SOLVED How to PERMANENTLY disable Cortana?


Regedit32

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I'm not surprized disabling those two Services made no difference. As I commented earlier, it would be interesting to see whether it did work, given there does not appear to be any direct connection with those Services to Cortana.

As for your current situation, you renamed the SearchUI.exe and that does come with the side affect of losing your Start menu as its a dependent service you took out by renaming it.

Other than downloading the updates to Windows 10 to get yourself up to the latest OS BUILD, then giving the Registry edit I originally posted another go, I really cannot think of any other way.

That modification to the Registry I mentioned worked on the Anniversary Update, and has worked with every OS Build of Creator too. So I was surprized when you said it did not work for you.
 
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As an additional note, I went back through your post and did every step just to make sure I hadn't missed something and got the same result. Still saddled with Cortana. When I end the Cortana task, my memory usage drops from 40% to 27% but then goes right back up when it restarts.

I plan on going back and undoing the registry changes suggested by Jay B. I haven't seen any adverse effects but I don't think adding changes on top of changes is a good idea.

I checked the most current version of Windows 10 and according to the internet it is
Current Branch (CB) 1703 15063.447
The one I currently have is
Current Branch (CB) 1703 15063.413.

Would it be worthwhile to try and update to the 447? And how do I do that? When I checked on Windows Update it said there was only an update for Adobe available.
Thanks for your help.
 
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Regedit32

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Hi Morlaine,

Now I am a little confused. A while back you posted your winver window which said you were using:
  • Version 1703 (OS Build 1506.413)
  • You also mentioned initially you were using Windows 10 Home edition
No you are telling me the following:

I checked the most current version of Windows 10 and according to the internet it is
Current Branch (CB) 1703 15063.447
The one I currently have is
Current Branch (CB) 1703 15063.413
The (CB) editions of Windows 10 are testing platforms for Businesses. That is really intended more for the IT staff.

Most businesses will probably be using the (CBB) editions, as theses are released roughly 4 months after the initial release of the (CB) release, as by then Microsoft have had time to fix any issues that arise during public testing; hence the (CBB) edition for businesses is generally more stable and reliable.


I've never tested the Registry policies on a CB or CBB edition, so that may explain why its not working for you.

Given it is a Business Edition of Windows 10 I can almost certainly guarantee there will be Group Policies and or Software Policies, that are built-in, some of which will be accessible by the IT staff, and some that will only be accessible by Microsoft. It will probably be these settings that ignore any registry modification you make in regard to policies.
 
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Helllo morlaine,

Sorry it didn't work :(

There's another option wich is to rename Cortana adding « .old ».

After ending the task via the task manager, you open your Windows Explorer, and you go to : Windows => SystemApps, and you open it , then you scroll down to the file Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_xxxxxxxxxx, on wich you right-clic and rename it by adding « .old » at the end.
And you reboot your computer.

Don't forget to make a restoration point.

Cortana.PNG


And wait to see what Regedit32 think of this.

Regards ;) JAY B.
 
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Regedit32

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And wait to see what Regedit32 think of this.
Hi JAY B,

Renaming that to its current name with the .old extension on the end will certainly prevent it running, as anything calling for it will not be able to locate it given its new name.

Worth a shot for sure.

I have not tested this, but you may need to take ownership of the directory or file first given its built-in to Windows 10 before you can rename it. We'll wait and see if morlaine tries this, and whether or not she runs into a permissions issue.
 
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Here's an update that may or may not help clear up Regedit32's confusion. Not being very techie I had no idea that is what the CB version was for. About 3 or 4 months ago, I turned the computer off one night. It had been on for a few days as I was busy and was doing some downloads of files at night. The computer had been working fine. The next morning I turned it on and it would not start. I turned it off and on two or three times with no luck. I unplugged it, removed the battery, put the battery back in, and turned it on again. This time it came on but very little was working. I ran Malware bytes and it found nothing, I ran chkdsk (a number of times, I think) and it fixed some stuff but not others, then ran a sfc /scannow, also a number of times, if memory serves. I'm pretty good about backing up the Registry files even if I'm only going to look at it and not make any changes. I tried using 3 or 4 older versions of the Registry backups, but that didn't help anything either.

I spent about 5 days, 16 hours a day working on this, I was pretty brain dead by this point. Somewhere, please don't ask when, where, or what prompted it, but I found a place that said I wasn't running the most current version of Windows and should update mine. Since my computer was still pretty sick and pretty much unusable, I did. And I thought I was getting that Anniversary version but evidently not. Remember, I was brain dead. Not sure I've recovered yet. :)

Anyway, many runs, many days, sleepless nights, many cups of coffee, many changes, updates, and only a few lost files, I managed to get it back to working. Trust me, I was amazed that I did it. And there was never any one thing that I did that Poof, made it magically all work again. With everything I did, it seemed that I got a little bit more functionality. Updating to this newer version of Windows seemed to help the most. Bear in mind, I'm not a techie when it comes to laptops. Give me a mainframe any day. :)

After doing that update, Cortana was back. I had found a way to turn it off in the Windows 10 Home that I initially put on the laptop. But it reared its ugly head again after I updated to whatever version is now on my laptop.

