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As I knew that the Cortana process always respawns, I killed the Cortana task from Task-Manager. Surprisingly it didn't restart by itself.

Now I have the following problems

  • My start menu takes ~1.5 Seconds to show up every time!
  • I could type stuff in the start menu and it would start searching. Doesn't work anymore.
  • The Cortana and Search-Settings are gone from the control panel! I can search for it with the search bar and it will show me "Cortana & Sucheinstellungen" as a result, but clicking on the result won't take me to the Cortana settings.

How do I solve (at least) the first two problems?
How do I start the Cortana process again?
(A restart doesn't fix this!)

Edit: I found SearchUI.exe in C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_cw5n1h2txyewy and executed it, but that didn't work.

Edit 2: It turned out that I had a trojan. Windows Defender removed it for me and after a restart Cortana is back again.

  • There is a joke here. I don't know it, but I bet it's a good one. – Argonauts Jun 7 '16 at 9:15
  • I wish it would be! It is really annoying. I already tried dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth, but it didn't fix anything. Normally you can't kill Cortana that easily, but somehow it worked. – itmuckel Jun 7 '16 at 9:47
  • One thing that invariably adds Cortana back to windows 10 is to install a major update. Are you using the insider version currently? Updating to an insiders preview version will very likely reset whatever settings are causing your issues. It's definitely a nuclear option, and a beta version of win 10 may not be the right choice for you. I'm very quick to reset windows due to the opacity of the OS which usually results in a very long list of very random things to try in an attempt to fix it. ISOs and signup here: microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/… – Argonauts Jun 7 '16 at 10:50
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You can turn on Cortana by opening search on the taskbar, going to the "Settings" section of the left panel, and sliding the pill switch to the "On" position. You can also do it via the "Settings app > Privacy > Speech, inking, & typing" and clicking the "Get to know me" button.

Since your system experiences various anomalies, you may to revise is there are services that fail to start. (start services.msc - check the ones set with startup type to automatic, they should state started; if not, that could mean they failed to start for some reason).

UI start: explorer.exe shell:AppsFolder\Microsoft.Cortana_8wekyb3d8bbwe!CortanaUI

  • Opening search on taskbar doesn't work. If i click it nothing happens. It shows me the magnifier, but clicking on it triggers nothing. The second option didn't work either. I clicked "Get to know me", but again nothing happened. Just started a Windows Defender scan. Maybe something is blocking Cortana...? – itmuckel Jun 7 '16 at 10:15
  • My guess is that there are services/dependencies that are no longer functioning. Also try "Windows key + C" - that should open Cortana in listening mode. You should test if you can access its settings too by making a new shortcut to " %windir%\explorer.exe %LocalAppData%\Packages\windows.immersivecontrolpanel_cw5n1h2txyewy\LocalState\Indexed\Settings\en-US\CortanaSettings.settingcontent-ms ". Using it after creating it should open the Cortana settings. – Overmind Jun 7 '16 at 10:26
  • Both suggestions do nothing too. I guess the second suggestion is what the control panel does anyway, when I try to access the cortana settings. – itmuckel Jun 7 '16 at 10:48
  • OMG! Windows Defender found a trojan! I removed it and after a restart Cortana is back again. :-))) I'll accept your answer anyway, because it has useful information. – itmuckel Jun 7 '16 at 10:55
  • A trojan that disables Cortana is called a privacy/security program. :D Glad it worked ! – Overmind Jun 7 '16 at 11:59

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