Cortana Uses Too Much Memory: How to Fix It in 5 Steps

Easy fixes to reduce memory usage by virtual assistant

by Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Managing Editor
Being an artist his entire life while also playing handball at a professional level, Vladimir has also developed a passion for all things computer-related. With an innate fascination... read more
Reviewed by Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Cortana is useful for those who like to get their work done using voice commands.
  • However, if Cortana uses more memory than it should, it will slow your computer.
Cortana Uses Too Much Memory

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Cortana can be useful for searching the web and managing tasks on your computer, but it can also slow down your computer and hog its memory. 

This guide will discuss the methods to deal with Cortana using too much memory right after looking at its causes. 

Why is Cortana using too much memory?

There are various reasons for Cortana to hog memory, some of them are listed here: 

  • Malware Infection: There could be a malware infection on your computer, causing Cortana to use more memory and hence slowing down your computer.
  • Cortana always runs in the background: Cortana, even when not called up, always runs in the background to look for voice commands and instructions, thus using memory.
  • Bug after update: Chances are there was a bug in the latest update installed, which caused the issue. You can disable Cortana and wait for the next update.

How do I fix Cortana using too much memory? 

Before performing the detailed troubleshooting methods, let us try these quick fixes: 

Tried these steps, and Cortana is still eating memory like a three-course meal. Let’s move on to other troubleshooting steps – 

1. Disable Cortana using Command Prompt

  1. Press the Windows key and type CMD and select Run as administrator.CMD elevated
  2. Copy and paste these commands and press Enter after each command: takeown /f “%WinDir%\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy” /a /r /d y icacls “%WinDir%\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy” /inheritance:r /grant:r Administrators:(OI)(CI)F /t /c  taskkill /im SearchUI.exe /f rd “%WinDir%\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy” /s /q
  3. Wait for the process to complete and restart your PC.

2. Repair corrupt files

  1. Press the Windows key and type CMD and select Run as administrator.
  2. Type the command and press Enter: sfc/scannow
  3. Now, type these commands one by one and press Enter after every command: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealthCMD
  4. Once complete, restart your computer. 

You can also choose to use a third-party repair tool as it will easily perform the repair process in an automatic way.

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3. Make changes in Registry Editor

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run window.
  2. Type Regedit and press Enter to open Registry Editor.Using Registry Editor
  3. Go the following path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Search

  1. Right-click on Windows Search and select New, then DWORD.REGEDIT 2
  2. Rename the DWORD AllowCortana
  3. Double-click on it and click Modify and set the Value data to 0.REGEDIT3
  4. Restart your PC to let the changes take effect.

4. Make Changes/ Delete To Search.exe

  1. Press Windows + I to get Settings.
  1. Go to the Cortana section and toggle off the switch beside Let Cortana respond to “Hey Cortana and Let Cortana listen for my commands when I press the Windows logo key + C.TALK TO CORTANA
  2. Close the Settings window. Press Windows + E to get File Explorer.
  3. Type this path in the address bar: 


  1. Locate the SearchUI.exe file and right-click on it. Select Properties.SearchUI.exe
  2. Go to the Security tab, then click AdvancedADvanced CORTANA
  3. On Advanced Security Settings, click Change beside the Owner.
  4. Type the username under Enter the object name to select box and click OK.CHANGE USER
  5. Click Add to open the Permission Entry window.
  6. Click Select a principal and type your username.SEARch 5
  7. Put a checkmark beside all the parameters under Basic permissions.SEARCH 7
  8. Click OK to close. Now click Apply and OK on Advanced Security Settings.
  9. Press CTRL + ESC+ Shift keys to get Task Manager.
  10. On the Details tab, look for SearchUI.exe. Right-click on it and select End task.
  11. Go to the SearchUI.exe file from the path mentioned in step 4, right-click on it, and click Delete.

5. Reinstall Cortana

  1. Press Windows + X  and select Terminal (Admin).Powershell 2
  2. Copy and paste the following command and hit Enter:REINSTALL CORTANA PWERSHELL

Get-AppXPackage -ame Microsoft.Windows.Cortana | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

If your Cortana uses too much memory, you can try any of the steps mentioned above to resolve the issue. Try these methods and let us know which way worked for you in the comments section below.

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If the advices above haven't solved your issue, your PC may experience deeper Windows problems. We recommend downloading this PC Repair tool (rated Great on to easily address them. After installation, simply click the Start Scan button and then press on Repair All.

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