Fix: Cortana Search Bar Turned White

Cortana is a virtual assistant created by Microsoft. It can set reminders, recognize voice commands without the use of keyboard and answer questions using search engines. It is available in many languages and is one of the most widely used virtual assistants developed for computers.

By default, Cortana has a search bar enabled right next to your Windows button on Windows 10 and the color is black. Many cases came forward where the color of the search bar turned white upon updating to Fall Creators Update 1709. This feature is reportedly added by Microsoft which reflect two themes (Dark and Light). If you choose the light theme, the color will be white; otherwise, it will be black. However, many people reported that despite switching the theme to dark, the search bar was kept white. There are various workarounds available to solve this problem. Take a look.

Solution 1: Changing Default App Mode

This is the new feature introduced by Microsoft in Fall Creators Update 1709. There are two modes available to you; Light and Dark. By default, the mode is set to Light. You can try changing the mode to Dark and check if this solves the problem in question. Do note that all your applications will also switch from light (white) background to a dark (black) background.

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the search bar. Type “settings” in the dialogue box and open the application.
  2. Once in Settings, open the sub-category of Personalization.

  1. Once in Personalization, select “Colors” using the navigation menu present on the left side of the screen.

  1. Scroll to the bottom of the screen until you find the option “Choose your default app mode”. Select the option “Dark”.

  1. Almost instantly you will see the Cortana search bar turning black once again. You will also notice other visible changes on your applications (they will have a black background instead of white).

Solution 2: Changing Location of your Computer

In this workaround, we change the location to a country where Cortana isn’t available. Mostly these countries include Yemen, Gabon etc. Follow the instruction mentioned below.

  1. Open Settings like we did in the previous solution.
  2. Once in Settings, open the sub-category of Time & Language.

  1. Once in Time & Language, select “Region & language” using the navigation bar present at the left side of the screen.

  1. Select any country where Cortana isn’t available. Once the settings are changed, exit the window.

  1. Now we need to sign out and then back in. Click on the Windows button present at the bottom left side of the screen. Click on your profile picture and select “Sign out”. After your account is signed out, sign back in using the same technique.

  1. Now you can navigate back to the location settings and set your default country back. Hopefully, the problem will be fixed.

Note: If this doesn’t work, repeat steps 1-4 again (make sure you are selecting a country where Cortana isn’t available). Instead of signing out, simply restart your computer. Then change back to your normal country and perform the restart again.

Solution 3: Changing Registry Value

As a last resort, we can try changing the registry value. Do note that the registry editor is a powerful tool and requires extreme care when editing keys. Changing keys which you have no knowledge of might render your computer unusable.

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run application. Type “regedit” in the dialogue box and press Enter. Once in the registry editor, navigate to the following location:


  1. Once in the target location, double-click on the key “Value” on the right side of the screen. Set the value as “0” instead of “1”. Save changes. The changes will be instant and you will momentarily lose the search bar. Click the search bar icon and it will appear again; this time with the grey/black color.

  1. Repeat the instructions once again for the path given below. The keys and folders are the same.


If this file path doesn’t open/isn’t present, don’t worry. Just restart your computer and make sure that the changes we made are permanent.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.