How to Turn Cortana On/Off After the Anniversary Update

Joel Lee 22-08-2016

The Anniversary Update for Windows 10 brought a lot of cool features and improvements 9 Windows 10 Anniversary Update Features You'll Love Are you still on the fence about the Windows 10 Anniversary Update? We have summarized the most important new features. Be sure to try all of them if you've already upgraded! Read More , such as the ability to sync notifications between your phone and your PC How to Sync Android Notifications With Windows 10 Using Cortana You can now sync Android phone notifications with Windows 10 and act on them. We guide you through the setup with Cortana and explain how you can manage your phone from your desktop's Action Center. Read More , but it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing.


A lot of users experienced all kinds of Anniversary Update issues 16 Windows 10 Anniversary Update Issues & How to Fix Them The Windows 10 Anniversary Update brings many improvements, but it has also introduced a host of new problems and annoyances. Here's how to troubleshoot and fix them. Read More and some of the new features weren’t welcome by everyone.

For example, what about the improved Cortana? Some users want to disable it while others want to turn her on and see what the fuss is about, but it’s not as straightforward as you might think.


The improved Cortana is toggled on and off through a single registry key. When it’s off, all you have is basic system search. When it’s on, you get the full-featured Cortana that Microsoft is so excited about.

The registry key is located here:


HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Search

Look for the value called BingSearchEnabled and set it to 1 (on) or 0 (off). Why isn’t there an option for this in Settings? Perhaps this was just an oversight on Microsoft’s part. Either way, that’s all you have to do!

How do you feel about Cortana in Windows 10? Do you use her regularly or have you disabled her and placed her out of your mind for good? Let us know why in the comments!

Related topics: Microsoft Cortana, Windows 10.

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  1. Don Meuth
    May 22, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    I think COrtana is annoying at best, it keeps popping up taking about 1/3 of my screen, and over and over and over I have to stop what I am doing to close it.

    Microsoft likes their "toys" most of which are useless and they have the gall to make them difficult to turn off.

  2. Don Meuth
    May 22, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    I think Cortana is annoying, while I am working it keeps popping up taking 1/3 of my screen and I have to stop to close it over and over and over.....

  3. Ahsan
    September 17, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    But the option "BingSearchEnabled" is not available in my case. I am using Windows 10 Education Version,

    • Joel Lee
      September 20, 2016 at 12:56 am

      Hmm, I still see it but I am using Windows 10 Professional. I wonder if the option is disabled in the Education version? That would be a shame. Sorry, Ahsan!