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How to get Cortana on non-US Windows Phone

Hello, I'm Cortana
  • On April 15, 2014

One of the most exciting new features in Windows Phone 8.1 is the personal voice assistant Cortana. She it is in beta version currently available only for customers living in the US, so if you have already updated to 8.1 using a ‘Preview for Developers’, you may not be able to use the service. Fortunately, Cortana can be easily enabled, regardless of your location. All you need to do is to follow the steps below.

1)      First you need to change language settings to ‘English United States’. Go to Settings -> Language -> add the language. Restart your phone to enable the new language. Once you’ve restarted, make sure the Speech settings are also to ‘English United States’. If not, head to the Speech settings menu and change it.

Windows Phone 8.1 language settings

2)      Next you must change regional settings to ‘United States’. Go to Settings -> Region
Set region format to ‘match phone settings’, and restart

3)      Cortana should be enabled for your smartphone. You can start her via the search button or from the app launcher.

When Cortanta is started for first time, a short set-up process will be performed.

Important notes

  • If you change back your region or language to non-US, your phone will reboot and Cortana will disappear
  • Once Cortana is enabled, you can change your Regional Format in order to match your location

Why Cortana is only available in the US?

She is in beta version, currently available only for US users. Once the service drops the ‘beta’ label, it will be available in other regions, starting from the UK in China, later this year. Microsoft has a lot of work ahead, as different markets require specific speech and search optimizations.