Cortana not working, search just showing empty white box.

Hi,

my Windows Search / Cortana is not working anymore, all of the sudden.

System History:

- before the Anniversary Update was installed, Cortana was disabled

- after the Anniversary Update was installed, Cortana was still disabled, however I managed to activate her using the "Cortana Fix Tool". I did this after the Windows search stopped showing results.

Problem symptoms:

- Taskbar and start menu are responsive

- however Cortana doesn't show anything but a grey box saying "What's next?".

- When searching something, no results are shown, instead I only see a white box.

- When using voice commands, Cortana says it is not connected to the Internet (which is not the case, I think this is just a result of another problem).

- When using Repair on "Search and Indexing" it says "Incorrect Permissions" for the /ProgramData/Windows/Search folder, however on another system, where everything is working fine, this error occurs as well, thus probably is unrelated to the problem.

- Under System/Privacy/Location it says "Position History has to be enabled for Cortana to work", however I have no switch to enable it.

Attempted Solutions with no success:

- System Reboot

- DISM and SFC Scan (no issues found)

- Powershell Redeployment of Cortana and other Appx

- Registry fix of "BingSearchEnabled" etc.

- Windows Search Service Restarted

- Rebuild Search Index

Attempted Solutions with partial success:

- created a new User account "Test". On his account Cortana works fine. However ditching my main account IS NO SOLUTION for me.

Given this info, I conclude that some Cortana files (Cache/Settings) are broken. Please advice on how to fix them.

Thanks.

 

Question Info


Last updated February 26, 2020 Views 7,211 Applies to:
Answer
Answer

I managed to fix the Problem (at least to an extend that I'm satisfied with the result).

WARNING: This solution may have yet unknown side effects, use at your own risk!

- "Win+X -> A" to open a cmd console with administrator rights.

- "net user /ADD Testadmin" to create the user Testadmin

- "net localgroup Administrators Testadmin /add" to add Testadmin to the Administrators. NOTE: The "Administrators" group name is subject to localization.

- Sign off your current Account and sign into Testadmin.

- Navigate to "C:\Users\[ProblemUserName]\AppData\Local\Packages". You may have to take ownership of the Problem User's Userfolder.

- Rename the Cortana folder "Microsoft.Windows.Cortana...." and add the extension ".old"

- Sign off Testadmin and back into the problem account.

- "Win+X -> a" to open a cmd console with administrator rights.

- "start powershell" to open a new powershell with administrator rights.

- "Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$(Get-AppxPackage -Name *Cortana* | Select -Expand InstallLocation)\AppxManifest.xml". This will redeploy the Cortana package.

- Reboot. Cortana and search should now be working.

- Optional: Remove Testadmin:

- "Win+X -> A" to open a cmd console with administrator rights.

- "net user /DELETE Testadmin"

- Delete "C:\Users\Testadmin"

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