Can’t set an alarm with Cortana? You are not alone

Of course I’m guilty of almost abusing Cortana, the new personal digital assistant introduced in the Windows Phone 8.1. She’s managing my calendar, search queries, reminders, and lot of other things I’m discovering each time I fire the app.  

While all is well between us, Cortana fails to set up alarms on my Windows Phone device. A little shout out around, and I realized I wasn’t alone. Lot of our readers have also reported the issue on Windows Phone Central Forums.

For lot of people who’ve updated their phones to the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers, any alarm instruction like ‘wake me up at 10’ or ‘set alarm for 7 am’, does not work. Each time, Cortana returns the following error – Something’s not right. Try again a little bit. (8000ffff).

Some random suggestions like soft reset or hard reset popped up here and there, and I tried both on my Nokia Lumia 920. But no go. Sam Sabri also teased me that it’s because I’m using Cortana in an unsupported country (here’s our guide how you can do that as well). However, as I explored the issue, I realized some folks in the US are also experiencing the same issue.  

Have you experienced this issue as well? Has any trick or hack worked for you? Tell us in the comments, but be sure to add your region, phone model and any other relevant information. 



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SteggyDad says:

Used it a couple if times, no issues

TheSuperShoe says:

Same here, Lumia 920.

astroboy#WP says:

Chiming in to say I had the problem on my Lumia 920 locked to Rogers network in Canada. It was resolved by turning off a third party app 6.27AM that I was using which had active preset alarms. Just turning off those preset alarms resolved the problem and now Cortana works!

armodons says:

Thanks! 62.7AM was the culprit for me - turning off preset alarms allowed Cortana to set alarms!

WillBrown says:

627AM was the culprit for me, too!
Thanks for the tip.

Working fine with my Lumia 1320 from India

thank you sir. 927 am was causing the alarm block on Cortana for me too.

Acbuono5 says:

Thank you so much this fixed it for me.

kuhio3 says:

Thank You so much for the info...i tried this and alas it did not work for me...its so frustrating...I have since removed 6.27am, tinydo, indigo and Slate Calender ..all of which have preset alarms ...and still having the issue...I dont know what to do ...but this was great advise...thank you

She only seems to turn on existing alarms that are not set to repeat. Just tested "Turn on my 10 AM alarm" and it worked. It would be cool to be able to preset your own choice of a default alarm tone for new alarms though.

gamerhandz says:

If you tell her "set an alarm for ____" she'll create a non-repeating one for that time the next day, pretty sure "set an alarm for ____ every day (on ___day)" would work too

Jim_MAY says:

Working on HTC 8x☺

krycus21 says:

No problems on my 520

sholokov says:

Works fine on my Lumia 1020

CanGueler says:

Also for me 920

Agent-P says:

Just chiming in to say no problems setting up an alarm here. In the US on an unlocked Rogers 920.

vFlagR says:

No issues here L1520, UK

Yancy Evans says:

Yup, Nokia 1520.  No issues whatsoever.  Used it to wake up this morning and set an alarm reminder to call my wife.



Works flawlessly Lumia 1020 Rogers Canada

kenzibit says:

No issue Lumia 920..my question is how to I change the tone that plays for her alarms? Soo soft for me and I don't hear it

Z10YkakPES says:

Same here on 1520, just checked, no problems. PA USA

Yardie83 says:

No issue. Lumia 1020. Switzerland

Durishin says:

Works for me. Both "Cortana, wake me up in 20 minutes" and "Cortana, will you wake me up tomorrow morning at 8am?"

smartass1379 says:

Same here with Lumia 1520

Same just tries on my 920 works like a charm

ZackTheNever says:

Works fine on 822

Beckie Evans says:

I've also had no problems on my 625.

ninny1176 says:

Tried a few times and each one worked...L928

DaveGx says:

I just tried it. I said, "Wake me up at 4:30 am tomorrow"  She responded by letting me know she set the alarm for 4:30 am. 

