How to use Cortana – Cortana Misunderstood – Parlez Vous Cortana?

Cortana was introduced for PCs with Windows 10 – and remains one of the best, yet underused, Windows 10 features.

Qu’est-ce que? What is Cortana?
Think of Cortana as your very own personal digital Virtual Assistant. It’s Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Siri – only better. You find Cortana right next to the Windows Start Button at the bottom left of your screen.


Comment? How to use Cortana?
Launch Cortana via text search: simply type directly into the Cortana box next to the Windows Start Button or press the Windows Key on your keyboard. Or, use the voice control function of Cortana and simply talk to Cortana by starting your request with “Hey, Cortana”.


Pourquoi? Why use Cortana?
Cortana can be used to search for just about anything: files, programmes, settings… whether on your local computer or on the web. It’s clever and it will *try* predict your search. It can launch apps, programmes and more and is particularly useful if you are still trying to find your way around the Windows 10 system and are confused about where things are.

Cortana’s results are listed by categories, making it that much easier to find what you are looking for.


Oui Oui Oui – Making the most of Cortana
Limit the search results by category right from the start: specify the category first, i.e. Settings: printers.

Personalize Cortana’s notebook – turn off card notifications you do not want to see by simply clicking on them (i.e. “Finance”), then toggle the slider to the “off” position

Set reminders: ask Cortana to remind you of certain events or tasks by location or time or people

Ask technical questions, i.e. “How do I install my printer”– if Cortana cannot find the answer, she will search online for you

Use the translator function: simply type in the word you want to be translated and the language you want it to be translated into, i.e. “Translate Rainbow to German”


Vous ne comprenez pas- Improving Voice Recognition

Struggling with Cortana’s voice recognition because you have a non-native accent?

Choose your accent in the Windows Settings (press the Windows Key on your keyboard and the letter I at the same time): Time & Language / Speech / Recognize non-native accents for this language.

Still not good enough? Train Cortana for your voice only:

Open Cortana (Windows key + s), go to Settings (bottom left), select “Learn how I say Hey Cortana” and click on the Start button to start the training. Cortana voice training



Je ne parle pas Cortana – The trouble with Cortana

Cortana’s default internet browser is Edge with, just to add insult to injury, the Bing search engine.
We would really like to see some kind of choice here!

However, with the latest anniversary update of Windows 10, Microsoft has stopped the workaround allowing the use of Google – of course, another workaround will be just around the corner…


Enfin… A final word…
Want to find out more about Cortana? Read up on what Microsoft Central has to say about it.

Embrace it, play with it


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so you can concentrate on the more important things in life…