While Cortana can be controlled using your voice, you can also use its taskbar search box to ask her questions, give her commands or search the web. While it is visible by default, you can disable the taskbar search box in Windows 10.
If you find yourself using it often, the search box is worth keeping. Otherwise, it just takes a lot of space on your taskbar, and you’ll probably need it when you have too many apps and windows open at the same time.
How to disable the taskbar search box in Windows 10
This is how the taskbar search box looks when visible in Windows 10 Creators Update.
If you think it takes up too much space, you can choose to disable the taskbar search box in Windows 10. Instead, you can just open the Start Menu and start typing whenever you want to search for something. Here’s how to hide the taskbar search.
Right-click on an empty area of the taskbar and hover the mouse cursor over ‘Cortana’ in the context menu. Click on ‘Hidden’ and you’re done!
Alternatively, you can choose the ‘Show Cortana icon’ option instead so you can summon the assistant whenever you need it, but at the same time have the shortcut on hand without taking so much space as the search bar.
Even with the search box completely disabled, you can easily start a search once you open the Start Menu by simply typing your search queue or the command you want to give to Cortana. And you can give Microsoft’s assistant plenty of commands such as setting a timer, opening an email and even translating words.
Note: If you’re running a Windows 10 version older than the Creators Update the ‘Cortana’ option available in the taskbar context menu is called ‘Search’, even its submenu comes with exactly the same options.