It works just fine

rcballa12 says:

Works on my Lumia 1020 (AT&T). These all worked:

"Wake me up in twenty minutes"

"Set an alarm for one-ten PM"

"Wake me up at 6" (alarm gets set for 6 AM)

sudakoma says:

No problem here, works perfectly. 1020 uk

Yu Cheng says:

no issue at all, she woke me up for two days already.

SocalTouch says:

Told Cortana to "Wake me up at 6AM" and it worked just fine! Lumia 920 in southern california.

No problem for me. 920 in Big D.

DeriQuan says:

Works for me too on the 920. Malaysia.

Might be just cuz its in an unsupported country. works fine on the 521

Works fine for me.

Those with issues:
Make sure you set "speech" to English United States and install the language update that follows said change in speech language.

gomes920 says:

The only problem I'm having with Cortana is that she needs internet connection everytime I ask her to do something that is not necessary to use the internet. If I want to set up an alarm, she says she "can't talk to the internet right now". If I want to send a text message (which is via carrier's network) she says that "she's feeling disconnected".

I don't understand that. Things that don't require internet connection should be easy to use when you're disconnected. I think I'm missing something.

Ticomfreak says:

Because it doesn't recognize "wildcard" words. If you use the legacy commands, they still work offline.

DecadeMoon says:

Worked for me, Lumia 920, Australia.

ruddymen says:

Works fine on 1520, South Africa

latempete says:

Just tried on Lumia 1520 32GB. Set and cancelled an alarm for 9pm. "set an alarm for 9pm." "cancel alarm for 9pm.", US

ngocthua92 says:

It working pefect on my phone. Lumia 925

TLRtheory says:

Works for me... seems faster as well :P

Same here Lumia 520

duk3togo says:

Same here no problems for me either...

vkelkar says:

Sets correctly ... No errrors..

Expression2 says:

Fine on my Lumia 1020

MikadoWu says:

920 - No Issues.... 


However my morning alarm does not break Quite time.  THought I expect that is by design.

thaman04 says:

Works fine for me!   One thing Cortana doesn't respond to yet though is "What time is it?"  I hope she gets that command soon.

Sam Sabri says:

I'm not sure why you need her telling you that though? lol That's like asking "Cortana, where's my phone?"

Your time is on your glance screen, your time is on your Lock screen and the time is in the status bar ;)

jharr100 says:

Maybe if they wanted to know what time it was in a different time zone???

lippidp says:

Or through a headset while skydiving.

j_the_geek says:

"By the time I finish telling you the time, your thoughts would be more distracted by my sexy voice than the imminent danger you've now put yourself in. Goodbye"

- Cortana/GLADOS

MethodGT says:

Yes, she needs to learn that. I asked her what time it was in Brazil and all she came back with was a Bing search.

WinOMG says:

Ask Cortana "What time is it in China?" It gives a Bing result.

KjBleau says:

Maybe though his earpiece

sirgrant618 says:

930 and Icon don't have glance. Besides, the point would be so that you can keep your eyes on your task, press and hold and ask the Q, and have her tell you. 

What if you are wearing your earphones and the phones in your pocket or to hand?

thaman04 says:

When the phone is in my pocket via headset.  She works great for all other commands.  But that's a very basic command I'd love to ask her when I'm going for a jog for example and dont want to pull out my phone.

ninny1176 says:

While you make a valid point, Cortana should be able to tell you the time.

Jealy666 says:

Yes, but I should be able to ask an AI assistant the time without pulling over on my bike shouldn't I?

Yu Cheng says:

you got the point.

iyae says:

Pretty sure Siri does it. The point is for it to be more personable/conversational as well as useful. Not necessarily mutually exclusive either. Cortana has a little way to go still but she's a good start

obviously so Cortana can respond, "Hammer Time"

Ticomfreak says:

I want her to understand inside jokes, lol.

