Recently we promised you that we're going to take a detailed look at what Cortana, your personal Windows 10 assistant can do for you. It's time for us to keep our promise, so in this article we're going to show you the most useful the commands and questions you can ask Cortana to do or answer. As you'll see, she's not only able to understand what you tell her in writing, but she's also very talented when it comes to understanding your spoken commands or questions.
Important Things You Should Know About Cortana
Prior to being able to actually command or ask questions to Cortana, you need to know a few things:
- First of all, you must go through a first time setup for Cortana. But don't worry, it's a very fast and easy process. We covered all the details of this process in one of our previous turorials: How To Setup Cortana For The First Time, in Windows 10.
- Secondly, interacting with Cortana will be easier if you already know and understand the way she works. To get a better idea of how you interact with Cortana and her interface, we recommend that you to first read this guides: How To Use Cortana On A Windows 10 PC, Notebook Or Tablet and How To Configure Cortana On A Windows 10 PC, Notebook Or Tablet.
You should keep in mind that Cortana is learning new things every day, so the list of commands we are going to show you in the next section of this article might not cover everything she can do. However, we'll try to update this article on a regular basis, so that we include each new useful thing Cortana learns over time.
Which Are The Most Useful Cortana Commands & Questions?
As you'll soon see, Cortana can do lots of stuff for you. Here are some of the most useful commands and questions you can ask Cortana do or answer:
1. Cortana can launch apps. Do you want to launch a specific app? Simple: tell Cortana to launch it.
2. Cortana can search through your files. Tell Cortana the name of the document you want her to find and she'll immediately start searching for it, both on your computer and on your personal cloud storage space - OneDrive. If you don't know the name of your document, Cortana can also make contextual searches, like "documents from last month". When done, she'll show a list with all the documents matching your query.
3. Cortana can search the web. If you want to do a search on the Internet, Cortana can do it. All you have to do is ask her. Even more, if Cortana can't answer a question or do something you ask her to do, she will automatically do a Bing search and show you the results.
4. Cortana can make changes to some Windows 10 settings. Whether you want to turn WiFi off or Airplane mode on, command and Cortana will obey. You might have noticed that we said "some Windows 10 settings". That's because you can't command Cortana to change just any setting. For example, we tried asking her to raise the speaker volume, but she wasn't able to do it. This is an area where we hope Microsoft will invest more effort into teaching Cortana new commands.
5. Cortana can tell you the weather. You can ask her about the weather and she'll immediately tell you what the weather in your location is. You can even ask her what the weather is in a certain city or or on a specific day.
6. Cortana can show you the news. You can ask Cortana to show you the latest headlines and news, be they local, national or even international.
7. Cortana can keep track of your calendar. Want to know what's next on your agenda? Cortana can collect and tell you every event you scheduled.
8. Cortana can add events to your calendar. All you have to do is tell Cortana to schedule an event and add it to your calendar.
9. Cortana can set reminders for you. Cortana can remind you about a specific thing. To be able to do that, tell her what you want to be reminded of and when you want her to do that for you. She'll remember and let you know when the time comes.
10. Cortana can set alarms. Is tomorrow going to be a busy day? Ask Cortana to set an alarm for 5 AM.
11. Cortana can play music. Feel like listening to music? All you have to do is ask: tell Cortana to play music and she'll immediately shuffle the audio tracks from your music library, load them in the Groove Music app and then start playing them.
12. Cortana can do music recognition. A song you like is being played on the radio but you can't remember its name? Ask Cortana to identify it. After a short while, she'll most probably guess it right.
13. Cortana can make mathematical calculations. Got a simple or a complex math problem? Easy… ask Cortana the answer.
14. Cortana can convert units. If you want to know how many meters a mile has or how many Canadian dollars you get for exchanging 50 American dollars, ask Cortana and she'll promptly tell you the right answer.
15. Cortana can give you directions. Whether you just want to find where you are or you want driving directions to a specific location, you can ask Cortana for help.
16. Cortana can define words. If you don't know the meaning of a certain word, ask Cortana to explain it to you. She'll do her best to enlighten you.
As you've seen, Cortana really is a very knowledgeable assistant. She can do plenty of things and she can give you answers to more than a few questions. We hope that you'll enjoy using Cortana as much as we do, and we also hope that the list of commands and questions we showed in this article will prove to be useful for you too. If you know of other useful things Cortana can do, don't hesitate to share them with us and all our readers, in the comments form below.