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Cortana is your personal assistant when you use the Windows 10 operating system. Much of what she does relies on you allowing her access to your Microsoft account. That way when she’s signed in she can read your data and give you a personalized experience.

Cortana is smart enough to be able to help keep you arriving places on time, get you prepared for meetings, let you know any updated information you might need regarding flights, keep an eye on your packages coming in the mail, and help you follow up on your general commitments. However, before she can do any of that, she needs a setting turned on so she can collect information such as your contacts, email and communication history, text message history, so forth, so she can then get the jobs done.

It’s highly unlikely that any human is behind a computer checking out these messages and emails if you were to allow Cortana access to them–she is just a computer that has the ability to pick up on words and their meanings and then act on that all by herself, thanks to her programming. There are far too many people out there to be tracking this information. Nonetheless, some people don’t like the idea of Cortana getting access to this sort of stuff, which is also understandable.

If you’d rather not have Cortana give you as much of a personalized experience as it might have been and would prefer keeping your privacy in this instance, you can turn off the setting that handles contacts, email and calendar permissions all on the one toggle.

This is what you need to turn off the Cortana contacts, email, and Calendar permissions so you can have more privacy when using the Windows 10 operating system.

How to Turn Off Cortana Contacts, Email, Calendar Permissions in Windows 10

You can turn off the Cortana contacts, email and Calendar permissions from within the Cortana Notebook. To get there, click the mouse pointer on the Cortana ring, to the left side of the Cortana search.

It’ll then open up Cortana where you can then click on the “Notebook” icon in its left side pane, second from the top.

You might need to click on the “Personalize” button if you haven’t set this up before. Otherwise, it’ll just open up to the section you need automatically.

The next page will show you a bunch of links, one of which is the “Permissions” link, generally not far from the top of the Notebook links. Click on it and then turn off the toggle next to where it says “Cortana can help keep you on time and prepared for meetings, suggest reminds to help you keep up with commitments, help track your packages and flights, and more when you let Cortana collect and use information like your contacts, calendar details, email and contact and communication history from text messages, instant messages, and apps.”

You can now close the Cortana Notebook, and it’ll automatically remember your preferences.

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