Discover Cortana On Windows 10 – Her Hiding Places Revealed!

Tina Sieber 13-12-2014

Cortana is Microsoft’s voice controlled personal assistant Cortana Talks Back: Laugh, Cry & Love With Windows Phone's Digital Assistant Bored with no one to talk to? Why not strike up a conversation with your Windows Phone? These cues will make Cortana talk. Read More . Originally launched on Windows Phone 8.1 Cortana Arrives In Europe - How To Get It Now & What You Need To Know Cortana is coming. Microsoft's digital personal assistant has been rolled out across Europe, a step that suggests that her presence is being prepared not only for Windows Phone but also for Windows 10. Read More , Cortana is due to be released across devices with Windows 10.


Presently, you can discover traces of Cortana in the Windows 10 Technical Preview Windows 10 In Pictures - A Guided Tour Of The Technical Preview The Windows 10 Technical Preview is now available to everyone. Some bugs aside, it does look promising. We'll guide you through the new Windows one screenshot at a time. Read More . Beyond that, recent leaks show an early desktop version of Cortana in action. Let’s see where Cortana is hiding out.

Who Is Cortana?

Microsoft Cortana is a personal assistant similar to Siri and Google Now Do Siri, Cortana & Google Now Need Too Much Personal Data? Read More . The name is derived from the artificial intelligence character in the Halo video game series. In the game, Cortana dies.

On Windows Phone 8.1, where she made her first appearance outside the game, Cortana is very much alive How Cortana Became The "Other Woman" In My Life She appeared one day and changed my life. She knows exactly what I need and has a wicked sense of humour. It's little wonder that I've fallen for the charms of Cortana. Read More , supporting hands free control Go Hands Free By Using Cortana Voice Control On Windows Phone 8.1 Cortana is a voice controlled virtual assistant. To make her work for you, you need to know how to delegate. Let us show you. Read More of the phone’s many features. While some tasks might not require voice control when you have access to a mouse and keyboard, Cortana will be a welcome desktop feature nevertheless.

Cortana Comes Up With Search

Built to turn voice generated queries into actions, Cortana is able to do anything from searching Bing (or maybe Google if you ask nicely) or giving you weather updates, to managing your calendar and personal contacts or telling you how your team will play next week. For these services, Cortana depends on powerful search algorithms. In other words, it makes sense that she would show up along with the Windows Search app.

When you launch the Search app in Windows 10 TP by clicking the Search icon in the Taskbar, you’ll see a Background process called Cortana Dss WinRT OOP Server in the Task Manager.


Cortana Task Manager

At this point, no functionality appears to be attached to this process.

Source: Tayfelix via Reddit

Cortana Audio Files Extracted

When you go to C:\Program Files\WindowsApps you’ll see more clues for Cortana in Windows 10.


Cortana Search

To gain access to that folder, you need to add your Windows user name as Owner, as outlined on SuperUser.

Advanced Security Settings

Using Resource Hacker, one Reddit user extracted all Cortana audio files from the cortanaspeechuxres.dll in one of these Cortana app folders. All he got, however, were Cortana sound effects we already know from Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows Search.


Source: UncleQuentin via Reddit

Cortana Appears In Build 9879

When Build 9860 was released Windows 10 Is Evolving - This Is What's New In Build 9860 The new Windows 10 version comes with several new features and provides sneak peeks into future builds. Microsoft is morphing Windows 10 right in front of our eyes. Find out where Windows is headed. Read More , I noticed a new zPC Settings app under All Apps, a hint that Microsoft is gradually moving Control Panel items to this modern app.

PC Settings Windows 10

When you go to zPC Settings in Build 9879 and check under Privacy, you’ll find an entry called Cortana and search. At this point, there’s not much to do here. As of writing this article, the personalization link appears to be dead.


Cortana Privacy

What’s interesting though, is that Windows Search How To Search Better & Faster On Windows 8 Windows 8 search features are quite robust once you get used to them. You can use modern and desktop approaches to search your computer and the Internet. Find out more! Read More receives access to the Microphone, as you can see under zPC Settings > Privacy > Microphone, as well as under the same path in the regular Settings app.

Windows 10 Search Microphone

Source: alone_yet_strong via Reddit

Cortana Desktop Demo

Just a few days ago, WinBeta released a Cortana desktop demo:

As Zac of WinBeta points out, the demo isn’t fully functional, yet. The Cortana demo had the same key features as the Windows Phone version, i.e. set reminders, add calendar events, call people, check location or maps, launch apps, check the weather, and more.

Since she doesn’t chit chat on the desktop demo, Cortana’s humor Geek Humor Included! Meet Cortana, Windows Phone 8.1 Digital Assistant Cortana is the best reason to upgrade your Windows Phone early. Microsoft's answer to Siri offers great features and will make you laugh. Read More  remains a Windows Phone exclusive . Moreover, some features, like adding events to the calendar, are not fully implemented, thus producing errors. Finally, activating Cortana in the demo isn’t a hands free affair.

WinBeta didn’t specify which Windows 10 Technical Preview Build their Cortana pre-release was demoed on. That said, we can expect to see her make an appearance in an upcoming build. Microsoft has announced that a new Windows 10 Technical Preview build will be released at the end of January 2015.

Meanwhile, Neowin released an image gallery providing an early look at Cortana.

Cortana Image Gallery

Will Cortana Be A Game Changer?

