Microsoft, Cortana, Halo
Cortana, Microsoft's personal assistant and a lead character from the Halo video games. (Image: Microsoft).

Published: November 12th, 2015

Windows 10 users in Canada can start using Microsoft’s voice-activated smart assistant today, and you don’t even have to lie about where you live.

Since the launch of Windows 10, the popular feature was available to users in the U.S. but not north of the border. We shared how Canadians could change their region settings to try out Cortana, but unfortunately that led to other problems in Windows 10 related to region. Once you’ve installed today’s update to Windows 10, you can set your region back to Canada and turn on Cortana for the full experience. In a blog post, Terry Myerson, executive vice-president of Windows and devices group at Microsoft, says Cortana is also now available in Japan, Australia, and India (in English).

To make sure you can use Cortana, instead of just a less AI-powered search that is turned on by default for Canadians using Windows 10, just search for “Cortana” in the bar next to the start menu. This will bring up the settings you need, and you can turn everything on.

Canadians used to see this message if they tried to turn on Cortana in Windows 10.

Microsoft tailors Cortana to have a personality that is suited to the region it’s being used in. Previously, Microsoft has hinted that the Canadian version will “love hockey,” but that’s all we know about Cortana the Canuck so far.

Are you trying out Cortana in Canada today? Let us know what other Canadian traits you find in the virtual assistant in the comments below.

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  • Jesse Hicks

    Ah yes it must love hockey, a Canadian’s great national distraction to reality.

    • Peter Cieply


    • Gougagna

      Heaven forbid we choose to be entertained rather than focus 100% of our time and efforts on ‘reality’.

      • Jesse Hicks

        “Heaven” forbid that one may hold an intelligent conversation with Cortana without it mentioning “hockey”. It probably also likes camping, football, spending time with the family and anything outdoorsy.

        • Gougagna

          Do you really think they’s set it up to do hockey references in every answer?

        • ThatSonyGuy

          Heaven Forbid there’s actually somebody named Jesse Hicks.

  • Rob Mundy

    But alas, have updated several computers and downloaded Canadian language packs but Cortana still telling me I must change my settings, can’t be enabled because she doesn’t know my language, sigh… or I guess I should say sorry…

    • Marc-Emily Bastarache

      I had to shut-down and restart the computer… I can now ask Cortana “What is your favourite ride?”… She answers.. “I like the smooth ride of a zamboni”..

      Here’s a good link to ensure all language settings are accurate:

      • Marc-Emily Bastarache

        “Hey Cortana, do you love Canada?”

        • Marc-Emily Bastarache

          “Hey Cortana, do you love hockey?”

      • Great find Marc-Emily!

    • Marc-Emily Bastarache

      To force the download of the November Windows update:

      This link will always download the latest version of Windows 10..
      In my case, today’s update downloaded:
      Windows 10 home, version 1511, 10586

      • Robert Brian Ruf

        I upgraded to the latest win 10, downloaded the Canadian English language pack, but can’t set “the language to speak to your device ” to Canadian English since only US and UK appear in the list. System says I need to change speech language to one Cortana speaks. other sources say the language must be for your region. What’s wrong eh?

        • Marc-Emily Bastarache

          I remember having the same problem.. Did you follow this video? ..
          I forget if the shut-down/restart made the CDN language pack appear, but the video should nail it.. Good luck.

        • in your Settings – Languages, make sure Canadian English is there, if not choose the ‘+’ and add a language. Choose English ->Canadian English and Options – Install. That should work. Im guessing in one of the new updates , the language pack will be installed with it. Right now it needs to be done manually. here’s a screen shot –

  • OldGuy222

    I was unable to get Cortana to work on Build 10586 with the region set to Canada. I called the Microsoft Answer Desk today (2015-11-24) and was told Cortana is NOT yet available in Canada

  • Mr. Ogre

    You lie.

  • ugh

    Unable to download cortana on my Samsung. Says it’s unavailable in my country. Which is unfortunate because that’s how you run Microsoft band..which j just got for Christmas annnnnd can’t fully operate now.

  • Rahul Banerjee

    There was this major update today on my Windows and suddenly I see Cortana is functioning. Unfortunately when I Tried to set it up, it is getting stuck at “Speech Language”. I wonder what that is all about. Did anyone else have a major update today?

  • iPhone User

    The cortana app is not available in the Canadian store of the App Store which makes me sad