Windows – Remove Cortana from start menu

cortanawindows 10windows-10-v1803

so i've been trying to remove the cortana Icon from the start menu for a while now but haven't been successful yet.
How do you guys do it?

This is the current look

All i want to do is remove/hide the Cortana Icon, not remove it's search functionality.

I Already tried by renaming the Cortana Folder in %SystemRoot%\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy

This only broke the search functionality but didn't remove the Icon from the start menu.

I also read about moving the %UserProfile%\AppData\Local\TILEDATALAYER folder but it's been deprecated in 1709.

Is there really not a single way to do this?

Best Answer

If what you need is to disable Cortana, but keep the search behavior, as in LTSB/C, this can be accomplished either via Group Policy or the Registry (see here), resulting in the default local Search behavior (Cortana name & icon will still show in Start Menu).

  • Cortana and Search are actually SearchUI.exe behaving as one or the other, depending on the configuration in Group Policy or the Registry
  • The icon & name are not configured based on this; Product Policy and Cortana-AllowCortana-Enabled takes precedence with all these tweaks (0 is Local Search, while 1 is Cortana-enabled if not disabled in GP/registry).

    HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ProductOptions\ProductPolicy is specific to Windows version installed, with Cortana-AllowCortana-Enabled set to 1 in Home/Pro/Ent and 0 in LTSB/C
    • Changing this to 0 will get the desired result, however that value is a kernel protected registry entry, and if modified in a normal session, it's silently discarded; it's only possible to modify it with some additional steps (see here), but once modified, the SPP service will kick in at some point and refresh everything back (disabling SPP is not recommended since that could break other things, such as activation).

The other way is a patch to Cortana.BackgroundTask.dll & Cortana.Core.dll, which are checking for that policy flag (what I used).

Once patched to always return false on the Cortana-enabled check, Search is back: