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Cortana Won’t Respond To Me

Saturday, December 5th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Windows 10

Joe has a question about Cortana, the virtual assistant in Windows 10. He writes:  “Do you know when Cortana is going to be available in Canada? I downloaded the latest update and now I see this message on the taskbar. “I’m’m Cortana. Ask me anything.” When I click on that it puts me through a set-up process. Once completed, it says everything is working, yet I cannot access Cortana.”

Joe, Cortana has been available in Canada since mid-November. I’m not sure what you mean when you say you can’t access Cortana. So I’m going to start with the simple solutions and move on to the more complex.

The search box for Cortana is similar to the regular Windows search, but it has a little circle in it.


If you have that box, you have Cortana. What happens if you type something in there?


Do you see any any results appearing in the Window?  If  so, Cortana is active.

Is it possible that you mean that she’s not responding to vocal commands? I know this sounds simplistic, but do you have a microphone either built into or hooked up to your device? She has to be able to hear you.

Plus you also need to go to Settings in the the Start Menu:


And turn on the “Hey Cortana” function.


There’s also some voice training that you go through to get her to recognize your voice.

If you’ve done this and still aren’t getting results with Cortana. The problem might be that your user settings have become corrupt. Try creating another user account to see if that helps.

If that doesn’t help, we can look at more advanced options such as rebuilding the Windows Search Indexer. Open the Control Panel and choose Indexing Options. Then click on Advanced.


Then click on rebuild. This will take some time, but it may help with this issue.


Let me know if any of this helps.

~ Cynthia



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4 Responses to “Cortana Won’t Respond To Me”

  1. Mark says:

    When I set my country to Canada and my default language to English (Canada) and try Cortana I get a message saying “I’m afraid I’m not available to help in your region”. Cortana works fine if I set my location to United States and language to US English. When I have my location set to United States and ask her for the local weather for tomorrow she gives me my local forecast. That seems odd that I have to set my location to the US and yet she knows my local weather forecast is for Brampton ON.

  2. Don says:

    why is it that when I try to perform some of the instructions you give in an answer, my screens do not appear as the ones you show in an example. I have win10 on a laptop, but it was also true when I had win xp. You have good instructions it’s just that I’m not always sure I’m doing something right and just give up because the screens do not match.

  3. […] answer is more than likely, nothing at all. But let’s check it out. Cortana is the virtual assistant that comes with Windows 10. “She” will allow you to use voice commands to open programs and compose e-mails, notes […]

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