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How to enable new Cortana app on Windows 10 20H1

The latest preview for Windows 10 20H1 includes a new Cortana app, and here's how you can enable it now.

New Cortana app on Windows 10 20H1

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.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to force the new Cortana app available with the Windows 10 20H1 Update.

How to enable new Cortana app on Windows 10

Use these steps to enable the new Cortana app on Windows 10 20H1:

Warning: This is a third-party application, and it’s offered without any warranty. Although it should work as advertised, you should use it only at your own risk. Also, there’s a chance that Windows Defender Antivirus may identify this app as malicious, but according to the author, it’s a false positive.
  1. Open this GitHub website.

  2. Download the latest mach2 zip folder.

  3. 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.
  4. Click the Extract all button from the “Compressed Folder Tools” ribbon.

  5. Click the Extract button.

    Extract zip files on Windows 10
    Extract zip files on Windows 10
  6. Copy the path to the folder.

  7. Open Start.

  8. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  9. Type the following command to navigate to the mach2 folder and press Enter:

    cd C:YOURFOLDERPATHDownloadsmach2_0.3.0.0_x64

    In the command remember to change the path to the folder with your path.

  10. Type the following command to enable the Settings header and press Enter

    mach2 enable 19263623
    mach2 enable 17983783

    Enable new Cortana UI on Windows 10 20H1
    Enable new Cortana UI on Windows 10 20H1
  11. Restart your computer.

  12. Open Start.

  13. Search for Run and click the top result to open the experience.

  14. Type the following command to launch the new Cortana app and click the OK button:

    ms-cortana2:

    Launching new version of Cortana
    Launching new version of Cortana

Once you complete the steps, you can launch the new experience click the Cortana button in the taskbar.

Cortana on Windows 10 20H1
Cortana on Windows 10 20H1

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.