How to reset Cortana in Windows 10

Cortana is a great virtual assistant that can help you in many ways. To be able to do most of her work, she needs to collect, analyze, and store information about you. It is a lot of personal information that at some point you might want her to forget. Then she can start knowing you all over again. To do that, you need to reset Cortana, and that's why we thought it would be a good idea to show you how. This article is all about resetting Cortana in Windows 10:

How to reset Cortana on your Windows 10 PC or device

Resetting Cortana on your device used to be a simpler process. Unfortunately, if you're using recent versions of Windows 10, such as November 2019 Update, resetting Cortana is not straightforward. The first step to reset Cortana is to make sure that she forgets everything she ever knew about you. Start by opening Cortana, with a click or tap on her button from the taskbar.

Cortana's button from the taskbar

In Cortana's fly-out, click or tap the Settings button.

Cortana's Settings button

This action opens the Settings app and takes you straight to Cortana's settings. To get here, you can also follow this alternate route: open Settings, and then click/tap on the Cortana category.

The Talk to Cortana page from Windows 10 Settings

To reset Cortana on your current Windows 10 PC or device, one of the steps you should take is to disable every switch of every feature found on the "Talk to Cortana" page. In other words, turn off "Hey Cortana," "Keyboard shortcut" and "Lock screen."

Disable all the switches on the Talk to Cortana page

Right now, you've only stopped Cortana from using some of its local features on your current Windows 10 PC or device.

However, to completely reset Cortana, you also want to erase what Cortana knows about you, locally and in the cloud. So, once you've disabled everything, select the Permissions page from the left sidebar of the Settings app.

The Permissions page from Cortana's Settings in Windows 10

On the right side of the Permissions page, click or tap on the "Manage the information Cortana can access from this device."

Manage the information Cortana can access from this device

This opens the list of Permissions Cortana has on your current Windows 10 PC or device. Just like before, make sure that you turn all the switches off.

Disable all the switches from Cortana's Permissions page in Windows 10's Settings

Once you've set all the switches to off, go back to Cortana's Permissions page from the Settings app. Then, click or tap on the "Manage the information Cortana can access from other services."

Manage the information Cortana can access from other services

When you click/tap that link, Cortana pops out of your taskbar and shows you all the services from which she can get information about you.

When we published this guide, these services were: Office 365, Outlook, Gmail, Skype, Spotify, and LinkedIn.

Reset the services linked to Cortana

You can reset Cortana's access to any of the services you've linked by clicking or tapping on each of them and then pressing Unlink.

Unlinking a service from Cortana

Back on Cortana's Permissions page from the Settings app, click or tap the "Change what Cortana knows about me in the cloud" link.

Change what Cortana knows about me in the cloud

This action makes Cortana pop out of your taskbar, where she lets you know a bit about how she collects information about you and how she uses it. Read the details if you want and then scroll down until you reach the bottom of the page. When you get there, click or tap the Clear button from the "Clearing your personal info" section, and Cortana resets everything she knows about you in the cloud, including details about your calendar, contacts, location, browsing history and so on.

Choosing to clear your personal info from Cortana's cloud

There's one more final step to reset Cortana on your Windows 10 PC or device. On Cortana's Permissions page from the Settings app, click or tap on your Microsoft account. It's the first thing you see in the Personalize section.

The Microsoft account used to sign in to Cortana

Cortana should open a small window called Account, near its button from your taskbar. Click or tap on Sign out to disconnect your account from the Cortana app.

Signing out of the Microsoft account used for the Cortana app

That's it! Now Cortana should have no data about you, and her app from Windows 10 is as good as new. When or if you decide to use her again, she will have to start learning about you again.

Did you reset Cortana on your Windows 10 PC or device?

As you've seen, resetting Cortana is relatively difficult, and it involves changing settings in more than one place. We bet that you, just like us, would've preferred to have a single main switch to reset Cortana. Who knows, maybe Microsoft is going to add this option in future versions of Windows 10. For any questions or feedback, don't hesitate to write a comment below.