Cortana is your assistant on Windows 10 and it provides many useful features that can be exploited using voice commands or typing in the search bar. However, not everyone is a fan of Cortana and many users choose to disable it for various reasons.
Disabled or not, Cortana shouldn’t use excessive amounts of memory no matter if it’s running or not. However, some users have reported high memory usage from Cortana. Users who have Cortana enabled reported higher numbers whereas other users wondered how could Cortana use any resources if it’s disabled. Users found ways to resolve this problem and you should check them out below to find out more about the problem!
What Causes Cortana to Use Memory on Windows 10?
If Cortana is running, it’s expected to see its memory usage increase. Still, if the amount is too high, you should consider disabling it completely until a new Windows update resolves this problem.
If the scenario is different and you have already disabled Cortana on your computer, high or any memory usage is something that shouldn’t happen and you can use the two methods below to be sure that Cortana is completely disabled without affecting other features of your PC.
Solution 1: Use the Following Set of Commands to Disable Cortana
This method will be useful for both scenarios. It’s good for users who have Cortana running on their computer and who which to disable it but also for users who have already disabled Cortana using other methods but still see that it’s taking up a significant amount of memory. Either way, the commands below should disable it for good!
- Search for “Command Prompt” by typing it either right in the Start menu or by pressing the search button right next to it. Right-click the first entry which will pop up as a search result and select the “Run as administrator” context menu entry.
- Additionally, you can also use the Windows Logo Key + R key combination to bring up the Run dialog box. Type in “cmd” in the dialog box which appears and use the Ctrl + Shift + Enter key combination to run Command Prompt using administrator privileges.
- Type in the following commands in the window and make sure you press Enter after typing each one. Wait for the “Operation completed successfully” message or something similar to know that the method has worked and you haven’t made any mistakes while typing. Check to see if the issue persists.
takeown /f "%WinDir%\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy" /a /r /d y icacls "%WinDir%\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy" /inheritance:r /grant:r Administrators:(OI)(CI)F /t /c taskkill /im SearchUI.exe /f rd "%WinDir%\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy" /s /q
Solution 2: Delete the SearchUI.exe File
If you are not using Cortana and you still notice that it’s taking up an unusual amount of resources on your computer, consider trying out this method. However, this method will require you to be fast, as you will only have about two seconds to delete the SearchUI.exe file after taking ownership of it and ending it in Task Manager. Make sure you follow the steps below.
- Open the Run utility by using the Windows Key + R key combination on your keyboard (press these keys at the same time. Type “ms-settings:” in the newly opened box without the quotation marks and click OK to open the Settings
- You can also use the Windows Key + I key combination to launch Settings or simply click the Start menu button and the cog icon afterward!
- Click the Cortana section in Settings and the list of Cortana-related settings should appear. Make sure you set the slider to off next to these two options: Let Cortana respond to “Hey Cortana” and Let Cortana listen for my commands when I press the Windows logo key + C.
- Open Libraries on your PC or open any folder on the computer and click the This PC entry from the left side menu.
- Navigate to the following location on your computer to locate the SearchUI.exe file which needs to be deleted to get rid of Cortana on Windows 10:
- You will need to take ownership of the SearchUI.exe file located inside the folder provided above before proceeding. Right-click the file, click Properties, and then click the Security tab. Click the Advanced button. The “Advanced Security Settings” window will appear. Here you need to change the Owner of the key.
- Click the Change link next to the “Owner:” label The Select User or Group window will appear.
- Select the user account via the Advanced button or just type your user account in the area which says ‘Enter the object name to select’ and click OK. Add the Everyone account.
- Click the Add button below and follow it up by clicking the Select a principal button at the top. Select the user account via the Advanced button or just type your user account in the area which says ‘Enter the object name to select‘ and click OK. Add the Everyone account.
- Under the Basic permissions section, make sure you choose Full control before applying the changes you have made.
- After performing the steps, above make sure you don’t close this window as you will need it to delete the file. Use the Ctrl + Shift + Esc key combination by pressing the keys at the same time to open the Task Manager utility.
- Alternatively, you can use the Ctrl + Alt + Del key combination and select Task Manager from the popup blue screen which will appear with several options. You can also search for it in the Start menu.
- Click on More details at the bottom left part of the window to expand Task Manager. Navigate to the Details tab and search for the SearchUI.exe entry. Select it and choose the End task option from the lower right part of the window.
- Confirm any dialogs which may appear. Quickly switch back to the Cortana folder you have opened earlier, right-click the SearchUI.exe file, and choose the Delete option from the context menu which will appear. Provide admin access if prompted. If you receive the error stating that it can’t be deleted because it’s running, you will need to be faster next time!
- Check to see if the problem has been resolved and if you are still seeing Cortana use too much memory on your computer!