Sometime back, I disabled Cortana completely and did some tweaks to stop telemetry under my Windows 10 laptop, but I can't really remember what I exactly did. Now I need to temporarily lend the laptop to someone without losing everything, but the person would like to have Cortana. Is there a way to undo everything I've done and get back Cortana? I've already tried the registry method to no avail.

EDIT: As far as I remember, I did not delete anything or make any serious changes in the Windows filesystem.

EDIT 2: I still have Windows search working; just no Cortana. Listing all packages in powershell says I still have Cortana installed

Microsoft.Windows.Cortana                   Microsoft.Windows.Cortana_1.8.12.15063_neutral_neutral_cw5n1h2txyewy
  • I don't understand the close vote. Can someone explain it? – PulseJet Apr 7 '17 at 17:36
  • You don't indicate which method you used to disabled it. If you literally removed it, that was a destructive action, without the information "how" you removed it we can't tell you how to reverse your actions. – Ramhound Apr 7 '17 at 18:09
  • @Ramhound, Even if I did remove it, then is there any way to install it again? How can I do something so "destructive" that's it's impossible to reverse? Anyway, that's the whole point; if I did remember, I'd have reversed it already. – PulseJet Apr 7 '17 at 18:22
  • You would have had to make a backup, per the instructions found here to achieve what you want. The commands used to "uninstall" Cortana remove your ability to "install" because the only way to "uninstall" it is to remove the package from your WinSxS directory. – Ramhound Apr 7 '17 at 19:24
  • 1
    Try to do the opposite of what is written in this article. – harrymc Apr 7 '17 at 20:51

Without knowing what you did in the first place, I suspect the only thing we can say would definitely (100%) work is a reinstall.

Having said that, though, creating a new user account for the person you're lending it to and having them log in to that account might work.

  • Reinstall not an option. Adding an account doesn't work. – PulseJet Apr 7 '17 at 17:35
  • I saw that reinstall wasn't an option, so I offered another possible solution. If a new account doesn't solve it, then I don't have a solution off the top of my head. I'd have to Google how to turn Cortana off then walk you backwards through those steps. Hopefully someone else has a better answer for you. – Jay Apr 7 '17 at 17:45
  • Reinstalling in the classic way is a relic of the past anyway. Why not a Reset from the Settings app? – user477799 Apr 8 '17 at 7:16
  • I'll accept your answer, since it partially solved the problem. After I set AllowCortana to 1 in the registry and then created a new account, the new one had Cortana! – PulseJet Apr 8 '17 at 7:56

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.