Me: "Who's the prettiest woman?"

Cortana: "Eric's mom"

Me: "You're gay"

Cortana: "Go F*** yourself"

sadude69 says:

I suffered the same issue. Why shouldn't she know the time?

Micah Dawson says:

What's the difference in pressing a button for cortana and swiping the action center down?

In fact one would think it would be easier to pull it down since you don't need to speak.

Musicman247 says:

Just asked her "What time is it in London?" And got the answer. Not spoken, but still the correct answer. I wonder if you need to specify a city?

Alarms work as well. Lumia 925 on T-Mobile.

iyae says:

The problem isn't that we don't know how to check the time, its that siri cant answer that simple questions. She's a personal assistant after all; you never asked an assistant the time?

Kousaku says:

I agree, this feature is quite useful when you have headphones and you start cortana with headphones and want to control music or just in this case check time somewhere in the world without looking at screen... for example I'm biking to work on a quite shrort time margin so I want to know what time is it during driving but don't want to waste time to take phone out ... to look at the asnwer...

wpn00b says:

I haven't yet but I will post here after messing around with it some more. So far all alarms work perfectly.

kikoeightone says:

Works fine for me. UK user, Lumia 520.

ashram says:

OK...for me, I have set an alarm for 10-30 minutes in the future via cortana with zero issue. the issue I have is recurring alarms NOT working! I have an alarm set for 6:20am and 8am and they have not gone off at all.

Sam Sabri says:

Works 100% for me... but then I'm in the supported country :p

In a unuported country, (Canada) and it's working...

Working fine here in Norway,

No issues on Nokia Lumia 1020. "wake me up..." And "don't wake me up..." Both work

So, i'm guessing it's too hard to set the alarm by hand these days? :) LOL

Izzy Vile says:

Eh, it's kinda nice that you can tell her "Wake me up in 30 minutes" when you feel like taking a nap, rather than doing it all by hand.

noiprocs says:

Agreed. It's a pain in the ass to open the alarms app, press "+", set time and repeats, press save and exit the app when you can just tap and hold the search button and tell her "wake me up tomorrow at 6am"...Love it!

Kinda nice!?!?! It's bloody brilliant and about time I can do this with my 920 :)

Izzy Vile says:

No issues here. Lumia 1520

This is the only thing I have used Cortana for so far (other than her jokes) and it has worked flawlessly for me.

Ben Willson says:

Ask her what the best cellphone is.

Haha nice catch on that one!

sumothong01 says:

No issues with it. Yet...
In the U.S.

Chacness says:

No problem on my 920 att

Matt Sharp says:

Working here. Also 920 at&t

puredrive07 says:

Worked fine on my L520 with no issues. Haven't put 8.1 on my L920 yet.

Corvodin says:

It works for me, but I can't set it to work every monday or somethin like that. If I say, wake me up at 6:30 on Mondays, or every Monday, she just sets it for one time. 

EshAan ShAh says:

She's able to set alarm for me ,i haven't found any issue with it

Turanga06 says:

Works for me. Lumia 1020, in Costa Rica.

wukong187 says:

Fine by me. 1520

Works for me, so far... in Seattle

Yep, I have faced the same issue, I'm from India and I faced this for first time when I changed the region to US, I changed back it to India and then again to US , surprisingly issue has been resolved and alarm commands are working fine now

lubbalots says:

Alarm works fine for me but Cortana doesn't work when I'm on home Wi-Fi.

David_JRG says:

Works fine on my Lumia 925. I'm in south America.

josipogo says:

Try with Set alarm, Cortana will ask you about time.

theroyboy44 says:

For the longest time Cortana wouldn't talk to me (since I updated at 9am on Monday) but instead of hard reset like most people I just waited and now she is talking "witty" responses...i tired seeing an alarm so I think it's a big that will figure itself out? Hope this helps.

