How to enable Cortana outside the U.S. on Windows 10

Cortana is limited to a short list of regions, but there is an unofficial workaround that you can use to enable the digital assistant outside the United States, and here's how.

Cortana outside the United States

While Microsoft released Windows 10 January Technical Preview (build 9926) in twenty-two languages, the company is only making Cortana available only in United States, anyone else will find out that the digital assistant will not work in other regions.

However, rest assured that this is a temporary situation, Microsoft’s Gabriel Aul has already confirmed that Cortana support in other countries and languages will be included in future builds. However, if you can’t wait, there is an unofficial way that allows you to try it, but Cortana will still limited to the English language. 

How to enable Cortana outside the United States on Windows 10

Follow the steps below to enable Cortana outside the U.S.:

  1. Use the Windows key + X to open the Power User menu and select Control Panel.

  2. If you’re in the standard view, open Clock, Language, and Region and then click Region.

  3. In Region change the following settings:

    • On the Formats tab and set format as English (United States).
    • On the Location tab and set Home Location as United States.
    • On the Administrative tab and set Current System Locale to English (United States).

    Region settings in Windows 10

  4. In Clock, Language, and Region, click Languages and make sure English (United States) is set as your primary language.

  5. If you don’t have the language installed, click on Add a language, search for English (United States), install it, and set it as your primary.

    Languages settings in Windows 10

  6. Re-boot your computer and you should now be able to use Cortana outside of the US.

You’re now done. Don’t forget to sign in with your Microsoft Account and configure how you want Cortana to call you. Then you can use your microphone and keyboard to talk to her. If you want to interact with the digital assistant simply with your voice, you can also configure “Hey Cortana”.

If English is not your primary language, Windows 10 has a setting that helps to compensate for the phonetic differences when speaking. To activate this feature, go to the Settings app, System, Speech, set Speech language as English (U.S.), then tick the box that says “Use speech patterns for non-native speakers of this language”.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 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 Email him at [email protected].