How to shut off the voice assistant on your computer


If you don’t use the voice assistant on a ChromeOS, macOS or Windows system, you may choose to shut off Google Assistant,

Siri or Cortana. Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic Siri, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana respond to voice commands that let you do things such as open an app, schedule a conference, set a pointer, start and stop music, or ask for details. Cortana works as the system’s integrated voice assistant on Windows devices, much as Siri and Google Assistant serve a similar function on macOS and ChromeOS devices, respectively.

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You might not always require Cortana, Siri or Google Assistant actively listening on your laptop or desktop. You might choose to depend on wise assistants active on other close-by devices, such as your smart device or wise gadget. In a public setting, such as an open office, coffee bar or airport, it may not be appropriate to speak to your computer system. On a laptop you use away from a power outlet, you might choose to protect battery life otherwise used by an active microphone. You might simply find it faster to use your keyboard, instead of your voice, for many jobs.

In any of these cases, it might make sense to shut off the voice assistant on your computer by following the actions listed below.

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How to switch off Google Assistant on ChromeOS

You might select to switch off Google Assistant on a Chromebook or ChromeOS system. If you utilize a managed ChromeOS gadget, an administrator might control Google Assistant settings. In the case of a Chromebook used by a trainee in a school setting, for example, the feature may not be readily available. Otherwise, follow these steps to change Google Assistant settings on ChromeOS.

  1. Click on the time (typically in the lower-right corner).
  2. Select settings (the sprocket icon, to the right of the lock alternative).
  3. Select Search and Assistant from the left-side menu.
  4. Select the Google Assistant setting.
  5. Move the slider to the delegated turn Google Assistant off, as displayed in Figure A.

Figure A

In ChromeOS settings, you might choose to turn the voice assistant off.

How to shut off Siri on macOS You may choose to turn off Siri on a macOS system

  • with the following actions. Select the Apple Menu(usually in the upper-left corner), then System settings.
  • Select Siri & Spotlight on the left-side menu.
  • Move the slider for Ask Siri to the delegated turn Siri off, as shown in Figure B.
  • Select Switch off to confirm you wish to turn the function off.
  • Figure B

    On macOS, system settings for Siri & Spotlight provide you the alternative to turn Ask Siri off.

    How to turn off Cortana on Microsoft Windows

    The simplest method to turn off Cortana on a Microsoft Windows 11 system is to ensure that the app does not begin when you boot. Access and change the Cortana app’s configuration with the list below sequence.

    1. Select the Start Menu, then Settings.
    2. Select Apps from the left-side menu, then choose Installed apps.
    3. Scroll down to Cortana in the list, then choose the three-dot menu (to the right of the app storage info), then pick Advanced alternatives.
    4. In the Runs At Log-in choice, move the slider to the left to turn Cortana off, as displayed in Figure C.
    5. Optional: You might set up the authorizations to never enable the app to run in the background. In addition, you may want to move the slider for the microphone consents to Off.

    Figure C

    On Windows 11 systems, you might select not to start Cortana when you log-in.

    After a reboot, Cortana must no longer begin immediately.

    What’s your experience with voice assistants?

    Do you utilize Cortana, Google Assistant or Siri on your laptop computer or desktop? Do you access Google Assistant or Siri from a smart gadget or mobile phone? Do you shut off the voice assistant function on your laptops to preserve privacy, battery life or for another reason? Reference or message me on Mastodon (@awolber) to let me know how you use any of these three voice assistants of your systems.


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