Cryio says:

Works 100% for me too, although I've set it to US.

rahx says:

works fine for me from unsupported Germany

Yes works fine on my 1520 too in Germany!

sinime says:

Hmm, seems to work for me. Just set one for 7 PM.

Emin616 says:

I have a problem with Cortana. I can't add my interests. It says "i am not turning up any suggestions. Try back later".
Lumia 920. I'm living in Azerbaijan, but i set up region to US.

DenisJ says:

Yup, had the same problem since install. Not alone, either. There are quite a few cases on Msdn forums.

Saiflowrider says:

She works fine for me am in Dubai.. Lumia 1020 user

cknorthpole says:

Works fine for me except that if I say "wake me up at 4pm" she always sets it to 4am. I'm working night shift. But I can say "alarm at 4pm" and its fine.

robertre says:

Say "set an alarm for 4pm". It works for me. Maybe when you say wake me up, it tries to be smart and think it will be am. 

cknorthpole says:

Yeah "set an alarm" works great but not "wake me up". But as you said, i guess she's trying to be smart. After all, it is Cortana.

btbam91 says:

No problems here.

Monty9811 says:

Fine for me. It turned on my already saved alarm.

sadude69 says:

Cortana also won't convert currency. She will link me to the right page but I want her to do it

deathdemon89 says:

That's weird, she does it for me

derekpthomas says:

Working fine for me. Lumia 920, USA.

cybrtitan says:

Probably stupid question but are you at the maximum amount of alarms?

wyndmyst says:

I have an issue with Cortana responding to requests that worked day one. A question like.. How far am i from the airport would give me a travel time and directions. Now questions seem to flash from the screen id expect (without a result) to a Bing search instead...i am in Australia...

Works fine for me here in Brazil. Lumia 1020.

smartfonefan says:

I'm in the UK using the Lumia 925 and have no issues.. It just works. I use it everyday..

AccentAE86 says:

Setting an alarm works fine for me.  But what consistently DOESN'T work for me is to make a location based reminder.  Like saying "Remind me to buy nails when I'm at Home Depot".  It finds me the closes home depot, displays it's address, and when I try to confirm/finalize it, it says


"Sorry, I couldn't locate that on the map.  You can choose another place."

Despite finding the location for me, and displaying the address right on the reminder screen.  WTF?


WPit says:

Put your Home Depot info into Places, Cortana's Notebook?

Also, try this: next time you go to the Depot, use your GPS (HERE) to go there, even knowing how to. Then, from within your GPS, press and hold search and say the command "Remind me to buy nails when I'm at Home Depot". Some apps must be on the run to integrate with her I believe.

Worked with me, but I turned GPS off before arrival, sorry to say that, but that was to save my battery life.


akshaypn says:

She does this fine !

Works fine on my at&t Nokia Lumia 920 but Cortana is not letting me ask the funny stuff like "what is halo?" Or "tell a joke"

NykoAlly says:

"What is Halo" doesn't work for me either, but "Tell me a story" does.

Ticomfreak says:

What is halo works for me :-)

cybermoose89 says:

Cant do it full stop

commo says:

Works fine for me using the same methods as in the article. Nokia Icon on Verizon

M facing a problem with getin Cortana to read the weather out loud. She was working fine yesterday after I installed WP8.1 but a few hours whn I checked again, Coratna just displays the weather page. I tried a soft and hard reset but it did not solve the problem. The worst part is after the Hard reset the only thing that was auto backed up were my message. Everything else I had to install from scratch. Not a single app was auto installed. Anyone else facing these issues?

WPit says:

Try a whole and short command like "weather in celsius" (even if you already have this setup in celsius). Worked for me. I also think connection plays a big role here. Your connection should be perfect to get her working without glitches. Cheers!


its wkrin now, I guess u were right, it is a connection problem. However I still cant understand why none of my apps were installed automatically after the hard reset.

dkp23 says:

I experienced this when i tried right after the set-up process.  I went out back to the start screen, hit the search button and tried again and it worked. 


