Cortana is the name of the Windows 10 virtual assistant. Most people still don’t play around with her all that much, but at the same time, she has quite a stern following and certainly seems to have slowly developed her niche among some Windows users.

It’s possible that you’ve already turned her off from Windows 10 completely, by which case if you try to say “Hey Cortana” to your computer, she won’t respond, and it won’t be because you don’t have a mic. Or you might be someone who tried asking her a question such as “Hey Cortana, what day is it today?” and weren’t too thrilled with her sarcastic response of: “it’s the first day of the rest of your life.”

The people who love Cortana probably can’t get enough of her and don’t want to reduce the places she appears in and around the Windows 10 operating system. But if you are someone who has next to no interest in ever using Microsoft’s virtual assistant, then you ought to think about disabling her entirely because she will use up hardware resources that your computer would be better off with freed up instead. Not just for the sake of creating better performance today but also for the sake of your hardware lasting longer, if you were to be using a Solid State Drive (SSD) as part of your hardware makeup, for instance.

Cortana is most helpful when used from the search field in the taskbar that you will find at the bottom of your computer’s display when you haven’t made adjustments to the default layout. She’s in the same location in all versions of Windows 10 to date. Another place that you’ll find her is after you have opened the Microsoft Edge web browser, which also has an icon available from the taskbar by default as well.

If you were to want to keep using Cortana from the search field in the taskbar but disable her from the Microsoft Edge browser, then you would leave the guide alone for disabling Cortana from WIndows10 entirely and instead follow this guide for disabling her in Edge only.

There won’t be many benefits to disabling Cortana in Edge if you’re thinking about your computer’s hardware, but the browser itself might get a bit of a performance boost if you were to turn her off from its settings. You could always try enabling Cortana in Edge and then disabling her again to see if you notice any difference.

Given that Microsoft is developing Cortana, you would expect the differences in performance to be minimal: most performance issues from plugins are from those that aren’t regularly maintained or have been coded poorly. So your reasons for disabling Cortana are more than likely going to fall elsewhere, like if she was just getting in your way from time to time.

How to disable Cortana in Microsoft Edge in Windows 10

You can disable Cortana directly from the Settings in Microsoft Edge.

To get started, click on the three dots that appear in the top right side of your Microsoft Edge web browser window and then click on the “Settings” link that appears at the bottom of the menu.

Next, scroll down until you can see the Advanced settings heading and click on the “View advanced settings” button located directly beneath it.

Lastly, switch the toggle for “Have Cortana assist me in Microsoft Edge” to the off position.

How to Disable Cortana in Microsoft Edge from Registry

You can also disable the Cortana virtual assistant from the Microsoft Edge web browser from the registry if you prefer.

To get started, open up the Registry Editor by first pressing the Windows logo key + R to bring up the Run dialog and then typing “Regedit” and hitting the “OK” button.

Now that you’re inside the Registry Editor, navigate to the following path by using the left side pane:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Classes > Local Settings > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion> AppContainer >
Storage > microsoft.microsoftedge_8wekyb3d8bbwe > MicrosoftEdge > ServiceUI

When you’re there you’ll see an “EnableCortana” entry in the right side pane. (It should be there for everyone, but if there is ever a time that you don’t see it, you can also create it.)

Change the value data to “0” if you want to disable Cortana in Edge. (Heading back into the registry and changing this same value to “1” in the future will enable it again.)

That’s it. You can now close the Registry Editor and start using Microsoft Edge without Cortana.

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