How to enable Cortana on Windows Phone 8.1 outside of the U.S.

Cortana Windows phone 8.1

Perhaps one of the most significant addition to Windows Phone 8.1 is Cortana, the digital assistant very similar to Apple’s Siri. But the latest Preview for Developers released today by Microsoft, limits Cortana to only customers who are living in United States.

Now the real question is how Windows Phone users outside of the U.S. can get Cortana with 8.1? Well, there is a really easy workaround to solve this present issue and it involves having to change the region and language settings in your device. Follow the steps below to enable Cortana on your Windows Phone.


1 Go to the new notification center and tap ALL SETTINGS.

2 Tap language and change your default language to English (United States).

3 Go back to Settings, tap region, and make sure the “Country/Region” is set to United States, and Regional format is set to match phone language.

Enable Cortana changing to US region and language settings Windows Phone 8.1

Voila! Cortana now should be listed as an app on the app list. If you don’t see it, reboot your phone. Be warned that you will lose some local functionality if change the region and language settings on your phone. If ever want to go back to your old settings, you can, but Cortana will be disabled.

At this time Microsoft has only enabled Cortana for the developer preview of Windows Phone 8.1 in the United State; UK and China are the next countries to get the new digital assistant before the end of the year. The software maker will eventually bring Cortana to more regions, but not before 2015.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and