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How To Customize Cortana in Windows 10

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In my opinion, Cortana remains one of the standout features in Windows 10. And just in case you are lost on what Cortona is, then think of Siri; the digital voice assistance. Well, Cortana is like Siri, but with more additions. So sort of like Siri for windows.

It can be used to do just about anything on your Windows 10 computer, from getting weather forecasts, setting reminders, telling jokes, finding files to searching the internet.

It handles all the things that slow you down. The best part is that it’s look and feel is very customizable to suit your needs. Here are some ways to Customize Cortana.

Enabling Cortana hands-free

This is the cool feature that ensures you do not have to lift a finger to open Cortana and that you can use the assistant with voice commands. To enable this, follow the few steps:

  1. Under settings in the start menu, click on Cortana
  2. Next click talk to Cortana
  3. Under Hey Cortana, switch on the let Cortana respond to hey Cortana

As shown in the Image above, enabling this option brings out two additional options; Keep my device from sleeping when it’s plugged in so I can always say “Hey Cortana.” and an option that allows Cortana respond to anyone that says “Hey Cortana” or to respond just to you.

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Enabling keyboard shortcut for listening mode

On your “Talk to Cortana” window, just below the Hey Cortana label, there is an option for Keyboard option.

Turning on the switch means Cortana will be awakened each time you press “Windows key + C “ on your keyboard.

Some predefined voice commands on Cortana are “Hey Cortana — restart PC”, “Hey Cortana — turn off PC”, “Hey Cortana — sign out”, “Hey Cortana — lock PC”.

Enabling Cortana above the lock screen

This is a very cool feature because it means even if your screen is locked, you still can ask Cortana to play music, for reminders and for many other things.

Normally, this option is turned on by default, but you can double check or on it if it has been turned off with this steps:

  1. Under settings in the start menu, click on Cortana
  2. Next click talk to Cortana
  3. Under lock screen shortcut turn on the “Use Cortana even when my device is locked” toggle switch.
  4. For more access, check the “Let Cortana access my calendar, email, messages, and Power BI data when my device is locked” option.

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Change the default language

This option allows one to choose the language and the region for Cortana. To pick or change a language follow the following steps.

  1. Under settings in the start menu, click on Cortana
  2. Next click talk to Cortana
  3. Use the drop-down menu to select the correct language under “Cortana Language” Note: Cortana works best when the language and region selected match the region configured on the computer.

Customize Cortana
Changing Cortana filters

Cortana offers search results without the need of one using a web browser.

This also implies that some results produced by Cortana may not be best suited for a certain age group. With Cortana filters, content displayed can be restricted. The following steps show how this can be achieved.

  1. Under settings in the start menu, click on Cortana
  2. Next click talk to Cortana
  3. Select the search filter that you find more suited for you under “SafeSearch“. The options provided are Strict, Moderate and Off.

Customize Cortana

Conclusion

This is in no way an exhaustive list, but it puts you well on the part to customizing your Cortana and enjoying a more fluid use of your Windows 10.

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