Until you can get your hands on Cortana in Windows 10, how about playing with her on a Windows Phone 8.1 device near you? If you don’t have access to Windows Phone 8.1, you can get a passive preview on the Windows Phone Cortana How To pages, where Microsoft offers Cortana tutorials and outlines recent feature additions. For example, you’ll find that Cortana can flip a coin or roll the dice, predict current events (Cortana predicted Germany’s soccer World Cup victory), recite Football schedules, scores, and standings, and much more.

Once you’ve had a chance to see what Cortana can do, maybe you’ll have a better idea of how vital she could be to the success of Windows 10. In a recent article, we already found that Microsoft is leading in the artificial intelligence race Microsoft vs Google - Who Leads the Artificial Intelligence Race? Artificial intelligence researchers are making tangible progress, and people are starting to talk seriously about AI again. The two titans leading the artificial intelligence race are Google and Microsoft. Read More .

What do you think? Are you in need of a personal assistant and will Cortana get the job?

Related topics: Artificial Intelligence, Microsoft Cortana, Windows 10.

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  1. Christine
    June 20, 2016 at 10:45 am

    I would like to have Cortana available in South Africa as well. I already downloaded the speech package but still cannot activate Cortana. If someone has any solutions to this please advise

    • Tina Sieber
      June 20, 2016 at 5:36 pm

      Has Cortana been released for South Africa, yet? In any case, you could change your language and region settings and use Cortana for another region, like the US or UK.

  2. Anonymous
    July 30, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    I've been running windows 10 for 2 days now. It is really, really slow. I turned off cortana and ended the "Cortana" task and it comes right back. I found that the files are stored at C:\Windows\SystemApps but I can't delete that folder. I'm going to boot into a live version of Linux and delete the folder. My only fear is that this process is deeply ingrained and will cause problems if removed. There is no "Service" called Cortana that you can disable in the services folder.

  3. Yanta
    May 8, 2015 at 9:27 am

    I fear that just disabling Cortana will not stop it collecting personal information and potentially sending that off to Micro$oft and other places. I'd like to see the ability to completely uninstall it. It's not a feature wanted anywhere in my household, or something my customers want either.

    • Common Sense
      May 12, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      Whatever they're paying you, it's way too much. I saw right through this, shill.

    • Yanta
      May 12, 2015 at 10:28 pm

      I don't even understand your comment. I am not a shill. I am certainly not enthusiastic about Windows 10 at all. I won't be upgrading any computers to windows 10. And I am certainly not a hawker - I'm not trying to sell anything.

      I just don't trust Microsoft. A lot of Microsoft's problems are reportedly because people don't trust them, and have lost faith in them. No need for this sort of response to someone simply expressing an opinion.

    • Tina
      May 13, 2015 at 11:44 am


      It could be that Common Sense is pro Microsoft. Since they announced that Windows 10 will be free, people have become extremely enthusiastic about Microsoft / Windows.

      We've just experienced a backlash on an article that relatively mildly criticized something Microsoft is doing in regards to promoting Windows 10. You'll be interested in this in case you're running Windows 7 or 8: Has Microsoft Installed Adware on Your PC to Promote Windows 10?

    • Yanta
      May 13, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      Hi Tina, Yes, I have been reading that, and other articles about Windows 10 being free. sadly, nothing is ever really free. Windows 10 in the long run looks like, from articles I've seen, it is going to far more expensive in the long term than previous versions of Windows. Time will tell.

      For that reason alone, if for no other reason, I think people should be cautious.

      I run a dozen PCs here at home and updates are run through my Windows 2008 R2 server which uses Windows Software Update Services (WSUS). That does not have Recommended updates enabled, so none of the PCs here have been infected by this malware update from Microsoft.

      It's a shame people are so quick to flame others. Anyone should be able to express an opinion, either way, without being attacked. There was certainly nothing offensive in my original post.

    • Tina
      May 13, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      Your original comment was perfectly fine, Yanta. Don't be discouraged by the rude response. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    • Anonymous
      July 29, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Confirmed. Even when you disable everything about Cortana the process is still running at ~40mb.

  4. king
    January 6, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Hah i sure hope they come up with a regestry thing for this i know ones already available for continuum which looks a bit strange

  5. Tiago Fernandez
    December 17, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I really, really hope cortana shall be in the official version of windows 10

  6. dnationsr
    December 14, 2014 at 3:34 am

    this does not pertain to build 9888

    • Tina
      December 14, 2014 at 8:59 am

      Build 9888 isn't an official release. What's different in it regarding Cortana?

  7. Mr. Bobo
    December 13, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Hopefully users can choose to not use Cortana in Windows 10.... unlike when Microsoft tried to shove the idiotic Metro UI down everyone's throats in Windows 8.

    • Tina
      December 13, 2014 at 11:30 pm

      From what it looks like now, you'll be able to turn off Microphone for Search and I'm sure there'll be registry hacks to disable Cortana completely.

    • This Guy
      December 14, 2014 at 5:05 am

      The Metro UI is still available in Windows 10. I'm using the technical preview, and you can choose what style you want. So I use the Metro Start Screen. I can place a lot more programs there for easy access.

    • Tina
      December 14, 2014 at 9:02 am

      True, the modern interface / Start screen is still an option in Windows 10, which makes sense when you're using it on a mobile device with a touchscreen.

      The upcoming Continuum feature will allow Windows 10 to recognize the type of device and switch between mobile and desktop mode. I hope it will be possible to turn that off for hybrid devices.

    • Ben
      December 15, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      Mr Bobo, time to shut up and stop living in the past, its not 1995, its going to be 2015 in the next 4-5 weeks. Computing needs a drastic change, we are living in a modern tech era. Like it or not. Things like this comes to practice in functionality, and UI.