I don’t like talking to my phone and am confident that I will never talk to my PC to get things done. Is there a way to completely hide Cortana and get rid of its icon from my Taskbar in Win10?
Cortana is definitely a polarizing feature on modern Windows systems. Some people love it and find the convenience of tapping a button and saying “set a timer for 15 minutes” way more convenient than figuring out what app to launch and entering all the requisite data. Other Windows users want to use traditional input devices for their interaction. Keyboard, mouse, trackpad, that’s plenty. Whichever camp you’re in, you’ll definitely want to upgrade to the very latest version of Windows 10 for this to be changed. How do you know you have the latest version? Because you’ll have both a search icon and a Cortana icon on the Taskbar.
Specifically, the left side of your Taskbar on versions of Windows greater than release 1903 [you can find your own release number: Press the Windows logo key + R, type winver in the Open box, and then select OK.]. You updated? Great, let’s get to work!
To start, as I said, your Taskbar will have both a search icon (magnifying lens) and the Cortana circle icon on the left side:
Logically you might think “hmm… maybe I can disable Cortana in Cortana!” but a quick click or tap will disavow you of that notion:
Turns out that it is pretty easy to get rid of Cortana from your Taskbar in Windows 10 anyway, however. Instead of looking at Cortana to disable Cortana (don’t want to get those AI ‘bots mad at us, do we?) you want to use the Taskbar itself.
Right-click on an empty portion of your Taskbar and a handy settings and configuration menu will pop up:
Look at that third option. Yep, simply choose “Show Cortana button” and it’ll deselect it and you’ll have the Cortana circle immediately vanish from your Taskbar forever. Easy, really.
But while we’re here, notice all the other things you can opt to add to your Taskbar: Task View, People, Windows Ink, touch keyboard, even touchpad. Nice. And that’s not all, either! Choose “Toolbars“, the very top option, and there are a number of toolbars you can add (or remove!) from your Taskbar:
As you can see, I’m rather a minimalist when it comes to the Taskbar. I want it to be as uncluttered as possible, which I think I achieve:
If you’re curious, I do have a fair number of Web browsers: Edge, Chrome and Brave, then it’s MS Word and the screen snip utility that’s new to Win10 and you can launch with Windows + Shift + S to easily grab screen images or graphics. There, a handy bonus tip! 🙂
Pro Tip: I’ve not only been using and writing about Microsoft Windows for eons, I’m a Microsoft Insider MVP too. Which means, yes, I have a ton of useful Windows help tutorials here on the site. Please do check ’em out while you’re visiting. Thanks.