Windows 10 quick tips: Get the most out of Cortana

Windows 10 quick tips: Get the most out of Cortana




Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana is one of the major additions to Windows 10 — and it’s a winner. Turn it on and Cortana alerts you to upcoming meetings; searches your PC and the web; tells you about the weather, news, and sports; and a lot more.

To help you get the most out of Cortana, I’ve put together some of my favorite tips for using it — including using Cortana to manage your Google Calendar, send you reminders, and track packages and flights.

Notes:

  • This article assumes that you’re already familiar with the basics of Cortana. If you want help getting started, see the Cortana section of Computerworld’s “Windows 10 cheat sheet.”
  • Keep in mind that there have been seven major updates to Windows 10 since its initial release in July 2015. This article reflects how Cortana works if you’ve installed the Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903), so if you haven’t installed that update, what you see and read here will vary from what you see in your version of Windows 10.

The big change to Cortana in May 2019

Before we head into the tips, we should cover a bit of background. Cortana used to be integrated in the Windows search box: Whether you performed a search by speaking or typing, the results were delivered in the Cortana pane. But with the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, Microsoft separated Cortana from the Windows search box.  

So if you have that update or a later version of Windows, Cortana doesn’t respond to typed searches; if you type in a search, Windows Search will deliver the results. To perform a Cortana search, you say “Hey Cortana” and speak your search, or click the Cortana icon to the right of the search box and speak, or press the Windows key + C and speak.

When you ask Cortana a question, Cortana displays the result onscreen and reads it to you if you ask a straightforward question or issue a straightforward command. However, if you ask a more complicated question that requires a display of web links, Cortana will show the links in the Edge browser.

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.






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