Stop Cortana Waking Up from Background Noises

If you find it annoying when Cortana in Windows 10 launches when you have the TV on in the background, here’s how to remedy the problem.

All of our devices have digital assistants these days, and they are quite useful. However, nothing is more annoying than when your TV or other background noises trigger them.

I have “Hey Cortana,” which enabled me to ask questions, set reminders, and use other features by using my voice. However, if I have a podcast or TV show playing in the background, sometimes it will be triggered (especially when listening to tech podcasts).

With Cortana in Windows 10, you can avoid this issue by making it respond to your voice only.

Make Cortana Respond to Your Voice Only

Note: Cortana is decoupled from Windows Search. These instructions no longer work unless you’re running an old version of Windows 10 like Anniversary Update. Microsoft has removed support for Cortana on Windows 10. This is what the company says in a blog post:

The first change is to end support for all third-party Cortana skills on September 7. Then, in early 2021, we’ll stop supporting the Cortana app for mobile (iOS and Android), because you can now manage your calendar and email, join meetings, and do so much more via our new productivity-focused experiences — like the Cortana Windows 10 experienceCortana integration in Outlook mobile, and soon Cortana voice assistance in the Teams mobile app.

Open Cortana and open Settings. To do that, hit the Windows Key and type: Cortana settings, and hit Enter. Then turn on “Hey Cortana” if it isn’t already and then change it from responding when anyone says Hey Cortana to Try to respond to only me.

Cortana Settings

If this is the first time enabling this, you’ll need to go through the wizard for Cortana to learn your voice. For more on that process, check out our article: Train Cortana to Learn Your Voice Better in Windows 10.

Start Lean my Voice Cortana Wizard

Summing Up

Training Cortana will help it get more familiar with your accent and vocal inflections. Setting this up will help avoid the problem of Cortana from launching when you don’t want it.

What’s your take? Do you use Cortana? If so, do you get annoyed when it is triggered when you don’t want it? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Also, for help with Cortana or anything else in the new OS, hop in our Windows 10 Forums. It’s free, takes a minute to join, and has a great community of Windows 10 users, including our writing team!



  1. Dana

    Am I the only one who has not enabled Cortana? I don’t want to talk to my laptop or to my phone, and I don’t want them to talk to me either. And there is no way I’d buy Echo! Silence is golden and all too infrequent.

    • Harry

      no you are not the only one.I like the older way to search

  2. Mike

    How can I completely turn off Cortana. I just dont need it.

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