Fix: Cortana Not Working on Windows 10

Cortana is one of the best digital assistants and it was initially found in Windows Phone only. However, Microsoft has included in native digital assistant in Windows 10 PC as well. This assistant can help you find any file, open app, send email, set reminder, open any website and so on within moments and with ease. However, if you have recently updated your computer or you have made a fresh install of Windows 10, and following that, the Cortana has stopped working properly, here is what you can do to fix the problem. There is no particular solution you can find, and you need to try out these subsequent solutions one by one to find out which one works best for you.

Cortana Not Working on Windows 10

1] Check Microphone Access

Cortana Not Working on Windows 10

Apart from clicking the Cortana button on the Taskbar, you can use voice command to access Cortana. This is one of the best things for Cortana to have voice access. If you are one of them, who often use Cortana with voice command but now it is not working properly or not working at all, you need to check the microphone access. As your voice goes through the microphone to Cortana, if the access is blocked or stopped anyhow, you cannot access Cortana with voice command. Therefore, to get the voice command, you can utilize the Windows 10 Settings app. For that, open Windows Settings by pressing Win + I button together. Following that, go to Privacy > Microphone. On your right-hand side, click the Change button under Microphone access for this device.

Make sure it is ON. After that, scroll-down to find out Cortana. Make sure it is ON as well. If not, toggle the corresponding button to get it ON.

2] Enable Hey Cortana

Cortana Not Working on Windows 10

Hey Cortana is the command that you need to access Cortana using your voice. Without saying this command, you cannot access Cortana on your Windows 10 computer. However, if you have enabled it previously but now it has been disabled somehow, you would not be able to use Cortana with voice command. Also, if the corresponding Taskbar icon of Cortana is not doing anything, you can use the Hey Cortana option. For that, open Windows Settings by pressing Win + I button together. After that, go to Cortana > Talk to Cortana. On your right-hand side, you will get an option called Hey Cortana. Make sure, the respective option is turned on.

3] Sign out from your account

Sometimes, it becomes the account related issue. Although this is quite rare, it happens and it has been claimed by many people on official Microsoft forum. It generally happens when you have enabled Microsoft account in your computer and you are using it alongside Cortana. Therefore, if you sign out from your account, there is a possible to get it resolved.

4] Change Microsoft account

As Cortana is linked to your Microsoft account, you should always have this account in your computer. However, if you have recently changed something in your associated Microsoft account and following that, the problem has started, you should either revert the change or replace the Microsoft account with a new one. Creating a Microsoft account on Outlook takes no more than one minute. Therefore, you can try creating and using a new Microsoft account to get it solved.

5] Update Windows machine

Sometimes, this problem happens due to bug. In that case, Microsoft often releases a patch within a couple of days of launching a new OS update. A vast majority of people have claimed that Cortana stopped working after updating their computer to the latest build of Windows 10. If that same thing has happened to you, you need to update your Windows machine. For that, you do not have to download any third-party software since Windows Settings app has the option to do so.

6] Speech Troubleshooter

Cortana Not Working on Windows 10

Speech Troubleshooter is important when you are not able to use the voice command in Cortana. Speech Troubleshooter works on Microphone and you do not need to download anything to work with it. For getting started, open Windows 10 Settings. You can press Win + I button together to open it on your computer. Following that, head over to Update & Security > Troubleshoot. On your right-hand side, you can get Speech. Click on it and the Run the Troubleshooter button respectively. After that, you need to follow the screen options to get it done.

7] Restart Cortana

If the problem stays, you can restart Cortana, which is very easy and you do not need any third-party software. Sometimes, the problem occurs due to buggy background processes. If that is happening with you, you should restart Cortana app. For that, you can take the help of Task Manager. Therefore, open Task Manager on your computer and make sure you are in Processes tab. You can get a process called Cortana. Select it and click the End task button. Now, try opening Cortana. You should not get any other problem.

8] Disable anti-virus or newly installed app

Many people have claimed that their Cortana app stopped working after installing a security app like anti-virus or anti-malware program. On the other hand, few people have added more other apps. Based on that theory, if you have recently installed any anti-virus or any software and following that, the Cortana has stopped working, you can try disabling it. If the problem vanishes, this is suggested to get rid of that app immediately.

9] Re-register Cortana

When you install Windows 10 freshly or through the upgrade process, Cortana gets registered automatically. However, sometimes, if something happens with the auto-registration, you might face such problem as mentioned in this article. Therefore, you need to re-register Cortana. For that, you can make use of Windows PowerShell. To get started, open Windows PowerShell with administrator privilege and enter this command:

Get-AppxPackage Microsoft.Windows.Cortana | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml”}

It will take a couple of moments and follow that; the problem will be resolved.

That’s all! These are some of the best and working solutions if Cortana has stopped working on your Windows 10 computer. It doesn’t matter which build of Windows 10 you are using; you can certainly use this method on your computer.

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1 comment

  1. Ian Batty says:

    If I cannot find Cortana…

    How, really, do you expect me to use “hey Cortana” to instantiate it so’s I can reset it?

    Can’t be done, folks.


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