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maxXPsoft

Uninstall Cortana from Windows 10

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So I pasted a link to this forum. About got me drummed off the other group due to downvotes stacking up. Apparently we are "Crying tears on a river" to many. I've about given up on them as much of what I read there is starting to infuriate me with the constant vendor pumping.

Supposedly the enterprise and the EU release does not come with Edge or Cortana by default. It's still there, but disabled. Not just hidden.

NoelC, I'm just going to stick with 7 til they kill it completely and disable windows updates. While I like what theyve done to windows explorer, its not worth the hassle to keep fighting it any more. While this has been great and all sticking it to "the man", I dont foresee us gaining any traction with the amount of shunning I received in the past 24hrs. I hope they come to their senses.

Edited by themechman

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You may find yourself in an unpopular, yet completely justified, technically correct position.  So what?

 

Popularity does not rule reality.

 

Downvotes for sharing how-to information?  Time to move on from whatever place that is.  Let the weak-minded stew in a cauldron with their own kind.  That doesn't mean you can't be better or do better.

 

We can choose to know exactly what Windows 10 is capable of, and how far it can be tweaked with the skills we can muster (both by our own knowledge and by using the accumulated knowledge of others, such as what can be found in this thread).  Only THEN can a proper decision be made about whether it's worth trying to actually USE it.

 

Kind of makes you wonder about the folks who just choose to do things on blind faith, or because it's "popular" to do so.

 

-Noel

  • Upvote 1

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So I pasted a link to this forum. About got me drummed off the other group due to downvotes stacking up. Apparently we are "Crying tears on a river" to many. I've about given up on them as much of what I read there is starting to infuriate me with the constant vendor pumping.

Supposedly the enterprise and the EU release does not come with Edge or Cortana by default. It's still there, but disabled. Not just hidden.

 

 

Do sound like you need to heave that place, I've run into that a few places (secrets, winfor, tenfor) and I no longer go there except someone reply to what I said.

 

But they can still be gotten rid of. Start menu was really clean cause most the junk not in there. No Store

I'm running LTSB evaluation for 51 days now and only updates I get is

Flash player Quite Frequently and I use VLC so may look at heaving that and then Windows Defender ok I permit that better something than nothing

and MSRT once monthly

 

I only see 10 regular Update for Windows 10 for x64-based Systems in there after 51 days

Edited by maxXPsoft

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By the way, intika's linked (github) instructions have us altering the StateRepository-Machine.srd file using a GUI database tool (SQLite), which works fine, but is difficult to embed into a script.

 

As I'm trying to code a Re-Tweaker script to help with the recovery time after each new Windows 10 in-place upgrade, I'm wondering...  Is there a better way to make the changes in this database file?

 

Ideas that come to mind:

  • Find a scriptable command line tool for altering the database contents (I'm unfamiliar with this realm).  It's possible SQLite already has this, I don't know.
     
  • Pre-build a database file with only the desired two entries remaining, as the successful App uninstall removes the others, then just restore it to "re-tweak" the system.  I don't know whether that leaves the Apps removable or makes it look like they're already removed, or even maybe corrupts the system.

 

Thoughts?

 

Edit:  I have achieved a good measure of success with SQLite3.exe - the command line interface to the SQLite database browser.  Am working to tidy up my Re-Tweaker script using this approach.  So far it seems promising as a turnkey "remove all Apps" tool.  I'll post it here for testing when I get it a bit more mature.

 

Setting a VMware snapshot to the point right after having upgraded from 10586 to 14251 is giving me a very easy way to test this Re-tweaker.  All I have to do is restore a snapshot and run the command.  A test cycle literally takes seconds.  Gotta love virtualization.

 

-Noel

Edited by NoelC

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OK, I'm managing to get Cortana rooted out using database prep immediately followed by

 

Remove-AppXPackage Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_1.7.0.212_neutral_neutral_cw5n1h2txyewy

 

Right after it's done, a Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers shows just the two packages remaining that I expect:

 

Microsoft.Windows.ShellExperienceHost

windows.immersivecontrolpanel

 

But something swings into action right after the procedure is done and reinstalls Cortana in just a few seconds!

