How to enable Cortana on Windows 10 Lock Screen in

By: Carmen Stan
2 minute read

At last week’s BUILD conference Microsoft announced a lot of improvements for its virtual assistant, Cortana. One of these additions is the ability to activate Cortana while on the Lock Screen, which should arrive to all users with the Anniversary Update.

But Microsoft already included this feature in the latest Windows 10 Preview build 14316, so Insiders on the Fast Ring can test it right now. However, Microsoft didn’t officially announce the feature yet, and it is still hidden in Windows 10 Preview, but there’s a way to enable it.

The reason why Microsoft didn’t officially present Cortana on the Lock Screen is because the feature is still buggy, and it doesn’t perform well. Microsoft’s development team is still working on it, and we expect it to be officially presented to Insiders in one of the future Windows 10 Preview builds.

Enable Cortana on the Windows 10 Lock Screen

Although Cortana on the Lock Screen is still a hidden feature, there’s a way to enable it, by performing a simple registry tweak. To be able to speak with Cortana while still on the Lock Screen, do the following:

  1. Go to Search, type regedit, and open Registry Editor
  2. Go to the following path:
  3. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Speech_OneCore\Preferences
  4. Create a new DWORD(32-bit) value, and name it VoiceActivationEnableAboveLockscreen
  5. Set the value of VoiceActivationEnableAboveLockscreen to 1enable cortana on the lock screen
  6. Click OK
  7. Reboot your computer

Next time you turn on your computer, you’ll be able to talk with Cortana directly from the Lock Screen. Simply say “Hey Cortana” and the virtual assistant will get activated. When you Cortana ‘answers,’ you can ask her some basic questions, like what’s the weather like outside, or where’s the nearest Chinese restaurant.

Be aware that Cortana on the Lock Screen isn’t officially presented by Microsoft, and it works slow and buggy, so having it enabled all the time is maybe not a good idea.

Let us know in the comments about your impressions about Cortana on the Lock Screen, if you tried the feature yet.

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