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How to disable Cortana and Bing permanently?


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#1 lakatz

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 04:13 PM

Wow... Windows has gone into control freak mode as bad as Mac has. How do I disable Cortana and Bing when I'm not given an option on the start button or task bar? 

 

I want a search box and Google. I don't want to do anything with Bing. I'm pissed already that iPhone uses Bing now. 

 

Me: Siri, how many miles between the beach and my house?

Siri: The closest beach to Budapest is...

 

It didn't used to be so surreal. 

 

 

Thanks. 



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#2 britechguy

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 04:41 PM

You don't, period.   Cortana is wed to MS-Edge and Bing.

 

If you want to do a Google search then open a web browser of your choice and do it.  Microsoft made the decision to make Cortana web searches be passed only to MS-Edge and that Bing and Bing alone be used for those searches, regardless of what you might have your default search engine set to for Edge.  It wasn't always this way, but it's not going back.

 

I turned Cortana into what had been good, old-fashioned Windows search the day I set up Windows 10.  I don't want the PDA feature nor web results to be returned under any circumstances.  It's much easier to open up a web browser to do web searches with the search engine or engines of my choosing.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 


#3 lakatz

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 05:13 PM

Thanks Brian...  I do use google for web searches, but I'm trying to search for stuff on my computer and Cortana butts in and returns complete non-sense. How do I search for stuff on just my computer now? I can't find a search option anywhere. When I right-click on the start icon and pick search, Cortana pops up. 


Edited by lakatz, 21 September 2016 - 05:14 PM.


#4 britechguy

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 09:56 PM

If you want Cortana to act pretty much like Windows Search had:

 

  1. Open Cortana & Search Settings.
  2. Turn the toggle for "Search Online and include web results off"
  3. 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 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 


#5 lakatz

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 05:46 PM

I think we're probably using different versions of Windows 10 because I don't have the option under Cortana's settings that you mention in item #2. I've not liked Cortana for quite some time and went in and toggled everything under settings off some time ago. I checked again, and that option just is not there. I do have the option of searching apps, documents or the web when I open the search option from the start button, and none of those appeal to me. Neutered is a good word for the search function in Windows 10. I actually used advanced search quite frequently, so I d/led Everything, and am going to try that instead. 

 

Thank you so much for your help.



#6 britechguy

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 10:32 PM

lakatz,

 

           If you're still on a later iteration of 1511 there was a period where the toggle I note in my step #2 had been removed, which I had forgotten.  It is definitely there again since 1607 was installed on my machine.  Why they ever took that away (or, perhaps moved it, but I never found "where it went" when it was missing) I'll never know.

 

           Be sure to check it out again after the Anniversary Update is applied on your machine.  I feel fairly certain that you'll end up liking Search Everything much better than the neutered Cortana anyway, but it's always good to have options.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 


#7 saguaro2

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 09:44 AM

I hope it's not a faux pas to post on a week-old thread, but this is one of the few mentions I've been able to find online of that toggle existing in 1607. I definitely have it now, on three different systems running the Anniversary update (currently on build 14393.222). However, I rather suspect it isn't supposed to be there!

 

I originally had things set up so that Cortana used Firefox and Google -- I can't remember how I accomplished that, but if there was a registry hack involved it was a very small one. When that stopped working at some point during the 1511 era,  I disabled web search. I force-updated my laptop to the Anniversary edition as soon as it became available  (because I didn't want to be ambushed by an auto-update on a business trip), and Cortana was disabled after the update with no obvious way to turn her on short of editing the registry -- I think the key I would have had to change was 'BingSearchEnabled'. There were reports of this here and there on the web, and it was generally agreed to be a bug that would be fixed eventually; changing that registry key seemed to work for a lot of people, but I never tried it in case it didn't work in reverse. The other two systems stayed on 1511 until the big wave of automatic updates a week or so ago. Both of those had Cortana active with no obvious off-switch immediately after the update, despite having BingSearchEnabled set to 0 -- but a few days -- and a Cumulative Update -- later I realised she was gone again and the taskbar search was back to  'Search Windows' with the magnifying-glass icon. This time the toggle was there in the search-menu settings, and around the same time it mysteriously appeared on the laptop too. So right now I can switch her on and off at will, but as I say, I'm not sure I believe Microsoft meant this to happen or that it will keep working indefinitely.



#8 lakatz

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 12:09 PM

Faux pas or not, I very much appreciate your posting this information. My toggle situation didn't change with the last update, so I suspect your freedom from Cortana has a lot to do with the tweaks you did previously. I'm going looking for some. Thank you. 

 

I hope it's not a faux pas to post on a week-old thread, but this is one of the few mentions I've been able to find online of that toggle existing in 1607. I definitely have it now, on three different systems running the Anniversary update (currently on build 14393.222). However, I rather suspect it isn't supposed to be there!

 

I originally had things set up so that Cortana used Firefox and Google -- I can't remember how I accomplished that, but if there was a registry hack involved it was a very small one. When that stopped working at some point during the 1511 era,  I disabled web search. I force-updated my laptop to the Anniversary edition as soon as it became available  (because I didn't want to be ambushed by an auto-update on a business trip), and Cortana was disabled after the update with no obvious way to turn her on short of editing the registry -- I think the key I would have had to change was 'BingSearchEnabled'. There were reports of this here and there on the web, and it was generally agreed to be a bug that would be fixed eventually; changing that registry key seemed to work for a lot of people, but I never tried it in case it didn't work in reverse. The other two systems stayed on 1511 until the big wave of automatic updates a week or so ago. Both of those had Cortana active with no obvious off-switch immediately after the update, despite having BingSearchEnabled set to 0 -- but a few days -- and a Cumulative Update -- later I realised she was gone again and the taskbar search was back to  'Search Windows' with the magnifying-glass icon. This time the toggle was there in the search-menu settings, and around the same time it mysteriously appeared on the laptop too. So right now I can switch her on and off at will, but as I say, I'm not sure I believe Microsoft meant this to happen or that it will keep working indefinitely.






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