How to Change Regional Settings to Make Cortana Work

Cortana on Windows 10 will only work in specific regional settings and languages:

Regions: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States.

Languages:  Chinese (Simplified), English (U.K.), English (U.S.), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish

It is currently unclear at which regions and with which languages Cortana works, but we use it under United States with English (U.S) settings. That has always worked and will continue to.

How can I tell if Cortana works with my current region settings?

Right next to the Start menu icon you should have either a magnifying glass instead of Cortana’s logo (a circle). and once you click on that magnifying glass icon, you’ll able to see it immediately:

If you see this message ‘I’m afraid I’m not available to help in your region” then that means you should change some settings to make it work. It’s easy.

Just please be aware that changing your region settings might make Microsoft Store not the same as it used to be, it will be customized according to the new region you chose, as well as make some things that you purchased – music, games, memberships etc. – inaccessible. At least until you change back to the old settings.

Steps to change region settings and make Cortana work

Method I: Using Settings

  1. Click on ‘Start‘ and choose ‘Settings‘.start menu settings
  2. Choose ‘Time & Language‘.
  3. Pick ‘Region & language‘.region and language
  4. Change the country or region and the display language to the same option (for example UK and English (U.K)), one of the supported and currently active options. If you’re not sure if the language/region you’re looking for is active, just try it. We used the US settings, as we’re sure that that works: United States + English (United States)
  5. Click on English (United States) and use the up arrow to make English your first language on the list so that it becomes your Windows display language and the default language in websites and apps.

Method II: Do this through Control Panel

  1. We will get to it through a shortcut found in the last shortcut of our Settings app, it’s on the right side called Additional date, time & regional settings.
  2. In the window that opens up, click on Change Location.region inner settings
  3. In the Location tab, set your home location to any supported region, we may suggest United States if you don’t have something in mind.
  4. Now switch to the the Administrative tab and click on Change system locale…
  5. Change the system locale to any supported region, we will stick with the United States. Don’t forget to click OK once done!
  6. Restart your computer for the new region and language settings to take effect.

And that’s it, that should make Cortana work. Windows might start downloading Cortana and other features that were not available in your previous region, in which case you’d have to wait until the download is finished and restart your computer. Windows should automatically notify you about these steps.

Once you made the changes click on the magnifying glass line next to the Start menu icon or the line that says ‘Search the web and Windows’ next to the Start menu icon. If Cortana is set to ‘on’ (click on the gear icon in that menu you just opened to be sure) then she will start socializing with you immediately. That may look like this:

If, after the change, you find that Cortana is slowing your computer down too much, or you’re irritated by it taking control over your microphone, read this guide to learn how to turn it off.

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