Windows 10 feature guide: Cortana (Part 1)

With Windows 10, Microsoft finally brings its personal digital assistant, Cortana to the desktop in an attempt to help you get things done in a much faster and better way.

Cortana serves as a helpful personal assistant that helps you set a reminder, open apps, webpages and more. If you are now using a PC or mobile device running Windows 10, we can help you make the most out of Microsoft’s personal assistant.

  1. How to access Cortana Settings on Windows 10

In Windows 10, Microsoft is making its personal assistant available across all devices, which means that configuring Cortana on your desktop is similar to how you configure it on your laptop tablet, Xbox and phones that are running Windows 10.

However, there is one thing you need to bear in mind that Cortana is limited on what she can do on Android and iOS due to restrictions imposed in these platforms, so we recommend you use Windows 10 device to get the most out of the digital assistant.


Before we go through Cortana’s settings, let’s get started with how you can access its settings on your PC or mobile device

Step one: Open Cortana and click the menu button in the top left corner

Step two: Next up, click the Settings button at the bottom

  1. Change what Cortana knows about you

In Cortana’s settings page, you will see the link labeled “Change What Cortana knows about me in the cloud”. Choosing this option will lead to your “Personal Information” page, which allows you to delete everything the digital assistant knows about you.


This page provides you with valuable information that help you better understand how Cortana collects and uses information.

If you want to remove all the information that Cortana knows about you in the cloud, you can follow the steps below:

Step one: Open Cortana and click the menu button. After that, choose the Settings button to proceed

Step two: Click the “Change what Cortana knows about you in the cloud” link and select “Clear”.

  1. How to activate microphone for Cortana

If  your personal assistant is now having trouble hearing what you say or this is the first time you are setting up Cortana, here is how you enable microphone access:


Step one:  Make sure that Cortana is now turned on. Click the menu button and select Settings button at the bottom of the list

Step two: Click the Get Started link and choose the “Set up the mic” option


Step three: After that, click Next and follow on-screen instructions to enable microphone

  1. How to enable Hey Cortana

In Windows 10, you now can use your voice commands to access Cortana by simply saying “Hey Cortana”. However, Hey Cortana is disabled by default, which means that you need to activate it. Here is how you do it:


Step one: Make sure you are now in the Cortana’s settings.

Step two: Turn on the switch for “Hey Cortana”

After you have enabled Cortana, you will have access to two additional options: Respond to when anyone says “Hey Cortana” and Try to respond only to me.

Besides, Cortana can even listen to you when your device is now in Sleep mode. You can activate this feature by enabling the “Keep my device from sleeping when it’s plugged in so I can always say “Hey Cortana” option.

  1. How to activate Hey Cortana on the lock screen

You now can use Cortana right on the lock screen. You can ask Cortana to play music, create reminders and more. To do this:


Step one: Open Cortana and head to the Settings

Step two: Toggle on for the switch next to “Lock Screen”.

However, Cortana’s access from the lock screen is limited by default. If you want her to access more information, you can check the box next to the  “Let Cortana access my calendar, email, messages, and Power BI data when my device is locked”.

You can open Cortana on the lock screen using mouse or trackpad, but make sure you have turned on the “Get fun facts, tips, and more from Windows and Cortana on your lock screen” option.

That’s it! We have just walked you through steps that help you access and configure Cortana for Windows 10. There are more to come in the part 2, and make sure you check it out.

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