Windows 11 could finally let you uninstall one of Microsoft’s most annoying apps

We’re coming up on the ten-year anniversary of Microsoft’s mildly irritating Cortana assistant, which launched in 2014 alongside the now defunct Windows Phone. But thanks to an upcoming Windows update, Cortana won’t be around much longer unless you want it.

Microsoft has already confirmed plans to kill Cortana in favor of AI assistants, and it started the process by removing the Cortana app this summer. Now Microsoft is testing a Windows 11 update that will allow you to remove Cortana entirely along with some of Windows’ other baked-in bloatware, like the Camera, Photos and People apps.

This is significant because, frankly, it’s a minor convenience that’s long overdue. These apps are superfluous at best for many of us, and the fact that we haven’t been able to remove them from Windows is frustrating. Why does my desktop PC need a camera app if it doesn’t have a camera connected? Why do I need the People app if I keep all my contact lists in other apps and websites? 

A picture showing Cortana in the taskbar on a laptop running Windows 10

Look back at how Cortana started as a virtual assistant, and you can see the foundations of Windows Copilot and the current AI chatbot craze we’re living through. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Luckily, it looks as though Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23585 will free us from this nonsense. This build was released to the Dev channel of the Windows Insider Program last week (November 8), and according to Microsoft’s release notes it will allow “the Camera app, Cortana, Photos app, and People app, and Remote Desktop client” to be uninstalled at will.

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