using cortana on a laptop

The modern age is one of luxury and convenience. Thanks to technology, it is easier than ever before to go about your daily routine with an extra level of confidence.

Smartphones and downloadable apps have become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing consumers to do everything on their phones from shopping to checking stocks to finding directions. Of course, it is not always an easy road.

Despite the convenience of tech, many issues still remain. When a problem happens with an app or program, you might not know what to do.

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Why Is Cortana Not Working?

Within smartphones and on computers, virtual assistants have become huge sellers in the past few years. Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple‘s Siri are two examples of these emerging technologies.

By using a virtual assistant, users are able to simplify daily tasks. You can easily make your work and household chores a lot more manageable when you take advantage of the various capabilities of virtual assistants.

Of course, these applications are as prone to problems as any other computer software. When your assistant is down and you’re asking “Why is Cortana not working,” you might need some help.

Explore some of these common reasons Cortana might be down and how you can go about finding a solution. With a little help, you will have some tools to start fixing things the next time you encounter a problem.

Troubleshooting Cortana Problems

Using a laptop

The best way to get started on figuring out an issue with Cortana is by looking over some of the basic ways to troubleshoot problems.

Microsoft provides helpful information on how to go about this process, so be sure to check with the company should you be unable to discover the right help for your problem.

Outdated Information

Technology changes on a daily basis nowadays. When your software needs to be updated on a particular device, it usually is for a reason. Developers release constant updates and patches to programs because a lot of tech is trial and error.

Often, a problem with security or functionality will not be fully realized until a device is being used in a widespread manner. By updating the software on a device in a timely fashion, you can keep it running in an optimal way for many years to come.

Of course, some consumers are better than others when it comes to downloading relevant updates. If you are the type of person who does not update your programs when a notification comes along, you may be making your life a lot more difficult than it needs to be.

When Cortana is not working, you might first want to do a quick look to see if all of your software is up to date. If not, then your initial step should be to making the updates happen.

Finding out if there are updates available for Cortana is a simple endeavor. Use your computer for this, as it will be a lot easier to find updates. Press the Windows logo key on the keyboard along with the R key.

This will bring up a prompt, where you will need to type in ms-settings: once the prompt appears. Select “OK” and enter the settings menu. From here, click “Update & Security,” followed by “Windows Update.” After arriving at this menu, you will be informed if there is an update available and how to begin downloading it.

Simply Stuck

Checking for updates is the easiest way to solve a problem with Cortana. Unfortunately, outdated software is only one of a number of different problems you could be experiencing. If your software is totally updated, then you need to move onto other solutions.

A straightforward attempt could be the best solution. Restarting your device might be exactly what you need to do to get it working in the proper way once more.Follow the typical steps of restarting your device.

More often than not, it is best to go through the proper channels of a restart. First, make sure all of your programs are closed. If you have important data or files that have unsaved changes, be sure to get everything saved before attempting a restart.

After saving all of your files and closing out any running programs, you are ready. Use the main menu to select the restart option, then wait to see if any alerts or messages pop up.If your device is frozen and does not allow you the ability to select any options, then you might need to do a hard reset.

Each device is different in this regard, so you should consult with the official documents released by Microsoft or any other manufacturer to figure out exactly how to reboot your device in a safe manner. Should you continue to experience issues, there are other ideas worth your time.


You also could be experiencing problems with Cortana because of your drivers. Unlike software, drivers do not need to be updated frequently. You most likely have all of the updated drivers available to you on your device.

Still, there are plenty of circumstances that can lead to your device performing poorly because of the drivers. If you think this is worth a look, then you will need to make sure you find the appropriate information. A manual update of your audio or visual drivers could be the solution you require to get Cortana working again.

Updating your drivers is not as easy as updating the software on your device. In fact, Microsoft’s own website does not include standardized information about how to update drivers. Instead, the company links back to a Bing search for driver information.

This means you are going to need to figure out how to update the drivers on the particular device you have by searching the internet and finding relevant information.

Security Concerns

Security on screen

Over the years, a number of security problems have come along and caused concern. Like many smart applications, Cortana collects and stores data about users. While this is normal for applications like this, consumers are no longer happy about data being mined in any capacity.

Troubles with companies like Facebook led to a huge backlash in the past year, prompting companies of all sizes to rethink the data collection process. Still, a specific amount of data is required to get virtual assistants to become intuitive to the specific needs of the users.

To make the experience easier and less invasive, there is a way to disable this feature. Instead of using compiled data for search results, you will simply receive standard information from the internet.

Despite being able to disable the feature, some users have expressed concerns that data is still being collected and manipulated through Bing and other connected programs.While it is unlikely you will experience a direct issue with Cortana due to security problems, it is still something to stay mindful of.

The most surefire way to avoid security threats is to keep your software updated. Search the internet for potential security issues with Cortana and do a little research to both ease your mind and inform you of any potential problems.

Additional Problems With Cortana

While Cortana is designed to be an efficient virtual assistant, there are many problems that you might experience due to circumstance. If your computer or any connected devices are experiencing hardware issues, then you might notice the program running at a reduced capacity or not at all.

These problems can often be trickier to solve. You will need to determine which component is at fault and contact the right experts to have your hardware fixed or replaced.Some users have also expressed troubles with personal commands programmed into Cortana.

If, for example, you program a command to open your mail app and read your messages for you, you might not know what to do if the command fails. When Cortana commands do not execute in the right manner, it is best to consult Microsoft’s support pages.

Many factors can influence the way Cortana understands commands. Since these commands will all be specific to the user, posting your question to Microsoft’s help forums is your best bet to finding a solution.

Final Thoughts

Though Cortana is a cutting-edge application with a lot to offer, there are still a number of issues you might experience. Virtual assistants are still being perfected. Until developers can figure out a way to eliminate bugs entirely, there will be some rocky moments.If you experience a unique problem, you might want to think about reporting the problem to Microsoft. By informing the company of a particular issue with the program, you are giving yourself a chance to become part of the solution. Developers need information about specific problems to find lasting solutions.The next time you try to use your virtual assistant and find Cortana not working, take action fast. Take a moment to see if your software is up to date or restart your device to begin things.When these solutions don’t work, it is best to turn to the internet and find a place where you can ask for help with the exact problem you’re experiencing. This will deliver the best results and help you get Cortana working the way it was intended.

Last update on 2020-08-20 at 15:37 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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