Use and Configure Cortana on Windows 10 - - Windows Tips and Tricks with Geek

Friday, September 17, 2021

Use and Configure Cortana on Windows 10


To use Cortana properly, you’re going to have to enable some privacy settings that we’ve previously discussed, most notably you have to enable the Privacy setting in “Speech, Inking, & Typing”.

Additionally, Cortana require access to your location, which you have to turn off 

Once Windows is “getting to know you” and location is enabled, you can start using Cortana though keep in mind, from this point you’re sending Microsoft a great deal of personal data, which is then stored in the cloud. If you’re leery of sharing personal information such as calendar events and contacts, speech patterns, and typing history, then Cortana may not be right for you.

What Cortana Can Do

Cortana is your do-it-all helper, which can deliver sport scores, weather, news, as well as help out with navigation, setting reminders, and more.

Cortana can be accessed by clicking the search feature on the taskbar.

You can adjust the search bar by right-clicking on the taskbar and selecting the style you prefer.

In all our examples, we’ll be using the search box. It’s important to keep in mind that if you have Cortana enabled and you hide it, it will still be active and you can still use it.

When we click on the search box, Cortana will pop open. It will display pertinent information based on your interests and hobbies.

You can also ask it facts and have it perform tasks.

If you click on the “Notebook” icon along the left edge, you’ll be able to further configure Cortana, specifically the information it provides to you.

You can change the name Cortana uses to address you or how it pronounces it, and you can edit your favorite places, which are your “home, work, and other saved favorite locations.”

Cortana may remind you a bit of Google Now because the information it shows are broken down into cards. Cards are divided into twelve categories.

For each category, you can turn cards off or on, which means that if you don’t want to see Cortana tips, you simply turn the tip cards off.

Some tip cards can be configured beyond simply turning them off or on. For example, the “Eat & Drink” card allows you to receive recommendations from Foursquare, add an atmosphere, and so on.

Cortana will also let you add reminders, which can be managed and sorted by time, place, and person.

Finally, if you wish to provide feedback you can submit your ideas, likes, or dislikes to Microsoft as well as include a screenshot if you prefer.

Take some time, go through all these items, particularly the Notebook cards. As you can see, Cortana is highly configurable, but there’s obviously quite a few things you may not use or need to see. For example, you may not have any use for finance info, or maybe you don’t do a lot of traveling.

Beyond that, however, there are other vital settings you can configure, which we’ll talk about in the next section.

Cortana’s Settings

Cortana’s general settings can be configured from the Notebook tab. The first item you can attend to is simply turning it on or off. This won’t affect the privacy settings you’ve already enabled, so, if you don’t want to use Cortana any longer, you can also turn off Speech, Inking, & Typing as well as Location, if you prefer.

Note also, there’s a link to manage cloud data, which you should probably clear out if you decide to forgo the whole Cortana experience.

Cortana can also be activated using your voice. When you say “Hey Cortana” it will react awaiting your next command. You can further configure this to respond best to anyone or just you, but in order to do that, Cortana will first need to learn your voice.

We mentioned earlier that Cortana acts and functions a lot like Google Now. To that end, it can be configured to detect tracking info such as for flights or presumably packages. You can also let it “pipe up” occasionally to give you thoughts and greetings in the search box. These won’t be obtrusive but you may just want it to leave you alone.

Finally, at the very bottom of the settings are further options to manage your Bing SafeSearch settings and other privacy settings.

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