I said exactly "set alarm for 7 am on weekdays"  my alarm was set up. 


So i had the issue right after cortana was set-up, after backing out and going back in, it worked. 

rohanagarwal says:

Works like a charm for me..

I was cooking and said remind me in 20 minutes and she did. "Ok I'll remind you of chicken stew in 20 minutes."

Rick Smits says:

Worked for me (US)

Cortana Works perfectly for me.. also the alarms.


The only issues i have is that Cortana is not localized yet ( and that is af course very logical) Sometimes i have to manually assign adresses, or pinpoint locations on the maps before i can voice tell cortana to take me somewhere.


After a few hours of programming i more or less assigned all my favorite places with Cortana, make Logical nicknames for all of them. Now i only have to ask cortana for traffic, or if i need  a coat, or if she want's to take me there.. it works FLAWLESS..

WPit says:

This! And also ask her from within the apps, like on the run with GPS. It's kind of all integrated and works really nicely as you say.

ogracia says:

Sorry but it works flawlessly for me in Spain, I just did it before posting...

jonmeza says:

Tried seeing alarms with Cortana for the first time last night. Just gave me errors too.

jonmeza says:

I'm also in the US on a L928

jonmeza says:

Once I uninstalled Due and TinyDo, all was well.  Now I just want Cortana to be able to update a single calendar event when there is a recurrence.

wpguy says:

Seemed to work for me the one time I tried it a couple nights ago. Lumia 925 (RM-893, TMo-US)

I have been able to create an alarm, turn off/turn on/delete a specific alarm. Could have sworn I could ask to delete all alarms before, but now getting web search results for that.

lewiedude says:

No problem on my L920.

xxcorpxx says:

Works perfectly for me on 1020. Fast and simple, haven't tried that one yet. Reminders are awesome though, been using them a lot.

jevans911 says:

No problem with Cortana setting alarms for me here...

No issues currently on my ATT 920.

Sario27 says:

I am having that issue on my Lumia 810, the US

frett says:

Just tried it and got the same error.  I am using an HTC 8X on Verizon. :(

My reminder requests work perfectly, though, so I just create a reminder for a certain time.  Works great!

Hammy78 says:

No issues on my 820, UK

mrbeanie45 says:

Not having that problem. The problem I am having is that my L920 will now lock up and reboot without warning. Happened once immediately following the upgrade to 8.1 and then a few minutes ago when I was typing a message.


Bit worrying considering the Developers Preview is the RTM code. :s

No problem here... India ...L625

CardozoRT says:

It's working good round here. I'm in Portugal, with region in the US. Lagy sometimes, doesn't understands me in others, but in general working pretty fine. Remember guys: It's a BETA!

Works all the time for me (UK)

Madhu T C says:

I have issues setting calendar event time. She doesn't understand time. Will I am in India

Sikamikanico says:

Southend, Essex UK - No problems for me on my 925. I use the command 'Can you wake me at 7am tomorrow?' and it works fine.

Fadikun says:

It wasn't working for me last night on my 920 but it seems to be working now.

11B1P says:

No problems with alarms, telling me who Cortana is or a joke on a L928.

kookik says:

just checked and its work like charm

IceCake says:

Just set an alarm and it wet off at the requested time, no problems, right before adding this comment. Lumia 1520 USA. :)

J88NY R says:

First thing I did with Cortana, worked perfectly for me.

Duduosf says:

I just tried after reading the headlines and it worked flawlessly with me. I even got her to cancel it afterwards. (925)

danjer says:

Worked fine to set the alarm. It was a pain to delete it. You have to say the exact time. When you set the time yourself you may remember. When you set it "in 30 minutes" you're out of luck.

