Cortana: complete file on Microsoft's digital assistant

Cortana: complete file on Microsoft’s digital assistant

Cortana can be of great help to users of Windows-based devices. We can activate it in due time to meet our needs.

Since 2014, Microsoft has developed a useful tool for Windows-based devices. Specifically, the project began with the release of Windows Phone 8.1. It is about Cortana, the digital assistant that was later integrated into Windows 10. With several useful features to facilitate the use of your devices, however, it remains less known compared to other assistants such as Alexa d ‘Amazon or Google Assistant. It would seem that the subject has not yet spilled much ink. In this way, we have compiled this file to shed more light on it. Approach!

What is Cortana?

If you’re using a Windows 10 or 11 computer, you already have Cortana with you. But you may not pay attention to it until now. However, this wizard can offer you more than just assistance. You can use it to plan your next meeting, search the web, or search your digital files.

The assistant receives commands by text or voice. It relies on Microsoft’s Bing search engine to perform the tasks it is asked to perform. Although the Cortana mobile app is no more as of 2021, it is still functional and continues to evolve thanks to the hard work of the Microsoft team. After various additions and removals, Cortana can perform many tasks, such as:

  • schedule a meeting,
  • Research on the Internet,
  • Search files on the computer,
  • Respond to user questions,
  • show weather,
  • Set multiple reminders,
  • Show open apps,
  • Make calculations and conversions,
  • write a message,
  • Send email etc.

In short, Cortana is more or less to Microsoft what Siri for Apple.


Cortana’s system is based on natural language processing or NLP. This is what allows you to perform the many tasks that are asked of you. Certainly, the wizard is built into the system. But you have to activate it to be able to use it.

To do this, you need to turn on the speech, typing, and tethering settings. In addition, activation of location tracking is also required. However, the user remains in control of its use. At any time you can filter the information accessible to Cortana.

To start a conversation with this assistant, start with the wake word “Hey Cortana.” But first, you need to turn on the voice settings. Otherwise, you can simultaneously press the Windows key and the letter “C”. You can also directly click the Cortana button located near the search bar in Windows 10.

Once the assistant is activated, the user has the option to type their request or question, or command Cortana by voice. The user can use command prompts like:

  • Set an alarm for such and such a time,
  • How is the weather ?
  • Open this or that website, etc.

What features does Cortana have?

Over time, Cortana removed some features. At the same time, there were additions of new features.

Removed Features

Cortana has removed many features that were once there. These include:

  • Reading your favorite hits,
  • Control of streaming video services,
  • The creation of location-based reminders,
  • Control of connected home devices,
  • Xbox One console integration.

The reasons for these various deletions are nowhere mentioned. Fortunately, Cortana still has a lot of great features.

current features

Today, Microsoft’s digital assistant incorporates the following features:

  • Natural language: The user can ask Cortana to perform a specific task by voice. In this case, plain English should be used.
  • Multitasking: Cortana can perform many tasks at once. You can request one task in writing and another verbally after turning on the device’s microphone.
  • Integrates with Microsoft Edge: The user can ask Cortana to display more information about a different term or phrase in the Microsoft Edge browser. In this case, you need to highlight it in the text.
  • Reminder creation: Cortana can create reminders by pulling information from users’ inboxes. You are connected to Office 365, Gmail, and
  • Calendar Management: This functionality is linked to Outlook. Based on the information provided by this application, the user can manage his schedule. Therefore, you can make appointments instead of the user or block time for a meeting.
  • Accessibility: When the user receives a new email, Cortana can read its preview. You may even get to read priority classified emails. This feature also allows the app to find the right time to host a meeting.

Turn Cortana on and off with ease

Windows 10 and 11 devices come with Cortana. In this way, there is no longer a need to install it. However, it must be activated before use. We have already mentioned its activation, but in this section we will go into details.

Enabling Cortana

The Windows computer’s taskbar already has a “Cortana” button that needs to be pressed to activate. You can also press C and Windows at the same time. Both types of activation are done manually. But what about its voice activation?

it is easieractivate Cortana by voice. This requires the activation of the computer’s microphone beforehand. This is the easiest way to order this virtual assistant from Microsoft. Before starting your query, you must first invoke it by saying ” hello Cortana “.

The activation of the voice command goes through the configuration of your computer. Once inside, you must click on “ Talk to Cortana “. At the same time, you can turn the answer shortcut options on or off.


If activation is required before use, it must also be deactivated when you are no longer using it. Deactivation is different depending on the version of your Windows.

For a Windows 10 computer, you need to go to settings. Then click ” Privacy ” after ” Microphone “. Disabling the digital assistant requires deselecting its access to the computer’s microphone.

If the device is running Windows 11, there is a slight difference. You have to start by accessing ” settings “. Then you have to write ” Cortana in the app search bar. Once you have accessed Cortana, you have to go to the “ Advanced Options in order to disable the wizard.

The reactivation steps are the same for Windows 10 and 11. Just follow the same protocol as for activation. Please note that Cortana is disabled by default in Windows 11.

How can Cortana help you?

There are many benefits of using Cortana, here are a few. For starters, it provides easy access to web pages or files/folders stored on your computer. Therefore, you will no longer be bothered by various searches on your computer or on the network.

Additionally, Cortana can replace your calendar, infiltrating your inboxes to create reminders about your upcoming activities. Enabling location tracking allows you to create reminders based on the date and location of the event. However, you can limit their access on your device.

Also, if you want to know what’s in one of their priority emails, you can simply ask them. It is even capable of sending a text message to your contacts. To summarize, Cortana allows you to multitask and makes it easy to use your Windows 10 or 11 device.

What future do we have in store for Cortana?

At the start of its release, Cortana was seen as a direct competitor to other voice assistants likeAlexa and Siri. Over time, it lost more and more functions. The Cortana mobile app has been discontinued in some countries such as Germany and the UK since 2020.

Apart from that, the year 2020 was also marked by the removal of its Xbox interface. This further limits its field of use. But Microsoft didn’t stop there. He even decided to permanently remove the app from the app stores, Apple Store and Google Play. The dropout series also includes music playback and control of other connected devices.

Also, since the release of Windows 11, Cortana is no longer enabled by default. It is no longer pinned to the taskbar as it was in the previous version of Windows. Thinking about its gradual retirements, we can think that Cortana does not promise much in the future, unlike its direct competitors, namely Alexa, Siri and google assistant.

These voice assistants can also integrate with applications specific to their platform and perform many other tasks, such as finding nearby attractions, for example. While the three pretend to go their way in voice assistance, Cortana continues to lose functionality.

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