The Windows 10 Anniversary Update fails to install for some users, but those who actually manage to get to their desktops might discover another problem.
Cortana seems to be completely dead on a number of PCs updated to the Anniversary Update, and it’s impossible to use it, with the personal assistant becoming search even for users living in countries where this feature was available.
It turns out that the issue is experienced right after Windows 10 Anniversary Update installs, and there’s still no word from Microsoft on what exactly is happening that the personal assistant no longer exists.
On the other hand, here’s what one of the users who got impacted by this problem explains on the company’s(it’s worth mentioning that the same problem was experienced on Insider builds as well following the July 31 cumulative update, so this particular update might be at fault for the removal of Cortana):
“I received Cumulative update WS10 version 1607 for x64 systems KB3176929 and have now lost Cortana. With No way to switch it back on. Right clicking on the task bar does not give the option. Clicking on the search button gives a message about typing and accessing apps and net. This does work but I would rather have Cortana back. It’s not working on Edge either. I ran system restore which brought back Cortana but Then the Update Killed it again.”
Just a simple fix
The fix seems to be simpler than you think, and it all comes down to editing a registry key to have Cortana back on the desktop.
Open the Registry Editor by typing regedit.exe in the Start menu and navigate to this following path:
Look for the entry called “BingSearchEnabled” and change it to 1. A reboot might be necessary, but Cortana should start working the second you close the Registry Editor. Additionally, if this doesn’t make any difference, make sure you turn the “CortanaEnabled” key to value 1.