Micah Dawson says:

I'm in the us and I have no problems on my 1520

HaibaneReki says:

Might it be related to date or time format? Not the region, just the displayed format.. (unsupported country, haven't introduce myself to Cortana yet)

Viipottaja says:

It. not she. Especially given your f first sentence...

Nik47 says:

Works perfectly. Lumia 920, UK

ravi72munde says:

Alarm works for me and I am from India. But suddenly weather has stopped working. Cortana goes to bing search instead of showing the forecast. Worked fine till yesterday. Not any more

jleebiker says:

Works fine on Verizon 928. Asked her to do "in 20 minutes." "at 5:00am" and "zero four, zero one, two thousand sixteen"

JoshMD90 says:

No issues on my 1020

Updated mine in Israel (Nokia Lumia 620), everything works fine, even Cortana. But the phone is a little bit (actually quite a lot sometimes) laggy. Anyone got this problem too? Do they have a fix for this?

tonbonz says:

Asked Cortana to "wake me at 6a.m. and she reminded me I had an alarm already set. Seems fine on my Samsung Odyssey. :-)

kuhio3 says:

i am having this problem on my L925. I immediately thought it was an issue with my Indigo so I removed it...and tried again and still the same problem...although when I re-installed indigo it still did not work. Indigo can set my alarms though...i did a soft reset and eventually a hard reset...didnt help..interesting enough as you said dan i can open alarms with no problem...I tried also deleting all my existing alarms and then tried setting up an alarm ...still the same error...I also tried googling the error and looks and other people outside WPCentral are having the same issue when they upgraded to 8.1... a post has been added to the  microsoft MSDN forums too so hopefully a fix soon...should I find anything to correct this...will post

aschettler says:

I was able to set an alarm using Cortana, but I haven't been able to use the chitchat features like "tell me a joke" or "sing me a song" on any internet connection on my Lumia 1520.

sachin hegde says:

my Cortana is working perfectly fine with with almost all commands related to alarm, in my indian accent. most of the time, i cant get the Cortana word property though.

vafo says:

Mine is working fine (Portugal, Samsung ATIV S)

monster5 says:

I get this error in my lumia 920 if i try to do something like setting up an alarm or appointment in cortana without wifi or data connection

daredevildan says:

Setting alarm on my L920 was fine. Also, "cancel my alarm for 5:30 PM" worked like a charm.

txDrum says:

Yeah, it has worked fine on my 928!

HansTj says:

Mine works just fine. However, I still have a question. When I set an alarm through Cortana, it is always set with default alarm tone. Is there any way to have Cortana automatically setup an alarm with a tone of my own choice?

richard91978 says:

Works perfectly fine on my 920 and I've got a British accent

MrGoodSmith says:

My only issue with Cortana is that I can't have an intelligent conversation with her.

jsfx07 says:

I just tried it, works fine for me. Tmo925. US.

Alarms seem to be working fine on my Lumia 920. I can set up an alarm as well as cancel it. It all fairness, I did a hard reset earlier today to correct the issue with Cortana always providing web search results rather thn verbally responding to the question such as, "Tell me a joke".

Binson#WP says:

Has been working great for me, Nokia Lumia 1020 AT&T unlocked on Rogers in Canada.

I just say "Alarm clock, 6 am" and it worked fine on my 920.

broken-eyes says:

No problems on my 925 Cortana rules

92GTA says:

So this article has been made so you can get more attention to your problem vs just making a post on the forum? lol

NykoAlly says:

Oh no. I have the problem too.

NAMISH says:

No issues at all... I can set and disable alarms without having to repeat myself twice. Cortana loves me! ;)

No issues. South Africa

upsidedown says:

Works fine on Lumia 928

But has anyone also experienced faster battery drain? And gmail mails being sluggish? NL920

deathdemon89 says:

I was, but then I blocked some apps from running in the background and now battery life is great again

fbendotti says:

No issues 1520 USA. By the way 64gb SD card transcend class 10 is flawless. I do miss wireless charging. Battery is a beast though.