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How to Enable Cortana on your Windows Phone 8.1 (Outside US)

Cortana, the most amazing feature of Windows Phone 8.1 is right now in beta and restricted to US only. There is a clear logic on why Microsoft has done it but then it doesn’t stop one to try it for features that can work on phone e.g. Setting up a reminder and so on. That said, if you are outside US and want to enable Cortana on your phone, you can do it by enabling regional settings on your phone.

Cortana on Windows Phone


Warning: You are about to change Regional Setting of your phone

Follow the steps as below:

1. Change Language Settings:  Pull down the notification centre by swiping down and tap on the All Settings. Navigate to Language and install the US. This will download and post that, you will be prompted to restart, Postpone it for now.

Video Tutorial:

Watch on YouTube

2.Change the region : In the settings page, look for REGION. Change this to United States. Make sure to keep the “Match phone language” option under Regional Format.

3. Re-check settings for Region, Speech and Speech: Check these again and restart your phone. When you do that, there will be a quick migration of few things. Don’t give a lot of thought to it.

After restart, hit the search button and you should see Cortana right up. Try out few commands and it should work nicely. The speech or the accent for other countries is not a problem for Cortana as long as you speak English. It was picking Indian accent pretty well.

What if Cortana Still doesn’t Work ?

If you still see the Bing page, cross check if you have local count enabled. That will be an extra icon on the Bing menu bar. This confirms that you have US settings, probably you had missed few things.

In case it still doesn’t work, go to Settings > Applications and see if Cortana is listed. If it’s listed, there is something wrong with your settings. Good thing is Cortana will be able to tell you what is wrong. Like in my case, I had my speech settings that was missing. It clearly said that “Cortana can only work if your speech language matches your display language”. You can directly open and configure so.

A die-hard fan of Windows, PC Gaming, and Xbox. He is a seasoned content writer with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He is a specialist in writing about Windows, software reviews, troubleshooting Windows, and automation.


  1. WP8.1 is working perfect on my Lu525. But it’s a little bit uncomfortable since some of useful apps cannot work, eg.: Reboot now doesnt work, 9pad keeps crashing.

    Anyway, WP8.1 is worth to try, dont worry.

  2. I did exactly the same on my HTC 8x, following above instruction but Cortana is still inactivated :(

    Is there a problem with HTC 8x?

  3. Hey there, i am from argentina, i did exactly what you did but i still dont have cortana, i still have the bing page when i touch the search button and i cant find cortana in settings–applications. Hope you can please help me!!
    thanks for your attention

  4. I’m from Argentina too and we have the same name haha. :) Lumia 720 and it happens the same. Everything’s set to US and English but still nothing.

  5. No is not there. It isn’t anywhere. In Language I can leave US + some other language, but can’t remove them to leave US English by itself, though, I can remove US somehow and let I don’t know English (Canada) Alone after restart. Could this issue be because English (US) is not the only language?

  6. I’m reseting my phone right now and try to see if that way I can select English US by default and let it be the only language.

  7. I finally did it on my 525. Removed the default language which english us. Re add it back. changed my region, keyboard, language to us. restart. finally happened. but cortana isnt as good as i saw on demos. shes not quite right.

  8. to fix this issue
    u need to change ur locations settings ..
    keep is as US and update .. u will get it..

  9. Windows is way better than any android…android can not match the appearance and class which windows has…..

  10. hey i’m from india, i’m not able to find windows 8.1 in my nokia lumia 525…
    if its not released please notify me the releasing dates…

  11. Hello Sir,

    I just wanna know that, CORTANA update is good for Nokia Lumia 625? Coz it is now BETA version available. So I’m confuse to update this version on my Nokia Lumia 625. Please will I update this.

    Thanks a lot

  12. Hi Ashish,
    Great to discover your blog and the information shared on how to get Cortana on Windows 8.1 phone out side of US. I am going to regularly visiting your blog for more information on Windows phones. I am in India and going to try this out very soon . However, I have an issue with the 8.1 update on Lumia 1320 which was available since yesterday, wherein the ‘show more tiles’ feature is not visible on the ‘start+theme’ page. Also, the lock screen does not show the selected photo! do you suggest a reset and a update afresh? Please help

  13. Hi Miss ! How are you ? I have just got a Lumia 1520 with the latest update of 8.1. Would you please help me telling that how I could get Contana in my Lumia 1520 8.1 ? Thank you so much for your kind attention. Take care.


  14. I tried downloading the Engligh (US) as well as English (UK) in the speech settings using WiFi but I am getting the error message ”Couldn’t download. Tap to Retry”. I restarted the phone and again tried but without any success. I even tried disabling Wifi and using Mobile data, again with no success. Please let me know if there is any workaround for this issue.

  15. Hi can you please help me to enable cortana..i have recently updated my phone to 8.1 and changed my region to US and phone language to US and speech to US but my phone language just says English and when i select language on top its united states and underneath its UK but i cant remove UK is there any link with it coz i have changed everything to US but still no cortana also language pack for US..please suggest

  16. You have written it very nicely ashish :) followed the steps and got coronta for my Lumia 720 in India :) cheers :) keep writting

  17. Dude im from india and i have installed preview for developers long ago and now today in the morning i got the cyan update(i used to check updates daily).. i updated to cyan and now extras+info showed lumia cyan first.. and again i got few more updates though cyan is installed… after doing those updates too extras+info isnt opening and cortana isnt working… tell me what to do now?

  18. No idea how it got installed.. I tried connecting to a different WiFi network .. i think that must have done the trick .. not sure though.. you can try doing that .. if connection is successful it will say that phone has some new updates and it downloaded it …

  19. Lumia 820….windows 8.1……want the real cortana,the Microsoft version is it available for my phone,there are versions,but not the real one….my phone updated to 8.1…..it gave me opportunity to get cortana,I was busy and hit the not now,later option,can anyone help its appreciated….thanks


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