If you are looking for a virtual assistant to enhance the productivity at work, Cortana is must have tool for you. Cortana is an inbuilt personal assistant to help you in a number of tasks that include taking your notes, updating you about current weather, search anything for you on the web, set reminders and much more. The features, Cortana offers are regularly updated with each windows update. You can give the command in both text 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 setup her. Here is where I will help you in setting up and use the vital features of Cortana in a most optimum way.
Pre-requisites of 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 start button and find Cortana under C alphabet from the installed apps or alternatively click on the Cortana search box besides the start button. Now you need to click on 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 your permissions to set up the mic for you. If you click sure, the 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 in 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 the 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 of the Lock screen. If turned on, the Cortana will show you tips, even when the screen is locked and you can also check the option below it to let the 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 the notifications about a missed call 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 that 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 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, the Cortana will save all the searched history on all the devices where you have installed and signed it 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 setup 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 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 the 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, 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 upon your requirement, you just need to turn them on. Some of the Features that Cortana offer under Notebook include Reminders, listen 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 have switched on earlier. By default, the home screen of Cortana will show you latest news, traffic updates and as you move down, there are tips and tricks. On the bottom, you can find see more tips link to find some more features.