The new Windows 10 Version 2004 update is slowly rolling out to compatabile devices, though some users will be waiting for it a little longer. The update brings several new features to the OS, including an all-new version of Microsoft’s digital assistant, Cortana, whether you like it or not.
Cortana now comes as a separate app, and it’s no longer voice-controlled. It has also dropped a number of integrations with other third-party services, focusing instead on workflow assistance and text-based commands.
Sectioning Cortana off in this way is wise; it’s not like anyone was really using it to control their music or open other apps, and maybe the adjusted focus will help Microsoft find a good use for the assistant. However, despite now being “optional,” the new Cortana app is installed by default as part of the Windows 10 2004 update and is there, ready to help, each and every time you boot up your PC. If you don’t plan to ever use the assistant, however, there’s an easy way to stop this from happening.
How to turn off or uninstall the new Cortana app
To disable the new Cortana app, you’ll need to stop it from auto-starting when you turn on your device. The easiest way to do this is via the Windows Task Manager:
Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the Task Manager.
Click the “Startup” tab
Scroll through the list until you find “Cortana.”
Right click “Cortana,” then select “disable.”
Close the Task Manager.
You can also open up the Settings app and click on Apps > Startup to accomplish the same thing.
Uninstalling Cortana completely is a bit involved. You’ll want to load up PowerShell as an administrator (right-click on it in your Start menu and select that option), and then type in the following:
Get-AppxPackage -allusers Microsoft.549981C3F5F10 | Remove-AppxPackage
Once you’ve done that, don’t forget to right-click on your Windows taskbar and uncheck “Show Cortana button,” since clicking on that button won’t do anything once you’ve sent the app into the Phantom Zone.