 

Any ideas what the magic registry entry might be that stops this?  I think maybe it's something install_wim_tweak does that Remove_AppXPackage doesn't do, since I'm not doing install_wim_tweak.

 

It caught a process running a command that might be doing the deed: 

 

rundll32.exe AppXDeploymentExtensions.dll,ShellRefresh

 

Now to figure out how to keep it from happening...

 

-Noel

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Any ideas what the magic registry entry might be that stops this?  I think maybe it's something install_wim_tweak does that Remove_AppXPackage doesn't do, since I'm not doing install_wim_tweak.

 

Remember several mentioned odd behaviour back in Nov. I'm not sure if it because I started using W10Privacy almost one of first things and it started blocking Tasks and services. I was firing off them Git cmds 3 times in  a row thinking it was shutting down State while I altered.

 

I see install_wim_tweak using HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages

All the Packages.txt come from those keys and they are gone after it finishes.

 

Doing a compare of Clean reg exports and after but takes a bit of time with 254mb files. My 32 bit couldn't handle it so had to put on my 64 ExamDiff Pro

Edited by maxXPsoft

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I see install_wim_tweak using HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages

All the Packages.txt come from those keys and they are gone after it finishes.

 

Thanks for the pointer.  However, I've just gone through a run where I removed the following keys:

 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-Cortana-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.14251.1000

 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-Cortana-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~en-US~10.0.14251.1000

 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Component Based Servicing\Packages\Microsoft-Windows-Cortana-PAL-Desktop-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~10.0.14251.1000

 

Cortana still tried to come back after the run. 

 

I liked your idea of comparing registries, as I somehow managed to create a setup before that doesn't try to reinstall Cortana on its own, and I still have that snapshot.  Beyond Compare 3 does a pretty quick job of comparing registry exports.

 

 

EDIT:  I think I've found the magic key, whose removal (before doing the Remove-AppXPackage commands) stops Cortana from auto-reinstalling:

 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Appx\AppxAllUserStore\

InboxApplications\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_10.0.14251.1000_neutral_neutral_cw5n1h2txyewy

 

I just need to generalize the procedure now so that name doesn't have to be hard-coded (and thus changed for every new release).

 

 

-Noel

Edited by NoelC

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Beyond Compare 3 does a pretty quick job of comparing registry exports.

Beyond Compare 3 does rock, for sure! :yes:

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OK, here you go...

 

CortanaAndAppsRemoval.bat is a batch file that employs a number of tools I've added to my environment to increase the power. 

 

Specifically, in this batch file I've used:

 

Other than the first two (SHOWTIME and REPEAT) I am not allowed by licensing agreements to package the above executables in.  So...  If you'd like to try this, here's what you do:

 

  1. Create a new folder in which to run CortanaAndAppsRemoval.
     
  2. Visit each of the above listed pages, and extract the named Windows binaries into the folder.
     
  3. Start an elevated CMD prompt (Run As Administrator), CD to the folder you created, run CortanaAndAppsRemoval, and follow the prompts.

 

Let me know how it works for you.

 

-Noel

Edited by NoelC

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Note:  Make sure you see Ident: 1.1 near the top of CortanaAndAppsRemoval.bat, not 1.0.  I just updated it due to a small bug.

 

-Noel

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HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Appx\AppxAllUserStore\

InboxApplications\

 

 

 

Thats where that strange key EndOfLife I mentioned before. Still trying to tie that together

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Version 1.2 of CortanaAndAppsRemoval.bat is available.

 

-Noel

Think you need first line

  CD /D "%~dp0"

Run normal it open, right click run as admin it just flash and exit

Put in pause at end it wasn't finding which.exe

 

I will try install 14251 this weekend if i'm off and test this but running without cortana installed I get errors about missing pcre.dll, lpcre3.dll, ibint13.dll, regex2.dll

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Thanks for testing.  Open the CMD window (elevated) first, then run it in the folder where you've extracted the support executables.

 

Where are you seeing those errors?  14251 seems to run fine for me without Cortana.  Notably the files remain on the disk in C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy, among other places.

 

-Noel

Edited by NoelC

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