How To Fix “Cortana Is Disabled But Still Running”

Cortana is Microsoft’s very own virtual assistant. Similar to Apple’s Siri, Cortana helps you perform tasks. You can set reminders, schedule meetings, search the internet, among other things using Cortana. Cortana can be a powerful tool. But, at the same time, it can also be a point of privacy concern for users. Did you disable Cortana? But, when you check your task manager, you see that the virtual assistant is running in the background. In this article, we’ll show you how you can fix “Cortana is disabled but still running.”

Cortana is just ‘SearchUI.exe.’ First, you need to disable ‘SearchUI.exe’ access then end Cortana’s task on Task Manager. Finally, you will have to rename a folder. This process should effectively stop Cortana from running in the background. However, this will also disable your Windows Search feature.

What Is Cortana

Cortana is available across various devices. Cortana doesn’t just understand voice commands and performs tasks. The AI-powered assistant integrates Microsoft’s 365 suite products and all Windows 10 operating systems, version 2004 and later.

Microsoft launched the virtual assistant in 2014. The popular gaming franchise “Halo” inspired this feature.

Primarily, Cortana connects Microsoft 365 users to all the elements of the products. The AI also helps you track your work as well as manage them. You can also use the virtual assistant with Edge browser, Bing search engine, Teams, and other select Microsoft products.

With Cortana, you can easily voice commands to prompt open apps, fetch news and check the weather. In addition, you can easily set reminders, schedule calendars, and navigate through presentations using Cortana.

It sounds like a very convenient feature, doesn’t it? So why disable it? Read on to find the answer to this question.

Why Remove Cortana Completely

The usability features of Cortana might make you think that it is lovely. There are three popular apps similar to Cortana; Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana. Unfortunately, Cortana ranks last in comparison to the other two. In addition, the performance of Cortana is the least efficient.

There are more misjudged commands in Cortana. For example, the virtual assistant wakes up in the middle of nothing, which annoys the users.

Privacy is one of the most significant issues for Cortana users. The information you feed Cortana stores the data in a “digital notebook.” The data could be your voice, personal information, and even data.

These are all the downsides of using Cortana. Thus, users want to delete Cortana.

Even if you disable Cortana, the virtual assistant will still run in the background. You can look into how to disable Cortana completely.

Cortana Is Disabled But Still Running

So, you have disabled Cortana, but when you run Task Manager, you still see Cortana? So, despite seeing Cortana in your Task Manager, the virtual assistant isn’t running in reality. Yes, you read that right. Cortana doesn’t run once you disable it.

The primary Windows search interface called SearchUI.exe is running under the Cortana banner. The interface uses minimal RAM and only uses CPU when you search for something. So it’s not something that you should worry about.

The fix that you can apply might leave your search bar broken. Therefore, let me explain why Cortana is disabled but still running.

Cortana Is ‘SearchUI.exe’

Some users reported seeing Cortana running in processes even after disabling the virtual assistant. For example, Right-click Cortana on Task Manager and click on ‘Go To Details.’ You will see a program called ‘SearchUI.exe’ running.

Open ‘SearchUI.exe’ File Location

Right-click on the ‘SearchUI.exe’ and click on ‘Open File Location.’ A new window will pop up showing the location of ‘SearchUI.exe.’ You will see the file under the ‘Microsoft.Windows. Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy’ folder. The folder is an application directory on Windows. The application seems to be on the list of processes running as Cortana, but it is just a small tool.

If you’re still not convinced, then follow the following steps. However, be warned, this might disable your Windows Search Bar.

Rename The File Folder

You can completely rid yourself of Cortana is disabled but still running in task manager. All you need to do is rename the ‘Microsoft.Windows. Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy’ folder. Once you rename the folder, you will not find Cortana running in Task Manager. Cortana will not run in the background, but the Windows Search feature is unusable.

The problem is not worth the result.

Don’t worry if you follow the process and are panicking about the Windows Search feature not working. You can revert by renaming the file to its original name.

You can follow the steps to disable Cortana from running in the background. However, the task you see is not actual Cortana.

The Local Search tool integrates with Cortana. Therefore, you will not be able to disable Cortana without disabling the Local Search tool of Windows.

SearchUI.exe Does Not Use Any Resource

SearchUI.exe or ‘Cortana’ does not use many resources. Therefore, you do not need to worry about the file taking too much RAM space.

If you have disabled Cortana using pre-edited Registry, you will see that Cortana uses 37.4 MB of memory. But, the task uses 0% memory. So, you might think that Cortana is using memory.

You might wonder why Cortana does so. Cortana loads in memory. So, whenever you click on the Search Windows pane, Cortana appears immediately.

Windows indexes your files examines them and the words inside to provide users with quick search results. You will see processes like “Microsoft Windows Search Filter Host,” “Microsoft Windows Search Indexer,” and “Microsoft Windows Search Protocol Host” using CPU in the Task Manager when Windows is indexing your files.

Check if Cortana is disabled on Startup before following the steps mentioned in this article.

Check If Cortana Is Enabled Or Disabled On Startup

If Cortana is enabled, the process will run in the task manager. The steps mentioned above will help you get rid of the Cortana process. But, you will not be able to use the Local Search Tool. Therefore, check if Cortana is enabled or disabled on Startup.

Step 1. Open Task Manager

You need to open the task manager to see if Cortana is enabled or disabled on Startup. Press’ Ctrl’+’Alt’+ Delete on your keyboard. This will take you to a new screen on Windows with various options. Look for Task Manager at the bottom of the list. Click on Task Manager to open run the Task Manager.

Step 2. Click on Startup

Once the Task Manager window opens on your PC, click on Startup. You will find Startup under the topbar options.

Step 3. Check If Cortana Is Disabled

You will see a list of programs that run on Startup. You will also see Cortana on the list. First, check the status of the program. If you see Cortana enabled, right-click on the program. This will prompt a drop-down menu option. Click on Disable.

Now, you know how to check if Cortana is enabled or disabled on Startup.


You might disable Cortana on your PC. But, when you run the Task Manager, you might see Cortana running in the background. Don’t sweat it. A process called SearchUI.exe is running under Cortana’s name. This issue happens because SearchUI.exe Windows integrates with the Cortana files. SearchUI.exe is responsible for the execution of the Local Search tool on Windows 10.

However, this does not mean that Cortana is running in the background. SearchUI.exe runs the process under Cortana’s name.

The process does not take up much space on your RAM. Neither does the process use much PC.

You can follow the steps mentioned above to disable the process altogether. However, this also results in the Local Search tool disabling on Windows. Therefore, the result is not worth the problem. Cortana does not run on your PC therefore, rest easy.

Leave a Comment