The basics of Cortana-Your Virtual Assistant on Windows OS
Cortana is the virtual assistant for Windows OS just like Amazon’s Alexa, “OK Google” for Google and Apple’s Siri. This is a built-in feature provided by windows 10 and higher.
You can give voice commands to Cortana to get various tasks done without running your fingers on keyboard or touching mouse. You can ask Cortana to start any application, check weather, traffic, check your flight schedules, set reminders for meetings, send emails, news, finances and many more. Cortana can also entertain you with music, eat and drink, birthday reminders, shopping and many such.
So, if you haven’t tried Cortana – virtual assistant by windows then, let’s give it a try. Here, is a quick guide to show you how you can start using Cortana and get to know about some of its useful features.
How to launch Cortana in Windows 10
Cortana is very easy to start and can assist you in various tasks just by asking it while you can continue doing your other important work. So, to start using Cortana, you can launch it from “Start menu” or just a keyboard shortcut. And just say “Hey Cortana”, or click on the “microphone” button and it gets activated to listen to your commands.
To get started:
Click on the “Start” button () and then navigate the application to select “Cortana”. See the image below:
Once you do that, Cortana will open with a window. And it will be waiting for your commands.
Now say “Hey Cortana” or click on the small “microphone” button on the bottom-right of the Cortana window. Now try asking Cortana “what’s the time”, “start Google Chrome”, “set reminder” or just any web search.
Quick methods to launch Cortana
Using the Windows+S keyboard combination: Open Cortana by just pressing Windows key and “S” alphabet from your keyboard together. This will open the Cortana window and will be ready to listen to your commands. This shortcut will open the same above window.
Using Windows+C keyboard combination: You can directly start speaking or commanding Cortana by pressing Windows+C from your keyword. This open a small pop-up window and let you ask Cortana via your computer’s microphone. If this does not work, then you need to enable “Windows+C” shortcut feature from Cortana settings. Here how can you do so.
Manage and Give permission using Cortana Settings
You can give various permissions and manage apps to respond with Cortana under settings tab of Cortana window.
Personalize your Cortana using “Notebook”
You can use Cortana “Notebook”, to enable various features and customize your Cortana and make it learn about your interests. The Notebook includes various sections like: music, food and drink, travel, Shopping, lists, reminders and many such.
Enhance Your Cortana using 3rd party skills
Like like Alexa, Cortana can also use third-party skills to enhance its capabilities and can do more for you. Some of the third-party skill which you can enable are: Dark Sky, Expedia, Spotify, and Nest.
Click on the link to view the complete list of third party skills: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/cortana/skills/.
If you wish to enable any skill, then click on the skill and then click on “Try Now“. Cortana will ask for your permission to install and activate the skill, click “Yes” to install. And then try the skill by voice commanding the Cortana.
After the “skill” is installed, it will be active on “Notebook” of the Cortana window. You can manage skills installed within the “Notebook”.
So here are some basics to start Cortana.
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