Cortana, being the intelligent digital assistant in Windows 10,
can be used to search for anything in your PC be it your files
or apps and can also search for anything outside your PC using
the web. But, not everyone liked the idea of Cortana searching
the web probably because they are concerned about their
privacy. Users had the option to disable search the web option.
But with Redstone 4 (Windows 10 Version 1803), Microsoft has
decided to prevent users from opting to disable web search
Acoording to a Reddit post, users on the Windows 10 version
1709 or earlier had the group policy of disabling Cortana to
show Bing search results while using the Windows Search but
this policy has no effect on Windows 10 Pro version 1803.
Enabling additional policies such as “Do not allow web
search” and “Don’t search the web or display web results in
Search” also has no effect and still shows web searches and
This has been the case with Windows 10 Home for the past few
releases. As of now, there is no official way to disable web
search and suggestions from showing up in Windows 10 Pro while
using Windows Search. But there are ways to hack the registry
in Windows to prevent web search and suggestions.
Users of Windows 10 Enterprise and Education running version
1803 are not affected and they can still prevent web search and
suggestions from showing up. But these versions of Windows are
more expensive and may not be ideal for small business who are
more concerned about privacy.
Cortana is now 4 years old but its development started back in
2009. Cortana is now available on all platforms including iOS
and Android but it still has a long way to go to match up with
Google Assistant, Siri and Amazon Alexa.
With Redstone 4, Microsoft has decided to move Cortana into the
action centre. This would help Cortana to understand what
notifications the user is getting which will eventually make
Cortana more personal. The competition among digital assistants
has increased a lot and Cortana is lacking behind. Some
people think that Microsoft will cancel Cortana all together
like they did with Windows Phone. But that is not the case and
Microsoft has huge plans for Cortana.
The final thing that Microsoft wants is to integrate Cortana
into the entire Windows operating system. This would make
Windows an intelligent operating system rather than an
operating system with an intelligent digital assistant. Of
course, it is difficult and Microsoft is slowly moving forward
with this plan.
Preventing the users from disabling the web search using
Cortana is a step in the direction of that final thing which
Microsoft wants. In a time when companies like Facebook are
getting sued for privacy concerns, it may seem to be a bad idea
for Microsoft but Microsoft is one of the Worlds most trusted
tech companies. So there is no need to get concerned about
If you are still concerned about privacy there is a
Feedback thread to let Microsoft know about this issue.