On Windows 10, starting with build 18922 (part of the 20H1 update), Microsoft is testing (via Onmsft) a new Cortana app that is labeled as “beta,” which introduces a new interface that focuses a little more on typing interaction, but it still includes support for voice.
The app also responds to the system color scheme, which means that whether you’re using the light and dark theme, the new Cortana app will change its color accordingly. And unlike the previous version, the new experience ditches the side rail for three-dotted button to access the settings or sign out of the experience.
Although it’s interesting to see the new experience after Microsoft broke Cortana and Search into two separate features, it’s not clear if the app will be available for everyone (just yet). However, if you’re running Windows 10 build 18922, and you don’t see the new beta version of the app, there’s a way to force it to appear in your installation using a third-party tool called “mach2” from Rafael Rivera.
How to enable new Cortana app on Windows 10
Use these steps to enable the new Cortana app on Windows 10 20H1:
Download the latest mach2 zip folder.
Double-click the zip folder.Quick tip: You’ll need to download the zip folder that correspond to your system architecture (x86 or x64), you can check the version of Windows 10 that you’re running on Settings > System > About.
Click the Extract all button from the “Compressed Folder Tools” ribbon.
Click the Extract button.
Copy the path to the folder.
Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
Type the following command to navigate to the mach2 folder and press Enter:
In the command remember to change the path to the folder with your path.
Type the following command to enable the Settings header and press Enter:
mach2 enable 19263623 mach2 enable 17983783
Restart your computer.
Search for Run and click the top result to open the experience.
Type the following command to launch the new Cortana app and click the OK button:
Once you complete the steps, you can launch the new experience click the Cortana button in the taskbar.
After launching the app, you’ll be asked to sign-in with your Microsoft account, and then every time you open the experience, the assistant will open in listening mode for hands-free experience.