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Why isn't Cortana available on my Windows 10 PC

Find out why Cortana is not available on your Windows 10 device and learn how to get her to run on your Windows 10 computer.
Why isn't Cortana available on my Windows 10 PC?

Cortana may not be available on your Windows 10 system, if you are in an unsupported region or are using an unsupported language. Cortana is the speech assistant that comes with the Windows 10 operating system. She is designed to enable speech communication directly from the search bar. However, the Cortana assistant is not yet supported in all regions and all languages. Therefore, she won't be available on all Windows 10 PCs. In this article, you'll find out how to enable Cortana in Windows 10.

  • Where Cortana is supported.
  • How you can turn on Cortana in Windows 10, no matter where you are.

Where is Cortana officially supported?

Cortana is completely supported in the regions and languages below. As new regions and language are added, Microsoft updates their official information about where they support Cortana.

  • Australia: English.
  • United Kingdom: English.
  • United States: English.
  • India: English.
  • Canada: English/French.
  • France: French.
  • Mexico: Spanish.
  • Spain: Spanish.
  • Brazil: Portuguese.
  • Germany: German.
  • Italy: Italian.
  • Japan: Japanese.
  • China: Chinese.

The Cortana assistant is automatically available for you to use in the above-mentioned languages and locations. However, if you are located elsewhere, or using a different language for your operating system, Cortana is not yet available. The good news is that this does not mean that you cannot get it to work, you'll just have to change the language and your location.

How to enable Cortana

You can enable Cortana on any Windows 10 machine, but you will first need to change the Windows settings to one of the supported regions/languages.

  1. Left-click on Start.
  2. Left-click on the Settings button.
    Getting to Settings in Windows 10 1903
    Click on Start, then click on the Settings button.
  3. Select the Time & Language button.
    Time & Language Settings Windows 10
    Click on the Time & Language button in the Windows 10 settings.
  4. Left-click on Region in the left panel.
  5. Select one of the supported countries from the list above these instructions.
  6. Choose the recommended language that matches your selected country for the Regional format.
    Selecting region in Windows 10 1903
    In the Region  settings, select a matching Country and Regional language format
  7. Left-click on Language in the left panel.
  8. In the Windows display language field, choose the same language that matches your selections in the previous steps.
  9. Under Preferred languages, click on Add a preferred language and add the language that matches your previous selections.
    Language settings in Windows 10 1903
    In the Language settings, select a matching language for the region you selected in the previous step, and add it as your preferred language.
  10. Finally, click on Speech in the left panel.
    • Choose the language that matches your previous choices.
    • Make sure the checkbox for Recognize non-native accents for this language is enabled.
      Cortana Speech settings in Windows 10 1903
      In the Speech settings, choose the same language as you selected in the language and region settings. Make sure you enable non-native accent recognition.

Once you have taken care of all these steps, all you have to do is wait for the language pack to download and install. Then, simply reboot your computer and Cortana will automatically start working. It is important to note that all of the language, region and speech settings should match. This ensures that the speech assistant activates. If you need some help troubleshooting, you may find the solution on Windows 10 official forums. Make sure to follow all of any additional instructions.

Note: Changing regions may affect your apps

Before making any changes, you need to be aware that changing your region and/or language might affect specific apps. Check whether all of the apps you are currently using are supported in those regions and using that language. Also, you may find you have difficulties purchasing apps in that particular region's Windows Store. If you do have trouble, switch back to your original region, language and speech settings by repeating the above steps, and keep an eye on the official list of supported regions and languages - you'll be able to use Cortana without problems once Microsoft supports these!

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