In February 2023, Microsoft made waves in the tech world with the introduction of Copilot, a groundbreaking feature embedded within the latest Windows 11 Insider Preview version. This innovative addition is more than just another AI tool; it’s your gateway to Bing AI Chat, seamlessly integrated into both the Edge sidebar and the Bing website.
As we anticipate the next feature update for Windows 11, it’s essential to understand what Copilot is all about and why you might want to explore disabling it. While many guides focus on merely hiding the Copilot icon from your taskbar, our guide goes further by explaining how to disable Copilot entirely.
For the uninitiated, Windows Copilot is a remarkable blend of Bing Chat and essential Windows task control, driven by artificial intelligence. While Bing Chat integration is not entirely new, it’s the Windows task features that truly stand out. In development builds, you can already use Copilot to toggle dark mode, capture screenshots, and execute various commands with AI precision. And that’s just the beginning; Microsoft has exciting plans to expand its functionality and introduce support for third-party plugins.
Now, here’s the critical question: Is Copilot right for you? The answer isn’t one-size-fits-all. Some Windows users will find it incredibly useful, while others may deem it underwhelming.
If you belong to the latter group and wish to disable Windows Copilot completely on the Windows 11 23H2 (2023 Update), you’re in the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through various methods, including utilizing the Group Policy Editor and Registry, to disable Copilot entirely. However, if you prefer to keep the feature but want a cleaner taskbar, we’ll also show you how to remove the Copilot button.
Whether you’re tech-savvy or new to Windows 11, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools to tailor your Copilot experience to your liking. Let’s explore the world of Windows Copilot together, unlock its potential, and ensure it aligns perfectly with your computing needs.
Unlocking Windows 11 Copilot
With the advent of Windows 11 Build 23493 in the Dev Channel, Microsoft introduced a game-changing feature known as Copilot. However, not everyone had access to it initially, and interestingly, many users who did have access sought ways to disable it. Whether you’re eager to embrace Copilot’s potential or prefer to keep it at bay, this guide is here to cater to your needs.
One of the first things you’ll notice is a new Copilot icon nestled next to the search icon or bar in your Taskbar. At this stage, you’ll see the icon displaying “PRE,” signifying that it’s in the preview stage.
Clicking on this icon will summon Copilot, which materializes as a right sidebar on your screen. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through all aspects of Copilot, from understanding its features to enabling or disabling it according to your preference. Whether you’re an eager early adopter or just looking to streamline your Windows 11 experience, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive into the world of Windows 11 Copilot together.
Exploring Windows 11 Copilot: Is It Worth Your Time?
In the world of Windows 11, Copilot has made its debut, and it’s got users talking. The big question on everyone’s mind: Is it worth using Windows 11 Copilot?
Upon first glance, it may seem that Microsoft hasn’t delivered anything revolutionary with Copilot. Some users have expressed disappointment, attributing its functionality to the same Bing AI chat we’ve encountered before. Copilot offers three conversational styles: Creative, Balanced, or Precise, enabling you to initiate discussions by simply posting your questions. Plus, you can start new conversations at any time by clicking the chat icon situated to the left of the text box.
However, early experiences with Copilot have left some users underwhelmed. For instance, when attempting to use it to locate specific settings within the computer, Copilot often falls short by resorting to web searches. This can lead to frustrating situations where a query like “open settings app” results in web-based instructions for mobile devices. Not exactly what users had in mind, right?
In comparison, the traditional Windows Search, accessed via the lens icon in the Taskbar, provides search results directly related to the Windows OS. While it does utilize Bing search for web-related queries, it excels in displaying unaltered results from individual websites. Additionally, Windows Search allows efficient result filtering, making it a powerful tool for finding specific items on your computer.
Introducing Windows 11 Copilot: A Unified Bing AI Chat Experience
In a significant development, Microsoft has integrated the Edge Bing AI Chat seamlessly into Windows 11, now known as Windows 11 Copilot. This means you can easily access Copilot by clicking on the Bing AI Chat icon located in the Edge sidebar. Furthermore, Microsoft has rebranded the Bing AI Chat icon within Edge as “Copilot,” creating a consistent experience across the board.
This change, however, comes with the removal of some previous features within Edge, such as the ability to create blog posts and compose emails. Instead, you’ll find a uniform Bing AI Chat experience throughout your Windows 11 ecosystem.
But what if you want Copilot to utilize content from your Edge tabs? It’s a simple adjustment. Click on the three horizontal dots icon situated in the top right corner of Copilot, then select the “Settings” option. From there, you can enable the “Let Copilot use content from Microsoft Edge” option. This tweak ensures Copilot integrates seamlessly with your Edge browsing experience, making it even more versatile and useful.
