How to Setup and Use Windows Cortana for Better Experience

Cortana in Windows 10 is one of its new feature and with each update to windows 10, Microsoft is improving Cortana experience. This Microsoft’s digital assistant can do lot of tasks. You can think it same as Siri or Google assistant. Microsoft brought Windows Cortana  to easily get the things done just by user voice commands. Microsoft has already integrated it in many services and is available for many devices. With each use of Cortana, it learns and improves user experience to provide better personalization. This article will help to use Cortana effectively, for those who still not using Windows Cortana as well as for users who are not expert in using it. Also Know about  Windows Ink Workspace in Windows 10.

  What is Cortana?  

Cortana is a female voice controlled virtual or digital assistant brought by Microsoft to assist users by doing jobs. It helps to get things done, to search and answers user questions. Cortana can recognize natural voice in many languages without any need of keyboard input. With just voice commands you can asks  Cortana to do lot of tasks in windows 10. With each use, Cortana learns and improves itself to provide better user experience. Cortana can search the web, find files, open apps, send emails, set reminders, get whether forecasts, tells traffic conditions and much more.Cortana in Windows 10

  Setting up Cortana in Windows 10  

To start using Windows Cortana, users simply need to click on search box next to start menu in Windows 10. On clicking, it shows suggestions that Cortana can do for you. For using Cortana effectively, it’s best to get login to Cortana with Microsoft account.  By logging in to Cortana, you can use more advanced personalized features. Before using Cortana you should setup her according to your needs. Here are few settings you should enable for using Windows Cortana effectively.

1. Sign in to Cortana for Better Experience

To do much more stuffs with Cortana, user needs to sign in with Microsoft account. Microsoft account for Cortana lets to collect and save your searches, activities and other data to provide better user experience. It’s also required if you want to sync your Cortana stuffs across devices. Other than Windows Cortana in laptops, Desktops, and tablets, it is available for Android, iOS and other smart devices too. So by getting logged in to Cortana you can sync data across devices.

To sign in to your Cortana account in Windows 10, click on Cortana search box next to the Start Menu. Next, inside Cortana click on “Cortana can do much more” on bottom or “Notebook icon” on left side. In next screen, sign in to your Microsoft account. You can use and sync Cortana across android and iOS devices also. For Android install it from Google Play and for iOS install Cortana from iTunes. After installing login to Cortana App with Microsoft account.Cortana Sign-In

Although Cortana works best when you are sign in, but if you are not, still you can use Cortana’s basic functionalities like searching the web, documents or apps. In this case when you choose not to login, your experience with Cortana will be limited and they will not be personalized.

2. Control Accessibility with Windows Cortana Settings

From Cortana Settings you can control and review the personal information Cortana can use. Furthermore it also lets to enable advanced Cortana functionality such as “Hey Cortana”, Access Cortana from lock screen, setting keyboard shortcuts and more.

To access Windows Cortana Settings click on Cortana search box next to Start Menu. Then, click on Setting Icon on left bottom.Cortana SettingsOpen Cortana Settings

3. Set Your Language for Cortana

Cortana supports many languages. For using Cortana hands free with just your voice, you should always make sure that language selected for Cortana is your preferred language. To set your language, Go to Cortana Settings > Talk to Cortana. On bottom under “Cortana Language”, select your preferred language from drop down.

4. Access Cortana by voice command “Hey Cortana”

“Hey Cortana” voice command lets to interact with Cortana hands free. By just saying “Hey Cortana”, it gets start responding even from the lock screen when your computer is asleep. For accessing Cortana from lock screen, “Lock Screen” setting should be enabled.

To start accessing Cortana in Windows 10 by saying “Hey Cortana”, you will need to first enable it. To enable, go to Cortana settings. Under Talk to Cortana, switch on “Hey Cortana”. Next you can train Cortana to recognize your voice by clicking on “Learn How I Say Cortana”. Before this, make sure you have selected your language for Cortana.Train Cortana

5. Access Cortana by Keyboard Shortcut

Users can give commands and let Cortana in Windows 10, to listen them just by pressing shortcut key. To enable it, go to Cortana Settings > Talk to Cortana and switch on “Keyboard Shortcut”. On enabling it, whenever you press “Windows Logo key + C” in your keyboard and Cortana will start responding to your commands.

6. Use Cortana from Lock Screen

Cortana can be used from the lock screen too. You don’t need to login to your computer for accessing Cortana. After enabling “Lock screen” setting from “Cortana Settings> Talk to Cortana”, you can use it even when device is locked.

7. Manage Content Cortana can Use

Cortana uses data from your device to provide best experience. Certain information like calendar, location, contacts, and searches helps Cortana to learn about you to provide personalization. You can always control what data Cortana can use. You can manage permissions and history it uses from Cortana settings. To manage content in Windows 10, Go to Cortana Settings> Permissions and History.

Use Notebook for Personalized Experience  

To get more personalized help from Cortana you can tell things about you in Notebook. Notebook is the center place where Cortana stores information it learns about you as well things you have mentioned. To provide personalized results Cortana’s has the ability to track things about you based on information mostly stored in Notebook. It learns to know about your work and home location so when you travel, it automatically shows traffic info.Cortana Notebook

To open Notebook from Windows Cortana, Click on Search box next to Start menu. Then Click on Notebook Icon on left menu. From Notebook here are few things you can do. Few notable things in Notebook are as follows.

1. Change Name Cortana Calls You

You can change the name Cortana uses for you or calls you. To change Go to Cortana’s Notebook and click on “About me”. Next, click on “Change name” button.

2. Grocery, Shopping or To do Lists

Cortana lets you to create Grocery List, Shopping list as well as to do List so that you can easily get them anywhere you go. To create, click on Lists within Notebook. Choose List you want to create and add items.

3. Set Reminders

Here you can set reminders you want Cortana to remind you. You can also find or review all reminders saved already. To set reminder you can directly ask Cortana by clicking on microphone icon in search box and tell her to remind you for e.g. “Remind me to look for my anniversary photos when I get home”.

You can also set reminder manually by going to Cortana>Notebook> Reminders. To add new reminder, click on + icon.

4. Eat & Drink

Here you can let Cortana to tell places based on your food preferences. You can add you cuisine, dietary preferences as well as price range you would prefer. Based on your preferences, Cortana offers Eat & Drink places to visit.

5. Know Weather Conditions

Cortana keeps you updated on whether where you are right now or for cities you are tracking. You can add cities for which you want to get whether forecast from Cortana> Notebook> Weather>.

6. Travel

Cortana tracks journeys from your emails and inform you about flight status so that you can reach on time.

7. News

It offers news update based on topics you chosen. If you want specific topic related news, Cortana’s Notebook lets you to add topics and news categories you want to track.

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