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How to disable Cortana in Windows 10

I still haven't had the chance to give Windows 10 a go, but if IT Pro Portal's Ian Barker is to believe, it is an operating system worth giving a go.

Among the biggest highlights of Windows 10 is the new internet browser called Edge, which is apparently more than a hundred times faster than Chrome, as well as Cortana, the digital assistant.

Brad Chacos, PCWorld's senior editor describes the virtual assistant as “smart, snarky digital assistant”, saying its natural language search capabilities “rock”, and her “intelligent surfacing of news and notifications that matter to you” help to tailor Windows 10 to suit your specific needs.

But in order for Cortana to maximise its potential, it needs to know a lot about you. Where you live, who your friends are, what your calendar looks like – and not everyone is willing to give this information away.

People are generally quite sensitive about giving personal data to corporations, fearing they might use them for personal gain more than the benefit of the user.

Microsoft has made it easy to disable Cortana and delete everything it knows about you, both on the computer and in the cloud, which is a feature Microsoft should be praised for.

If you’re not a big fan of a digital brain knowing things about you, here’s how you disable it:

Open Cortana > Notebook icon > Settings

Slide “Cortana can give you suggestions, ideas, reminders, alerts and more” to off

Click the “Manage what Cortana knows about me in the cloud” link

When the personalisation settings page opens, click the Clear buttons in the “Clear personal info” and “Other Cortana data and personalized speech, inking and typing” sections.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.