How to Disable Windows Copilot
If you’ve been exploring Windows Copilot and find yourself wanting to disable it, you’re not alone. Microsoft, unfortunately, hasn’t provided a straightforward on/off switch for Windows Copilot in the Settings menu. Currently, the only option available is to hide the Windows Copilot icon, which removes it from the Taskbar. However, this doesn’t completely disable Copilot, as you can still summon it with the keyboard shortcut Windows-C.
To fully disable Windows Copilot and regain control over your Windows 11 experience, you’ll need to leverage the power of the Group Policy Editor and the Windows Registry, which work hand in hand to accomplish this task. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps, ensuring you can confidently and effectively disable Windows Copilot on your system. Let’s get started on regaining control over your Windows 11 environment.
Solution 1: Removing the Windows Copilot Icon from the Taskbar using Settings App
Windows 11 Copilot, while an intriguing addition, may not always provide the desired results from Bing AI search, leading some users to consider its removal from the Taskbar. If you find yourself in this camp or simply wish to tuck it away until more useful features emerge, we’ve got you covered. Here’s how you can remove the Windows 11 Copilot icon from your Taskbar.
Option 1: Hide the Copilot Icon on the Taskbar
While some Windows users may find it sufficient to hide the Copilot icon on the Taskbar, it’s not as straightforward as a simple right-click. Here’s how you can do it:
Step 1: Right-click on a blank space anywhere on your Taskbar.
Step 2: From the context menu that appears, select “Taskbar settings.”
Step 3: Under the “Taskbar Items” section, locate the “Windows Copilot” option.
Step 4: Toggle the switch next to “Windows Copilot” to the “Off” position.
This action will hide the Copilot icon from the Taskbar, leaving you with the option to use Windows Search instead. The chatbot, however, will still be accessible using the “Windows key + C” keyboard shortcut.
Option 2: Remove the Copilot Button from the Taskbar
If you prefer a more complete removal of the Copilot icon, follow these steps:
Step 1: Right-click on the Taskbar and select the “Taskbar settings” option. Alternatively, you can press “Windows + I” keys to open the Settings app on Windows 11.
Step 2: In the Settings app, navigate to the ‘Personalization’ tab found in the left sidebar.
Step 3: From the right section of the screen, click on the ‘Taskbar’ tile.
Step 4: Within the “Taskbar items” section, locate “Copilot (preview).”
Step 5: Toggle off the switch next to “Copilot (preview)” by clicking it, bringing it to the ‘Off’ position.
By following these steps, you will successfully remove the Copilot icon from your Taskbar, providing a cleaner desktop experience while still retaining access to the chatbot through the “Windows key + C” keyboard shortcut. This customization ensures your Windows 11 experience aligns perfectly with your preferences.
Solution 2: Removing the Windows Copilot Icon from the Taskbar using Registry Editor
If you’re determined to remove the Windows Copilot icon from your Taskbar, the Registry Editor offers a solution. Follow these straightforward steps to achieve your goal:
Step 1: Begin by opening the Start Menu. In the search bar, type “Registry Editor” and then click on the ‘Registry Editor’ tile from the search results.
Step 2: Now, in the Registry Editor, you’ll need to navigate to a specific directory. Type or copy+paste the following directory into the address path at the top and press Enter to reach it: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
Step 3: In this directory, locate the ‘ShowCopilotButton’ DWORD file.
Step 4: If you can’t find the ‘ShowCopilotButton’ file, don’t worry. Simply right-click in the right section of the window and hover over the ‘New’ option. Then, select ‘DWORD (32-bit) Value’ to proceed.
Step 5: Next, whether you’ve found the existing ‘ShowCopilotButton’ file or created a new one, double-click on it to open its properties.
Step 6: If your objective is to remove the Copilot button from the Taskbar, type 0 in the Value field. Then, click ‘OK’ to save the changes.
That’s it! You might not see the changes take effect immediately in some cases. To ensure the changes are applied, simply restart your PC from the Start Menu. This process will ensure that the Copilot icon is either removed or added to your Taskbar according to your preference.
Solution 3: Removing the Windows Copilot Icon from the Taskbar using Group Policy Editor
Important Note: This method is exclusively applicable to users with Windows Pro versions.
If you’re using Windows Pro and want to remove the Copilot icon from your Taskbar, the Group Policy Editor provides a straightforward solution. Follow these steps:
Step 1: Begin by opening the Start Menu. In the search bar, type “Policy Editor” and then click on the ‘Edit Group Policy’ tile from the search results.
Step 2: In the Policy Editor window, you’ll see a menu on the left. Click on ‘Computer Configuration’ to proceed.
Step 3: From the right section of the window, click on ‘Administrative Templates.’
