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How to activate Cortana

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How to activate Cortana: After following my tips on how to upgrade your computer to windows 10, you have successfully upgraded to the latest Microsoft operating system and now you are going to discover its new features. Of all, to intrigue you more is the one related to Cortana, the voice assistant designed by the Colossus of Redmond: you have heard that, thanks to it, it is possible to issue commands and instructions to the computer, also by voice, and you would love to experience its potential firsthand. Not yet being very experienced in using Windows 10, however, you turned to Google to look for instructions on how to activate Cortana and you ended up on my guide.

Well, you couldn’t have been luckier, because by reading this tutorial, you will learn how to use the Windows voice assistant perfectly in no time at all: below, in fact, I intend to show you some of the most useful commands you can use and I intend to explain you in the detail how to activate the voice assistant and the “Hey Cortana” function, which allows you to activate it by voice and without touching the mouse or keyboard.

How do you say? Did I really intrigue you? Perfect, then let’s start immediately. Take some free time for yourself, make yourself comfortable and continue reading this tutorial: I am sure that, at the end of the reading, you will be able to properly serve all the potential that Cortana makes available. Happy reading and above all, enjoy!

How Cortana works

As I already explained to you in the introductory lines of this tutorial, Cortana is the Windows 10 voice assistant, whose task is to help the user to perform a series of operations through specific commands: for example, you can use Cortana for search for files or folders, start programs, handle settings, Read the daily News, Make (or move) appointments in the calendar, make translations, setting up alarms and much, much more.

Mainly, Cortana can be used in at least two different ways: the first is by giving it commands via the keyboard, taking advantage of the specific research area; the second involves pronouncing the instructions by voice (on this aspect I will return to next section). In any case, Cortana is able to understand commands typed (or dictated) in natural language, therefore it is possible to communicate with the same using sentences and concepts that are anything but schematic. Below is a list of instructions that Cortana can understand.

  • What time is it / What time is it / How much traffic is there.
  • Remind me of [fare qualcosa].
  • Make an appointment [data e ora] with [contatto].
  • Send email to [contatto].
  • Set alarm at [ora]/ Show my alarms / Turn off alarm clock [ora].
  • Play [file, playlist, album o genere musicale].
  • Search for files [nome di un file].
  • You open [nome di un programma].
  • Translate [parola o frase] in [lingua].
  • Enable / Disable [Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, posizione, rete, modalità aereo e altre azioni rapide].
  • Convert [valuta] in [altra valuta].

How to activate Cortana on Windows 10

Now that you’ve fully understood how it works, it’s time to understand how to activate Cortana up Windows 10. Generally, the voice assistant is automatically activated during the installation (or reset) of the system, so it can be used immediately after logging in to Windows.

To use it, you must click on the circle located in the search area attached to the taskbar Windows (marked with Type here to search), or on the button bearing the Cortana logo (in the shape of circle) located in the immediate vicinity of the button Start: if necessary, confirm the desire to activate Cortana by pressing the button sure that appears on the screen, to then indicate yours first name in the next box.

Once you have completed these operations, you can immediately start using Cortana: for example, you can search app, documents or on Web using the appropriate buttons located on the voice assistant screen, reopen a Office document left pending previously, make an appointment in the Windows calendar, view the news of the day (based on your preferences) or give other commands by typing them in the appropriate text area.

Alternatively, if you intend to control Cortana with your voice, therefore taking advantage of the voice commands that I illustrated earlier, you must click on the icon microphone located in the search area located on the system bar, to then pronounce the instruction of your interest (e.g. remind me to go to the dentist at 18) and finalize everything by following the instructions on the screen.

Note: if Cortana’s search suddenly stops working, you can try to restore it by restarting the related process from the Task Manager. To do this, press the key combination Ctrl + Shift + Esc, presses the button More details and then on the card Processes placed at the top. From there, identify the voice Cortana, do right click on the same and choose the option Ends from the proposed context menu: in this way, you will force Windows to restart Cortana automatically. If even this method doesn’t work, I recommend you restart your computer.

How to enable “Hey Cortana”

Throughout this guide, you learned how to activate Cortana on Windows 10 and to make the best use of the basic functions of the voice assistant: as you have noticed, however, the need has always been to call Cortana interacting with the device in question, therefore with a click of the mouse or with a tap on the screen .

What if I told you that you can call Cortana even with your voice, so without touching the computer or tablet you are using at all? Well, that’s right: Microsoft’s voice assistant can be invoked by saying the words at any time Hey Cortana! This feature is disabled by default but, nonetheless, you can enable it quickly, in a couple of clicks, or taps. How? I’ll explain it right away.

First, click on theCortana research area or on its icon attached to Windows taskbar (the circle-shaped one resident immediately next to the button Start) and presses the button located to the left of the menu that appears on the screen. Alternatively, you can open the menu Start, click on the same button and, once arrived in the panel Settings, press on the icon Cortana and then on the section Talk to Cortana.

At this point, you can enable Hey Cortana by moving up On the switch located just below the heading Allow Cortana to respond to “Hey Cortana”: presses the button sure to grant authorization to activate voice recognition (and send some data to Microsoft) and, if necessary, act again on the switch to enable the functionality.

After a few moments, you should see the additional settings related to voice recognition appear on the screen: if you want the computer or tablet not to go into sleep when connected to the mains, you can put a check mark in the box next to the item Do not allow the device to go to sleep while it is connected, so that I can always say “Hey Cortana” (unless I decide to turn it off).

Furthermore, you can decide whether the voice assistant can be called back by voice by anyone or only by you: you can instruct Cortana to recognize your voice by clicking on the link Get to know my pronunciation for “Hey Cortana”, then press the button Start that appears on the screen and follow the instructions provided. Generally, you should be asked to repeat sentences that appear on the screen.

If you wish to invoke the voice assistant even with the device locked, you can place a check mark next to the switch corresponding to the item Use Cortana even when my device is locked.

Note: the possibility of recalling Cortana through the “Hey Cortana” formula can affect battery life, as the microphone will always remain active.