If you are looking for a virtual assistant to enhance productivity at work, Cortana is a must-have tool for you. Cortana is an inbuilt personal assistant to help you with a number of tasks that include taking your notes, updating you about current weather, search anything for you on the web, setting reminders, and much more. The features, Cortana offers are regularly updated with each windows update. You can give the command in both texts as well as in your voice to get her help just like Siri in Apple devices. Before you start using Cortana in windows 10, it is necessary to set it up. Here is where I will help you in setting up and use the vital features of Cortana in the most optimum way.
Pre-requisites for using Cortana
- Windows 8, 8.1, or Windows 10, iOS, and Android.
- A Microsoft account
- Availability of Internet for web-related tasks
- A working Microphone for voice commands
Steps to Setup Cortana for first-time users
Click on the start button and find Cortana under the C alphabet from the installed apps or alternatively click on the Cortana search box beside the start button. Now you need to click on the settings icon as shown in the image below.
The first setting you need to configure is the Microphone which is required for delivering voice commands. Now click on get started.
First, it will ask for your permission to set up the mic for you. If you click sure, Cortana will detect, test, and configure the Mic of your system for you. The wizard will ask you to speak some sentences in your voice to let her learn the voice patterns. This will help this virtual assistant to understand you in a better way.
Next on the list is the Hey Cortana! You can enable this option if you want to activate Cortana by saying Hey Cortana. Once you enable it, this setting will prevent the computer system from going to sleep mode which eventually will consume more battery. The other settings related to this include allowing Cortana to listen to only you or anyone can say Hey Cortana to wake her up.
As you move down, you can see another option for the Lock screen. If turned on, Cortana will show you tips, even when the screen is locked and you can also check the option below it to let Cortana access your email, calendar, or other data during the locked screen.
If you have installed a Cortana app on your mobile, you can receive notifications about missed calls or messages or any other app updates on your PC. To enjoy this feature, you need to switch on “Send notification between devices”.
Next in the offering is Cortana language which lets you choose the language according to your region. Cortana is optimized to work for a number of regions and she will respond better if the correct region and language are selected.
The History View settings allow you to use Cortana as a search bar to find any file or app from your system. Similarly, when you turn on My Device History, Cortana will save all the searched history on all the devices where you have installed and signed in from the same Microsoft account. As you can see in the screenshot, you can also clear the device history if you want to.
As you further move down the settings, you will find Bing Safe search settings. It will allow you to set up the level of the filter in terms of adult content. You can choose the moderate level which will block any explicit image or video but allow the related text to be searched by Cortana on the internet. The other settings that follow are privacy settings that allow you to allow or block location, camera, microphone, and other private information from Cortana.
Now, these were the Home settings and under the home icon, there is a Notebook icon. Let’s find what are the crucial settings that you can do.
In order to access the notebook, you need to click on personalize to open the further options. You can see that there are lot many features that your personal assistant can help you with.
One setting that you need a mention in a notebook is permissions. Cortana asks for your permission to access your location, emails, contacts, and calendar. You need to turn on both these options if you really want to benefit from Cortana. Cortana can notify you about the directions you wish to travel, and places near you, send you reminders about your flights, for example, and much more.
Under Notebook, you can find a lot of feature settings. All these features are self-explanatory and depending on your requirement, you just need to turn them on. Some of the Features that Cortana offer under Notebook include Reminders, listening to music by connecting Cortana to Spotify or Groove music, eat & drink for recommendations on restaurants, news, and much more.
Use Cortana in Windows 10 to Ease out your Life
After you have completed all the settings, you will get all the related notifications that you switched on earlier. By default, the home screen of Cortana will show you the latest news, and traffic updates and as you move down, there are tips and tricks. On the bottom, you can find see more tips and links to find some more features.