With a little registry work, users can test drive the redesigned Cortana that now looks and feels similar to Spotlight on macOS.

Aggiornamenti Lumia has uncovered that Microsoft has been working on a new design for Cortana with Windows 10 Insider build 17040. Currently, the new look is still under wraps, but if activated via the registry editor, users can test drive the refreshed UI on the digital assistant.

The steps to open the registry editor are:

  1. Open the registry editor

  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search\Flighting

  3. Select Flighting, right-click it, then create a new folder named "Override" (without the quote marks) on the Flighting folder from the sidebar

  4. Select to open the Override folder

  5. Right-click on the right side under "Default" and select "New" and then "DWORD" (32-bit)

  6. Name the new value ImmersiveSearch

  7. Right-click the new value

  8. Change its value data to 1

  9. Restart your computer

  10. Open the new experience with Windows Key + S

Please be mindful that editing the registry involves the potential to damage your computer if the wrong changes are made, so try the above steps at your own risk.

The new look Cortana is fully immersive, with its own Spotlight-type floating search bar. The user experience hasn't changed much from the current version, besides a updated UI with tabs lining the top for different search windows. Users can search for apps, files, settings and web pages with Bing directly from Cortana. A filter drop-down menu has also been added to help sift through your searches.

Microsoft's digital assistant is likely still being tested internally since the only way it can be activated is through the registry editor. Users can look for an official release with Redstone 4 this coming Spring and possible testing with the Windows Insider Program in the coming weeks.

These updates to Cortana should be met with warm reception since it helps to make it a more productive, efficient and seamless tool for Windows users.

What do you think? Will these changes to Cortana be of benefit to you? Drop a comment below and let us know.

via OnMSFT