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How to Make Best Use of Cortana in Windows 10

Cortana is one of the coolest new features of Windows 10. You’re probably already familiar with personal assistants like Google Now and Apple Siri. In Win 10 system, you can have your own personal assistant, who will help you find things on your PC, manage your calendar, track packages, find files, chat with you, and tell jokes.

This guide will show you the basics of using Cortana. Let you master the basic operation of Cortana, and make it serve you well.

How to Enable 'Hey, Cortana' and Use it on Windows 10

There's a switch you'll need to enable before you can get Cortana's attention. Use these steps below to enable hands-free use to say “Hey Cortana,” and you won't need to click on the microphone icon.

Step 1: Click on the Search box, then click the Notebook icon on the left side of the window.

Step 2: Next, click the Settings icon located on the left side of the window.

Enable Hey, Cortana

Note: If you click the Settings icon before you have selected, the Notebook will open System settings, not the settings section for Cortana.

Step 3: There you'll find a switch to enable Hey Cortana. Click on it to slide it to the On position.

Turn on Hey Cortana

The next time you say "Hey Cortana" into your microphone, you can follow that with a command such as "What's the weather like?" "Tell me a joke" and get some results.

Here are a couple of things you can ask for when you say, “Hey Cortana:”

How to Set Reminders for Times, Places, and People

Want to set your own reminders? Cortana can remind you to do things based on time, places, or even people.

Step 1: Tap or click the "Ask me anything" field.

Step 2: Then type or say, "Remind me to congratulate Molly the next time she calls."

Step 3: Click Remind once you're satisfied with the terms you've set. You won't forget it this time!

The reminder will appear when you get a call from Tanya.

Set a reminder

How to Send an Email with Cortana

You can tell Cortana to remind you anything next time you talk to certain people in your contacts book. An alert pops up when you send or open an email from that person.

Step 1: Click on the Ask me anything box and type or say I want to send an email to [name of person] followed by the message body.

Step 2: Select the contact you want to send the email to. Cortana will prompt you if you there's more than one contact which matches the name you spoke or wrote.

Step 3: Click Send when it's ready.

Send an E-mail with Cortana

How to Search for Files With Cortana.

Step 1: Type your search request into the Cortana Search Box, asking it to show you a specific kind of file, and name the day or time window you used it.

Step 2: Select the Show me... option that has "Search photos" or "Search documents" under it. There's that file you were just using, and the directory it can be found in is listed as well.

Search for files and folders with Cortana

How to Hide Cortana Icon or Search Box from Taskbar

If you disabled Cortana, you will only have a Search icon available instead of Cortana icon.

Search icon

Way 1: To hide Search box or Cortana icon on Taskbar in Taskbar Context Menu.

To do: Right-click on Taskbar, select Cortana and click on Hidden to check it.

Hide Cortana icon

Way 2: To hide Search box or Cortana icon on Taskbar in Registry Editor.

Step 1: Open the Registry Editor.

Open the Registry Editor

Step 2: Navigate to Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Search.

Step 3: From the right-side pane, you can see a REG_DWORD value named Search box Taskbar Mode. Double-click on Search box Taskbar Mode, and change the value data as 0 to hide Cortana icon.

Hide Search Box or Cortana icon on Taskbar

Learn more refer to: How to Show/Hide Search Box or Icon on Windows 10 Taskbar.