Monday, 28 June 2021

Stopping Cortana/Search with Software Restriction Policies

If you need to stop Cortana/Search from running in Windows 10/Server 2016/19 you can use a Software Restriction Policy, provided you have the Pro/Enterprise/Education version of Windows.

To do this go to the Start menu and type secpol

This brings up the Local Security Policy window.

Right click the Software Restriction Policy entry in the left-hand column and select New Software Restriction Policy

Double click on the Additional Rules folder in the right-hand pane and select New Path Rule...

In the Path field put C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy

Select Disallowed in the Security Level box.

Then enter a description, click Okay.

Now you can kill the Search process (Windows 10) or the Search and Cortana application process (server 2016/2019) in the Task Manager and the operating system will not be able to run it again.

To reenable the search facilities just delete the rule.

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