You will, however, be able to search for files, system settings, and terms as before. (Oddly, if you search for a general term--like "Windows 10"--files related to the term won't appear unless you manually click the "My stuff" button at the bottom of the web search suggestions.) That said, you won't be able to tap Cortana's smarts to perform natural language queries like "Find pictures from June" either, so narrowing down file search results may take a bit more work.
If you ever change your mind and bring the digital assistant back to life via the search settings, don't worry: Cortana will welcome you back with open arms.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.