Registry Experts: Help me get Cortana settings back

Discussion in 'Windows 10 Help and Support' started by gogreen, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. gogreen

    gogreen Honorable Member

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    I'm hoping some registry experts here can help. I have lost my Cortana settings. When I click the settings icon (3rd from the top on the left), nothing happens. I may have become a bit overzealous in my attempts to disable Cortana, but now I have lost the options to turn it on and off. How do I get those settings back?

    I compared the folders Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy on my desktop (where I'm experiencing this problem) and my laptop (where Cortana is working OK). Both folders are identical, so I'm thinking this is a registry issue.

    Where are Cortana's registry settings? I'd like to try copying the laptop's settings to my desktop to see if that brings Cortana's settings back (with a system restore point created first).
     
  2. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Have you tried just disabling Cortana and activating her again.
     
  3. gogreen

    gogreen Honorable Member

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    Yup. Tried it. Doesn't work.
     
  4. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi

    I just tried that myself.
    It didn't work, it said that if you turn her off and on again she will forget everything and you can start over.

    When I started her back up she said "Hello Michael" well so much for that.

    I'd like to be able to start over from scratch too, because she doesn't respond to "Play my music" anymore.
    Or rather she says "somethings not right, try again in a little bit", every time I do it.

    I set up my friends computer last week and she organised his music and it worked right out of the box.

    Mike
     
    #4 MikeHawthorne, Sep 23, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
  5. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Do you show SearchUI running in Task Manager?

    Have you uninstalled anything like some app?

    You have restarted your system?

    You are logged onto a Microsoft Account?
     
  6. gogreen

    gogreen Honorable Member

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    SearchUI is not listed in task manager processes, but Cortana is. I can, however, search the web and Windows. I've restarted my system many times since I saw the problem. I do not have a Microsoft account (as far as i know).
     
  7. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    Cortana does not work unless you are logged in with a Microsoft Account. If that is your problem, easy to fix.

    Check your User page and see how you are listed, with a Local Account or Microsoft.
     
  8. gogreen

    gogreen Honorable Member

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    Hm. When I go into account settings, all the choices work except sign-in options. As soon as I click sign-in options, the page freezes, and I cannot choose other options.
     
  9. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi

    I never thought about the fact that you have to have a MS account.
    They've made it almost a necessity in Windows 10.

    Go to this page and create an account, then maybe you will have the option to sign in.
    If you already have an account you will see, "Sign In" instead of "Sign Up".

    If that's the case you can find out what your sign in ID is.

    How do I sign up for a Microsoft account? - Windows Help

    You don't have to stick with the Microsoft account if you don't want to, it will let you use your regular account to sign in if you want to.

    Or you can go to Settings, Account, Your Account, and look for the link that says "Create a Microsoft" Account.

    Mike
     
    #9 MikeHawthorne, Sep 23, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
  10. gogreen

    gogreen Honorable Member

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    I need to solve this problem without creating a Microsoft account.
     
  11. Nimit

    Nimit Well-Known Member

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    You have to, you can sign out after getting your settings back otherwise a refresh option is always be there in Settings.
     
  12. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    You don't really need to use the Sign-in options. The ability to sign into a Microsoft account should be on the Your Account page. If you have never established a Microsoft account, you may have to do as Mike advises, unless the "Manage my Microsoft account" option is available. You may be able to go to the store or even a Windows forum to create a Microsoft account.

    When I click on Sign-in options, my system takes several seconds to make those available. I am already on a Microsoft Account.

    Prior to the Official Release of Windows 10 there were some preview builds which would not allow you to sign back into a Microsoft account if you had chosen to switch to a local account instead. Is your install an upgrade from an Insiders build?
     
  13. gogreen

    gogreen Honorable Member

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    No, I don't have to have a Microsoft account. If I did, then why would the options to enable or disable Cortana work fine on my laptop but not on my desktop?
     
  14. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
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    If you don't want to run with a Microsoft Account, Cortana is not an option for you so it really doesn't make any difference if it will enable or not. It uses the cloud to do its work and cannot function without that connection.

    Why one computer will allow it to be enabled and not the other, I don't know... probably some configuration situation. All I can suggest is you go back over the steps you took to disable it to see if you can reverse that process -- or do some type of restore operation. There is a thread in this forum about disabling Cortana. I will look at that to see what is done there.
     
  15. gogreen

    gogreen Honorable Member

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    I've been trying to remember what I did on my desktop to mess things up a bit and not on my laptop. Thanks, Saltgrass, for your help with this!

    I've tried a repair installation--didn't fix it. I'm trying to avoid a clean install. I'd hate to lose everything, and I no longer can go back to Windows 7, from which I upgraded. That's why I'm wondering if registry tweaks would do the trick.
     
  16. bochane

    bochane Honorable Member

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    Why not a test with creating a new user account, there is a fair change that Cortana is working again.
    (And if it is working you can always transfer all your files to that new account, use it and forget the old one)

    Henk
     

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