When I look in the Control Panel/System, it shows Windows 10 Home. See screen shot below.

upload_2017-7-17_12-40-10.png


However, when I look in File Explorer/System properties I see what is shown below. So, I understand your confusion and I am also confused.

upload_2017-7-17_12-43-16.png


The laptop was used and came with Windows 8.1. Before I started using it, I upgraded to Windows 10 Home, that free version MS had made available. That was another three months of trying to get that to work and I still can't set up a network with this laptop and my old one running Windows 7. But that is a battle for a different day, if ever.

As a side note, probably not at all relevant, I have ordered a new DVD drive, this one is dead, died right before all the problems. A new keyboard, this one misses keystrokes, so be patient with typos. And a new 2Tb hard drive as this one is getting quite full. It only has about 50 gb available out of 1Tb. I have lots of instructional videos and lots of research material for various writing projects. And I ordered a new fan, just in case.

I'm currently in Costa Rica trying to find a buyer for my beach house here and have to have everything freight forwarded to me which is why I ordered so much at once and a fan, just in case. Computer parts are not available here and neither are competent technicians to fix them. If I'd been in Arizona I would have taken the laptop to the repair shop when I first turned it on and it wouldn't work.

So, there. You have a more or less complete history of this laptop and my troubles with it. I hope that helped with some of your confusion.
 
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Another update with regard to Jay B's suggestion for renaming the Cortana file in the windows/systemapps folder. That worked with regard to keeping Cortana from running. However, when Cortana ended, so did the Start Menu. I can click on the button and the Start Menu opens but everything in it is grayed out. This was the same result I got when I renamed the searchui.exe file. This was just a higher level in the folder hierarchy.

Still willing to try most anything.
A friend of mine in Arizona said I should switch to Linux. Is that a good OS? I have no idea. And can I have two OS's on one laptop so I can try it before I leap off into the deep end of the pool?
 

Regedit32

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Well based on that information it appears you are in fact using Windows 10 Home edition

At the moment you are on Version 1703, (OS Build 15063.413)

So that means you are using one of the Creator builds, not the Anniversary version which is Version 1607

The weird thing though is you apparently are not receiving Windows Updates because your current OS Build 15063.413 is actually two builds behind. You can upgrade to either 15063.447 which is the next build up from your current installed copy, or you can skip that and go straight to the latest build which is OS Build 15063.483

If you want the latest build and you might as well get that in my opinion, then:
  • Either, right-click on Start and select Settings then click Updates & security then click Check for updates
  • Or you can go directly to the Windows Update Catalog website here:
http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/Search.aspx?q=KB4025342

You'll see four download options listed.

As you are on a x64-bit computer, and using Windows 10 Home edition, you will want to choose the second download which is titled:

2017-07 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1703 for x64-based Systems (KB4025342)

When you select that one to download another window will open with a url. Click that url to download and select Save as and save to a location you want.

Once it is downloaded, simply double-left-click to run. It will automatically load your Windows Update cache with the necessary install files, then when that is done you will be prompted to restart your computer, during which the update will be installed partly as it shuts down, and the remainder as it reboots to your lock screen.
 
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I am downloading that update you suggested. Video Download Helper says it will take at least seven hours to download. As I'm sure you guessed, I have a very slow internet connection. Once I get that updated, should I try some of the above suggestions again? Or would it be a waste of time?

And how would I find the updates like this one in the future? When I looked at Windows Update yesterday, it only showed an update for Adobe. Or would that be because I'm on a monitored internet access where they charge you for every byte you download and Windows would not show me updates like this one?

If there was a way to separate the running of Cortana from the Start Menu, I think we would have a winner. But that is way beyond my meager laptop knowledge.
Thank you so much for all the help. I am learning a lot, albeit slowly. :)
 

Regedit32

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Ahh if you are on a metered connection, then yes, that may be why you have not yet seen the update.

Sometimes, Microsoft will prevent an Update being delivered to a System it deems will likely run into troubles if it is installed before addressing the issue. For example, the Update you are currently downloading will not be delivered to anyone using Comodo Internet Security, until they manually update their Comodo Internet Security to the latest Hotfix, as the creators of Comodo informed Microsoft their older builds would not work if this update is installed.

As for how to you find the Catalog for a particular update:
  • Go to your Settings and open Update & security
  • Towards the bottom of window you can click on Learn more [Note: In some installations this may be located in the right side of window]
  • You will be taken to a website in your browser after clicking Learn more and this page displays all the OS Builds for each Version. Typically, the one at the top of list is the most recent update.
  • Click on the Most Recent Update and this will open a new page, that provides full details about what the update is, will do and the files it will be sending your way. If you scroll down the page you will see a section called Known issues and it pays to "Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 for Mac Quick Start Guide","Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 for Mac Quick Start Guide",read that before installing the update, just in case there is an issue that will affect your computer.
  • Below the Known issues section, you will see another section titled How to get this update and there you will see a link to go to the Catalog site where there stand-alone updates are for the particular OS Build you were reading about on previous page. In all cases there will only be one download that is correct for your computer, so read the choices carefully before downloading.
I have not had a chance to test the Policy modification to the Registry on this latest Build yet, but will do so later today, and will let you know whether or not it worked for me on a Windows 10 Home edition. First, I need to restart Cortana as I had it disabled from the last test on OS Build 15063.447.

