Microsoft Starts Hitting Mute on Cortana's Annoying Windows 10 Setup Voiceover

By Sam Rutherford on at

While many Windows 10 users may have never encountered this, during setup, Windows 10 has an annoying feature where Cortana speaks up in an attempt to verbally guide you through your installation.

However, if you’re someone like an IT pro (or a friendly neighbourhood tech reviewer) who regularly has to wipe and configure a bunch of machines, Cortana’s persistent blathering can drive you and everyone in your vicinity bonkers.

Thankfully, in a new Windows Insider Preview build as part of a forthcoming update, Microsoft is planning to help alleviate some of that auditory frustration by disabling Cortana voiceovers by default on clean installs of Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise, and Education. Alternatively, for the folks who do find Cortana’s vocal instructions useful, you can turn the voice-over back on by pressing WIN + Ctrl + Enter.

Sadly, there’s no indication that the most popular version of Microsoft’s OS—Windows 10 Home—will see any changes to its install process, so if you want Cortana to pipe down, you can do what I do and remember to turn the volume down prior to a wipe or install, or just plug in a pair of headphones.

Here’s a demo of the latest PIN reset experience in the newest Win 10 Insider Preview build. (GIF: Microsoft)

Elsewhere in Build 18309 of the Win 10 Insider Preview, Microsoft is adding its streamlined PIN reset experience to all versions of Windows 10, while also pushing people towards password-less sign-on options with the expansion of Windows 10 phone number accounts across all versions of Win 10.

There are also some small changes like the addition of new voices, jokes, and languages to the Windows Narrator, and 11 new mouse pointer sizes which brings the total number of pointer sizes up to 15. And as usual, there’s a boatload of even more granular changes, upgrades, and bug fixes too, so feel free to check them out here before they make their way to the stable version of Windows 10 sometime later this Spring.

Featured image: Getty