Full Fix: Cortana Not Working in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic By: Ivan Jenic
6 minute read
Cortana Intelligent Digital Assistant

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Cortana is one of the most notable and most useful additions in Windows 10. But not working Cortana could be very annoying and it could decrease functionality of the system a lot, so here are a couple of workarounds in case your personal assistant is not working.

Cortana won’t work on Windows 10

Cortana is one of the best features of Windows 10, however, many users reported various issues with it. Speaking of issues, here are some common problems reported by users:

  • Windows 10 Start Menu and Cortana not working – There are many reasons for this problem, and we covered similar issues in our Start Menu not working article, so be sure to check it out.
  • Cortana not working after update – Several users reported that Cortana isn’t working after an update. To fix the problem, simply re-register Universal applications and the issue should be resolved.
  • Cortana keeps closing – This is another common problem that you can encounter. To fix it, simply create a new user account and check if that solves the issue.
  • Cortana not available, talking, showing up, opening, searching, loading – There are many issues that can appear while using Cortana, but you should be able to solve most of them by using one of our solutions.

Solution 1 – Change your region

First thing first, you have to make sure Cortana is available in your country. If it’s not, you won’t be able to use it without performing a couple of tweaks in the regional settings. You can fix this problem simply by changing your region to the United States. This is rather simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app. You can do that quickly by pressing Windows Key + I shortcut.
  2. Now, navigate to the Time & Language section.
    Cortana not opening
  3. From the menu on the left choose Region & language. In the right pane, set your Country or region to the United States.
    Windows 10 Start Menu and Cortana not working

After making these changes, Cortana should start working on your PC without any issues. If you need more information, you can read more about the availability of Cortana and how to use it if you’re not in the supported region in this article.


Solution 2 – Check your firewall

Another thing that could prevent your personal assistant from working is a Firewall. A couple of users reported that Firewall is blocking their Cortana, and after they made an exception in the Firewall, everything was fine. So, to stop Firewall from preventing Cortana from work, do the following:

  1. Go to Search, type firewall and open Allow an app through Windows Firewall.
    Cortana talking
  2. In Allowed apps window go to Change settings.
    Windows 10 Start Menu and Cortana not working
  3. Now locate all Cortana features in Allowed apps and features: and check all of them.
  4. Click OK and check if Cortana is working now.

Solution 3 – Create a new user account

Sometimes Cortana might not work properly due to issues with your user account. To fix this problem, it’s advised that you create a new user account. By doing that, you’ll reset all your Cortana-related settings and the problem should be resolved. To create a new user account, you need to do the following:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Accounts section.
    Cortana not working after update
  2. Go to Family & other people section in the left pane. In the right pane, click Add someone else to this PC button.
    Cortana keeps closing
  3. Choose I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.
    Cortana keeps closing
  4. You’ll be asked to sign in with a Microsoft account. Choose Add a user without a Microsoft account.
    Cortana not showing up
  5. Enter the desired username and click Next.
    Windows 10 Start Menu and Cortana not working

Once you create a new user account, switch to it and check if the problem is still there. If Cortana works on the new account, switch back to your old one and check if the issue is still present.

In worst case scenario, you might have to switch to your new account and start using it instead of your old account.


Solution 4 – Check your antivirus

Cortana not working after update


For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patented Technologies (requires upgrade).

In some instances, a third-party antivirus software can cause issues with Cortana to occur. To fix the problem, it’s advised that you disable certain antivirus features and check if that helps. In case that doesn’t work, you might have to completely disable your antivirus.

Several users reported that the only way to fix this problem was to completely remove their antivirus. If you decide to remove your antivirus, you should know that you’ll still have some form of protection thanks to the Windows Defender.

If removing the antivirus solves your Cortana issues, this might be a good time to consider switching to a different antivirus software. Bitdefender provides the best protection on the market, and it’s fully compatible with Windows 10, so it won’t interfere with your system in any way.


Solution 5 – Perform SFC and DISM scans

According to users, sometimes your installation might be corrupted, and that can lead to issues with Cortana. To fix the problem, it’s advised to perform both SFC and DISM scans. This is quite simple, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win + X menu. Choose Command Prompt (Admin) or PowerShell (Admin). You can also use any other method to open Command Prompt as administrator.
    Windows 10 Start Menu and Cortana not working
  2. When Command Prompt starts, enter sfc /scannow and press Enter.
    Cortana not working after update
  3. The scanning process will now start. Keep in mind that this process can take about 15 minutes or so.

Once the SFC scan is finished, check if the problem is still there. If the issue is still there, or if you couldn’t run SFC scan, your next step would be to use DISM scan instead. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Start Command Prompt as an administrator.
  2. Now enter Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth command and run it.
    Cortana keeps closing

DISM scan will now start. This process can take about 20 minutes or more, so don’t interrupt it. Once the DISM scan is completed, check if the problem is still there. If the issue is still there or if you couldn’t run SFC scan before, run it once again and check if that helps.


Solution 6 – Re-register Universal apps

As you know Windows 10 comes with certain Universal apps preinstalled, and sometimes the best way to fix a problem with a Universal application such as Cortana is to re-register it.

Re-registering Universal apps is quite simple, and you can do it by running a single command in PowerShell. To do that, just follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S, enter powershell and right-click Windows PowerShell from the list of results. Choose Run as administrator from the menu.
    Cortana not working after update
  2. When PowerShell starts, run the following command: Get-AppXPackage | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest­.xml
    Cortana keeps closing

Once the command is executed, the issue with Cortana should be resolved.


Solution 7 – Run chkdsk scan

Corrupted files can lead to issues with Cortana, and in order to fix them, you need to scan your system drive. This is quite simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator.
  2. Now enter chkdsk /f X: command. Be sure to replace X with the letter that represents your system drive. In almost all cases that would be C.
    Cortana not available
  3. You’ll be asked if you want to schedule a scan. Press Y and restart your PC.

Once your PC restarts, the chkdsk scan will automatically start. The scan can take up to 20 minutes, depending on the size of your partition, so you’ll have to be patient. Once the chkdsk scan is finished, check if the issue with Cortana is resolved.


Solution 8 – Install the latest updates

Sometimes there might be a glitch with Cortana, and the best way to fix it is to download and install the latest updates. Windows 10 installs the missing updates automatically for the most part, but sometimes issues can occur and prevent you from downloading the updates automatically.

However, you can always check for updates manually by doing the following:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Update & Security section.
    Cortana not working after update
  2. Click Check for updates button.
    Windows 10 Start Menu and Cortana not working

Windows will now check for available updates. If any updates are available, they’ll be automatically downloaded and installed as soon as you restart your PC.

That’s all, I hope at least one of these solutions helped you to solve your problem with Cortana. If you have any questions or suggestions, please write them down in the comment section below.

Also, if you have any other Windows 10-related issues you can check for the solution in our Windows 10 Fix section.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2015 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patented Technologies (requires upgrade).

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