Windows 10 How to reset Cortana

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I felt Cortana deserved it's own tutorial since it requires a different approach in order to correctly reset. Since Cortana is a system application it can not be uninstalled like other applications. You also cannot remove the settings folder in your user profile because the SYSTEM account constantly has open file handles to th folder.

  • You will first need to make a secondary administrator account on your computer to do this open an elevated command prompt and type NET USER /ADD <username> [<password>]
  • Now add that account to the local administrators group with the following command NET LOCALGROUP administrators /add <username>
  • Now logout and log in with the new administrator account
  • Open explorer (Window Key + e) and navigate to C:\Users\<originaluser>\appdata\local\packages
  • Rename Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy I just append .old
  • Log out and back in with the original account
  • Open an elevated powershell prompt (Press Windows key type powershell, hold ctrl + shift and left click powershell)
  • Type Get-AppxPackage *Cortana*
  • Copy the Install location and append Appxmanifest.xml
  • Type Add-AppxPackage -Path "C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy\Appxmanifest.xml" -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register
  • Test Cortana
  • Open an elevated command prompt and delete the extra administrator account NET USER /Delete <username>

Hi Neemobeer.
Thank you so much for this tutorial. I really want to turn my cortana off as I don't use it more often.
Keep sharing with us.

Hi Neemobeer,
Not sure when or if you and this message will ever catch up with each other but for what it is worth I am extremely grateful to you for taking the time and making the effort to post this tutorial on how to reset Cortana. Somehow my 'Searches' through Cortana became depleted and files/folders I had, previously, found regularly and consistently went "missing", or were a 'no show', such as 'Create a Restore Point'. I think, perhaps, this might have been due to a 'Secure Cleaning" program I was "trialling" (needless to say, now uninstalled) but not one of the more well known ones. I won't name the product because it is purely conjecture on my part and I could be doing them an injustice and I accept full responsibility for what I selected to be securely cleaned. Having followed your recommendations (with a degree of trial and error. In addition to which, I had to employ the use of 'Unlocker' because renaming the folder Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy (to .old) would, otherwise, have been well nigh impossible, due to it being in constant use. Trying to 'End Task' for Cortana through 'Task Manager' proved fruitless as Cortana is used incessantly. Subsequent to successfully completing the steps in your recommendation. I have found that the 'Searches' have been fully restored to their previous capabilities, so I am indebted to you. It always 'bugs' me when something on my PC creates an issue and find I have to persist until I find a method to resolve the issue. At least, such an occurrence provides a valid learning experience, for me and a sense of accomplishment when I succeed in remedying the problem.