• Paul Fingleton

How to enable Cortana in Windows 10 in Ireland and other non-US countries.

By far one of the most popular articles on this site has been from Irish users looking to enable Cortana, Microsoft's personal digital assistant, on their Windows 10 PC's.

Microsoft's Personal Digital Assistant continues to expand into different environments since her official debut with Windows Phone 8.1 - first with Windows 10 PC and then with Android and iOS.

Despite this broad expansion, Cortana is only officially available in certain markets and not supported in others. But that does not stop the rest of the world from changing their configuration enable normal Windows users in other markets such as Ireland benefit from the Assistant - she even provides extremely useful local results and information.

The important thing to note for Cortana to available on your PC or tablet, your Country or Region, Language, and Speech Language needs to be in one of the below combinations. As Windows 10 Mobile is the same OS as the PC version (more or less), the below settings should also work on any Windows 10-powered Phone.

1. Open Settings. Select Time & language, and then Region & Language.

2. Check the Language (set as default) setting for your Windows display language. If your desired language is not available, add your desired language:

  • Click Add a Language.

  • Select your desired language from the list.

  • Select the desired locale, which is the language/country combination.

  • Click on the newly selected locale and select Options.

  • Under Download language pack, click Download.

  • Under Speech, click Download.

  • After the downloads are complete (this could take several minutes), return to the Time & Language settings.

  • Click on your new language and select Set as Default.

NOTE: IF you changed languages, you must sign out of your account and back in for the new setting to take effect.

3. Check the Country or region setting. Make sure the country selected corresponds with the Windows display language set in the Language setting.

4. Return to Settings and Time & language, and then select Speech. Check the Speech language setting, and make sure it’s aligned with the previous settings.

If you are still having issues; you can further verify your settings:

  • From Region & Language, under Languages is a Related Settings section, click on Additional Date, Time & Regional Settings, then in the control panel widow that opens:

  • Under Language, click Add a Language.

  • A table of installed languages will display, click Options for the language you are using.

  • At the top of the page under Windows display language, click Make default display language (or something like that).

  • You will need to sign out for changes to take effect.

Note: If it says Enabled under Windows display language, then this is already done.

Finally, If you log on to your PC and the old Search icon is still present click on this and in the setting for Search you may need to enable Cortana.

Starting with Windows Insider Build 14279, Cortana will also be available for a few new languages: Spanish (Mexico), Pertuguese (Brazil) or French (Canada). For each new market and language, the Cortana Team works to develop a custom experience that is relevant in each individual market and language. For instance, in Brazil - Cortana is fond of pasteis which is a common food found in many regions across Brazil

Although Cortana is not officially available in Ireland, Microsoft's answer to Siri or Google Now is able to provide a lot of local news, directions, reminders and recommendations tailored for Irish users. So, why not turn it on and take it for a spin - if you don't like it, you can always turn it back off in the settings.


This article was originally published in 2015, but has been updated in 2016 to reflect the current process for enabling Cortana support in International markets not officially supported by the service.