the slider you just turned off. When you’ve clicked this link, Bing will open with your personalization settings page in front of you.
You should then see two ‘Clear’ buttons. One underneath where it says Interests, and another underneath a title of ‘Other Cortana Data and Personalization Speech, Inking, and Typing.’ Hit both of these to clear all of your data from the cloud.
With Cortana disabled and your data wiped both locally and in the cloud, you can rest assured that your personal details aren’t anywhere you don’t want them to be. Although Cortana is disabled, you can still use her search function to find files, system settings, and other local programs or apps on your computer. If you want to turn Cortana back on, you simply go back to the Settings menu and switch the slider back on.