How to enable or disable Cortana in Windows 11

Cortana, the official digital assistant for Windows computers, was first introduced with Windows 10 as a response to Apple’s Siri and Google Now. But as convenient as the app is, the issues it causes for user privacy cannot be overlooked.

Perhaps this is why Microsoft decided to ditch it for the new Windows 11. However, Microsoft has not completely phased out Cortana; it just comes off by default. For some users, however, Cortana is too good a luxury to give up. And if you’re one of those users, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll go over the best ways to enable (and disable) Cortana on your Windows 11 PC.

How to activate Cortana in Windows 11

If you’re ok with voice assistant privacy loopholes – and trust us, there are a lot of them – then follow the steps below to enable Cortana on your Windows 11. Also note that Cortana is installed by default, so all you ‘It remains only to activate it.

You can quickly get started with Cortana on Windows 11 by using the Start menu search bar. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Start search in menu bar, type ‘cortana’ and select the best match.
  2. When the Cortana app opens, click Log in, and sign in with your Microsoft account.
  3. Finally, click on Accept and continue.

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Do so and you’ll be logged into your Cortana account. After that, the application will launch.

2. How to activate Cortana through the task manager

If for some reason the above method fails to start the application, you can use Task Manager to achieve similar result. A program designed to monitor the processes and applications running on your Windows, Task Manager can also be used to terminate or manage applications.

Therefore, it will be helpful to enable Cortana in your Windows 11. Follow the steps below to get started:

  1. hurry Ctrl + Shift + Del and select Task Manager. Alternatively, you can press CTRL + Shift + ESC.
  2. Of the, click on the Start tongue.
  3. Now right click on Cortana to see the list of options.
  4. From this list, select To allow.


activation of cortana from the task manager

Related: How To Use Windows Task Manager

How to turn off Cortana in Windows 11

However, if you have had enough of Cortana, you can easily turn it off by following the same steps you took above to turn it on, in addition to using other useful methods that we’ll list here. Let’s take a look at them one by one.

1. How to disable Cortana through the Windows registry

The Windows Registry is a hierarchical database that stores critical system files that are continually referenced by an operating system. Whether it’s the kernel, UI, or even device drivers, they’ll all need to access the registry at some point.

Related: What is the Windows registry and how do I modify it?

So if you want to disable Cortana permanently, Windows registry is your best bet. Now, before we jump headlong into editing the registry, let’s assume that you have already backed up all of your Windows files. Don’t make mistakes; Dabbling around with registry changes is not without its dangers.

After making a backup of your computer, here’s how you can get started:

  1. hurry Win + R to open the To run dialog box.
  2. There, type ‘regedit’ and press Enter.
  3. When the Windows Registry is started, type the following in the address bar:
    ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesMicrosoftWindows
  4. Right click on the the Windows folder and select New> Key option.
  5. Name the newly created key ‘Windows Search’.
  6. Right click on Windows search and select the New> DWORD (32 bits).


dword value creation

When you’re done, rename the newly created file to AuthorizeCortana.

Now launch the AuthorizeCortana file and set it Value data to 0. Click on OKAY. When you’re done, restart your PC to consolidate the changes. Do this and Cortana will be permanently disabled on your PC.


changing value data property

Here’s what you’ll see when you try to relaunch Cortana from your PC.


disabled cortana

But what if you want to turn Cortana back on? No problem. All you need to do is edit the data of the value of AuthorizeCortana file from top to 1 and Cortana will be activated again.

2. How to turn off Cortana with the Group Policy Editor

Group Policy Editor is a Windows administration tool that allows you to configure critical Windows settings, called Group Policy settings. Group Policy is a feature of Windows that gives you control over the Windows working environment, allowing you to tinker with user and computer accounts.

You can disable the Cortana app using Policy Editor. To get started, follow the steps below:

  1. hurry Win + R to open the To run dialog box.
  2. In the To run dialog box, type ‘gpedit.msc’ and press Enter.

When the Group Policy Editor opens, select Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates> Windows Components> Search.


group policy editor

Of To look for folder in the right pane of the dialog, follow the steps below:

  • Find the “Allow Cortana” policy file and right click above.
  • From there choose the Deactivated radio box and click To apply.

This will disable Cortana from Windows 11. To re-enable it, simply flip the “Allow Cortana” settings back to Enabled, and you return to your previous settings.

3. How to turn off Cortana through Windows settings

Another way to turn off Cortana on your Windows 11 is through the Settings menu. To get started, follow the steps below:

  • Go to The Start menu search bar, enter “settings” and select the best match. Otherwise, press Windows key + I together and the Settings the menu will open.
  • Click on Applications> Applications and features.
  • Go to the apps list search bar, type “cortana” and the Cortana app will appear. Right click on the Cortana options (three dots aligned) and select Advanced options.
  • Look for the Works on connection option and switch off the button toggles below.

disable cortana from settings

Once you have completed all of the above steps, Cortana will be successfully disabled for your Windows 11.

Enabling and disabling Cortana in Windows 11

And that’s it, guys. You now know all the foolproof methods to change your Cortana settings on Windows 11. While we have nothing against Microsoft, or even virtual assistant programs for that matter, we advise you to avoid them whenever possible. Besides collecting your data and selling it to the highest bidder, all virtual assistants are susceptible to hacks, making their daily adoption an alarming prospect for most end users.


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