I'll post here to let you know whether it continues to work in the new OS Build 15063.483
 
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Thanks so much. I greatly appreciate all the time you've spent helping me and answering my novice questions. I'll let you know how the update goes but that probably won't be until tomorrow.
 
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shame we have to find ways to get rid of cortana . would be nice and polite if the windows poeple told us how to get rid of it on OUR computers !!! and edge too while we at it . and all the apps we dont want .
''some settings are hidden by your organisation '' which are what exactly ???
 
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Hello trev,

If you want to uninstall Edge, there's a tutorial on this site : https://sospc.name/edge-desinstallez-le/

But it is in French, but the tool you have to download is in English.

So if you really want to get rid of Edge, give it a try ! :)

And tell us about it.

Regards ;) JAY B.
 
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shame we have to find ways to get rid of cortana . would be nice and polite if the windows poeple told us how to get rid of it on OUR computers !!! and edge too while we at it . and all the apps we dont want .
''some settings are hidden by your organisation '' which are what exactly ???
Like I said before. Cortana and Edge are the delivery system for the telemetry. Microsoft does not want you to be able to disable either.
 
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Regedit32:
Here's the latest. The Windows update just finished installing. I attached a screen print showing that it did update.
However, somewhere along the way, we, well I suppose I should say I managed to screw up the display settings (resolution?) for my games. I have Big Fish games, Wild Tangent games, and a game called Hand and Foot (a card game). Big Fish games seems to work just fine. But when I start Wild Tangent games and Hand and Foot they change the desktop to where the icons are about 1 x 2 inches (HUGE) and the Wild Tangent game manager screen will not fit on the screen and Hand and Foot fills the entire screen which always before when it started there was about 1 and a half inches on each side of the display of the game board. By the way Hand and Foot is not written/published/ or in any way associated with Wild Tangent. So the problem is across various game publishers, not specific to Wild Tangent.

I tried adjusting the display settings by doing a right click on the desktop and nothing seems to work. I put it back to the recommended setting. What changes have I made that would have affected these games like this? How can I put it back to normal? What puzzles me is that some games are affected and others (Big Fish) are not.

Thanks for any suggestions. These games are unplayable now.

Here's the screen shot showing the update.

upload_2017-7-18_13-12-15.png
 
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One thing I forgot to tell you, I discovered the problem with the resolution on the games before I did the update. I went ahead and did the update hoping that it would correct the problem. It didn't.
 

Regedit32

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  • Right-click on Start and select the Device Manager
  • Expand the Display Adapters
  • Right-click on the adapter listed and select Properties
  • Check whether the correct driver is installed. It's possible that during one of your updates, Windows updated the driver, and perhaps you are better off with the former driver you had before the troubles began. If this is the case you may be able to simply click on roll back to get back to an older driver.
 
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I've never known Windows to update a driver and I thought it was because I had a laptop but I did as you suggested. I has the original driver and I checked for an update and was told I had the most current driver. Here's a screen shot.

upload_2017-7-18_14-45-41.png


Tell me I'm wrong with this thinking but if I disable or uninstall the device and re-boot will it re-install the driver or would I really be screwing the pooch if I did that? And if it was the driver, wouldn't it affect all the displays? It's only affecting Wild Tangent games and the Hand and Foot game.
Awaiting more suggestions. :)
 
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Regedit32

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I've just tested that Policy change to the Registry I originally mentioned to you.

On its own it does not stop the Cortana Process, however, I figured out a way to stop it.
  • Press your Windows key + S together
  • In the Search field type command
  • In the search results, right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator
  • Click Yes to the User Account Control prompt
  • In the Administrator: Command Prompt console type or copy&paste the follow:
Code:
REG ADD "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search" /v AllowCortana /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f
Press Enter key

Type exit then press Enter key again​
  • Close any other open programs
  • Shut down & Restart Computer
  • Sign-in again
  • Now right-click on Start and select Settings
  • In the Windows Settings app that opens, you will see your cursor inside a search field. In this field type Cortana then with your mouse select Cortana & Search settings
  • That will open the Cortana & Search settings menu which appears in the bottom left corner of your Desktop just above the Search field on your Taskbar. In this frame, you will see a section titled: My device history. Here, toggle OFF, then click the Clear my device history button
Sample image

cortana.png


That will refresh your view to a new display: Click the Close button

Sample image

cortana2.png


After clicking the Close button you'll be greeted by a standard Search field

Sample image

search.png

  • Close any other open programs
  • Shut down and Restart computer

Cortana should now be completely stopped.
 

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