Step 4: Next, double-click on ‘Start Menu and Taskbar.’
Step 5: In this section, locate and double-click on the ‘Hide the Copilot’ policy to access its properties.
Step 6: To hide the Copilot button, select the ‘Enabled’ option from the top left corner of the policy window. Then, click ‘Apply’ and ‘OK’ to save the changes.
That’s it! Following these steps will either hide or unhide the Copilot icon on your Taskbar according to your preference. Please note that this method is specific to Windows Pro users and is not applicable to other versions of Windows.
Solution 4: Disabling Windows Copilot Using Group Policy Editor
If you’re using Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, or Education and wish to disable the Windows Copilot feature on version 23H2, the Local Group Policy Editor is your go-to tool. However, for those with Windows 11 Home, the Registry method will be your solution.
Note: The Group Policy Editor is exclusive to Windows 11 Professional and Enterprise editions. If you’re running the Home edition, feel free to skip this section and proceed to the Registry method below.
Here’s how you can completely disable Copilot through Group Policy on Windows 11:
Step 1: Open the Start Menu on your Windows 11 computer.
Step 2: In the search bar, type “gpedit.msc” and select the “Group Policy Editor” result.
Step 3: Use the folder structure on the left to navigate to the appropriate policy: User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Copilot.
Step 4: Double-click on the “Turn off Windows Copilot” policy.
Step 5: In the policy settings, select the “Enabled” option.
Step 6: Click the “Apply” button.
Step 7: Click the “OK” button.
Step 8: Close the Group Policy Editor window.
Step 9: Finally, restart your Windows PC to apply the changes.
Enabling this policy not only removes the Windows Copilot icon from your Windows taskbar but also effectively disables Copilot. This means it can’t be initiated using keyboard shortcuts or any other means. It’s essential to note that this action needs to be performed for each user individually.
Once these steps are completed, the Copilot button will no longer appear in the Taskbar, and users won’t be able to access the chatbot via the “Windows key + C” keyboard shortcut. Additionally, this action will remove the “Copilot” setting from the Taskbar settings page, providing a cleaner desktop experience tailored to your preferences.
Solution 5: Disabling Windows Copilot Using Registry Editor
For Windows 11 Home users, who don’t have access to the Local Group Policy Editor, there’s still a way to disable Copilot by making adjustments in the Registry. This method also applies to Windows 11 Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions. Here’s how you can do it:
Important Note: It’s highly recommended to create a backup of your Registry before proceeding. Modifying the Registry can lead to serious issues if not done correctly. Make sure you understand the process and have a system backup in place.
To disable Copilot from Windows 11 completely using the Registry, follow these steps:
Step 1: Open the Start Menu.
Step 2: In the search bar, type “regedit.exe” and select the “Registry Editor” result.
Step 3: Confirm any User Account Control (UAC) prompts that Windows displays.
Step 4: In the Registry Editor, paste the following path into the address bar: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsCopilot
Step 5: If the key doesn’t exist, right-click on the available key, and select New > Key to create it. Name it accordingly, for example, WindowsCopilot, to match the path provided.
Step 6: Right-click on the WindowsCopilot key and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
Step 7: Name it TurnOffWindowsCopilot.
Step 8: Double-click on TurnOffWindowsCopilot, and set its value to 1.
Step 9: Close the Registry Editor window.
Step 10: Finally, restart your PC.
By setting the value to 1, you effectively disable Windows Copilot. After completing these steps, Windows Copilot will be entirely disabled on Windows 11. Additionally, this action will remove the “Copilot” setting from the Taskbar settings page.
Remember that you can undo this change at any time by right-clicking on the TurnOffWindowsCopilot entry and selecting “Delete” from the context menu. This flexibility ensures you have control over your Windows 11 experience, allowing you to enable or disable Copilot as needed.
In Conclusion: The Windows Copilot Dilemma
Windows has achieved a significant milestone by introducing a centralized AI assistant, making it the first operating system to offer assistance not only with external tasks but also in customizing and executing actions related to the OS itself.
However, as the initial excitement surrounding AI begins to wane, Microsoft’s persistence with their Bing AI Chat raises questions. While the concept is promising, it’s marred by the shortcomings of Bing search. Without notable improvements in the Bing search engine, the idea of pushing it to a vast user base through Windows 11 may not be as appealing as it initially seemed. In fact, it could potentially detract from the otherwise seamless experience offered by default features like Windows 11 Search.
In this ever-evolving landscape of technology, the success of AI assistants hinges on their ability to provide genuine value and enhance user experiences. For Windows 11 Copilot to thrive, addressing the limitations of Bing search will be paramount. Only then can it truly contribute to making Windows 11 a smarter and more efficient operating system for all its users.