If you want Cortana to act pretty much like Windows Search had:
- Open Cortana & Search Settings.
- Turn the toggle for "Search Online and include web results off"
- Open the Privacy Settings, Speech Inking & Typing Pane, and turn "Get to Know Me" off. If you wish to erase all information that is already held in the cloud from Cortana then follow the "Go to Bing and manage personal info for all your devices" link.
Cortana is now Windows Search, so if you're trying to search your machine alone having done the above will cause the Cortana window to read "Search Windows" in the edit box where you type search terms.
Contrary to a lot of `common knowledge`, you can have very fine-grained control over what Cortana may or may not collect or access, I just pretty much block it all because I have no interest in the personal digital assistant function. See the Cortana and privacy page.
If you are like me, and seldom ever need to search based on file contents, but far more often want to find a file by file name like one did in earlier versions of Windows, I cannot recommend the Search Everything search from voidtools.com more highly. It can be configured to index on file contents, too, but I've not gone that route. I use Search Everything far more frequently than the "neutered" Cortana because it does what I want and need it to do. It's also lightning fast, can support the use of regular expressions, and very lightweight on system resources.
Edited by britechguy, 21 September 2016 - 10:30 PM.
Brian AKA Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134
. . . the presumption of innocence, while essential in the legal realm, does not mean the elimination of common sense outside it. The willing suspension of disbelief has its limits, or should.
~ Ruth Marcus, November 10, 2017, in Washington Post article, Bannon is right: It’s no coincidence The Post broke the Moore story