Go through the initial setup and configuration of Cortana, the voice operated search and personal assistant tool in Windows 10.
- [Instructor] You probably already know of Cortana as the voice operated personal assistant that's built into Windows 10. You can also think of it as a comprehensive search tool, allowing you to search for files and information on your computer, or for information on the web. I want to start by getting Cortana setup and configured. Some features of Cortana will work without going through any setup, but it's good to know the configuration options just to make sure all of the features that you want are available. So first you can find Cortana on the taskbar. It's this field down here that says Ask me anything, so I'm going to click on that to go into Cortana.
Now I'm working on a fresh install of Windows 10, so we can see what happens the very first time you click on Cortana. So this might look a little different on your computer. So from here, I could just start typing a search in this field to search through the files on my computer or information on the web. So I might type in something like California, and then I get some search results, some documents I have on my computer, some links to some information on the web. We're going to talk more about searching like this in another movie, but Cortana is capable of so much more than searches.
Let me hit this Home button on the sidebar on the left to reset, and now what I want to do is hit this button that says Cortana can do much more. When I click on that, it's going to take me through a little initial setup. Here it's asking my permission to use my location data and to access information from my calendar, messages, and other apps. The more Cortana knows about you and your data, the more targeted its assistance can be. If you consider this a security concern, you don't have to grant permission.
You could click this button that says Maybe Later, but I do want to grant this permission so we can use all of these features, so I'll click on where it says Sure. Also, you should be aware that Cortana is one of those features that requires you to be logged in with a Microsoft Online account. If you do not sign into your computer with an Online account, you may be prompted to sign in. If you don't sign into Cortana with a Microsoft account, then some of the features that we're talking about in this chapter will not work. But I am signed into my computer with a Microsoft account so it's already got that sign in information and it's already working.
So now I get this panel with some suggested information, and this is what you'll typically see when you click on Cortana. The more you use Cortana, the more it will know about what you're interested in, and relevant information will show up here. Information about your local weather, calendar appointments, and so on. If there's anything here on this panel that you don't want to see when you click on Cortana, you can always go to the sidebar over here and click on this icon. This is the Notebook, and it shows me a bunch of categories.
These are the categories of information that may show up on that Home screen. So I could click on any of these bits of information. I can turn it on or off from here, and there may be other adjustments I can make. For now I'm just going to hit this Home button again on the sidebar to go back to that Home screen. So this is where you'll spend most of your time in Cortana. Of course you can do searches by typing something, or you can use voice commands. Two topics that we'll dive into in other movies, but let's get a little preview. So like we saw a moment ago, I could type in a search term right here.
So I'm going to search for California as I did a moment ago, and it gives me search results from files on my computer, as well as information on the web. You'll get very different results depending on what you search for. Now of course, I could also do a voice command. To do that, again I'll just reset by hitting this Home button, and you could go into Cortana and hit this little microphone button right here. Again, if this is your first time using Cortana, it will ask for permission to use your microphone, and analyze your speech patterns.
So again I could hit Maybe Later, but I do want to use these features, so I'll hit Sure. So it was waiting for me to give it a voice command. I didn't give it anything so it just sort of reset here. But now it's set to go, it's set to use the microphone, and I can give it voice commands whenever I want. So I could hit the microphone here. What's the weather like? So, I gave it a voice command or a voice search, and it gave me the results here. So now it's setup to work with voice commands, and we're going to dive into both text searches and voice commands later in this chapter.
For now let's take a look at Settings, which I can find over here on the sidebar, this little gear button, and there are a bunch of important options here, and we'll talk about some of them now, and some of them as we go through the rest of the chapter. First, there's this option up here at the top that says Change what Cortana knows about me and the cloud. Cortana is designed to learn about you, and it also pools information from your calendar, email, and other sources as we saw a moment ago. To get a better idea of what Cortana can access and what information it saves about you, you can take a look here, but I'm going to go back to Settings again by hitting the gear button here, and next we can see a Microphone setting.
If you're going to be using voice commands, you should make sure that your microphone is working. Now we saw a moment ago that it worked just fine, but if Cortana does not respond to your voice commands, then you can go through this process to configure it. You can hit Get Started, and then it takes you step by step through a process to configure your microphone and check for any problems that you might have. I'm not going to go through this whole thing, but you can follow the prompts if you need to. For now I'm just going to cancel this, go back to Cortana, and back into Settings.
Next, I want to look at this option for Hey Cortana. This will enable a trigger phrase, so let me turn this on, and I'll click outside of Cortana. So now instead of clicking on the microphone, I could just say, "Hey Cortana, when is Labor Day?" And so this is a much easier way to give voice commands to Cortana. So again, let's go back to Settings and there are a few more options related to that Hey Cortana trigger phrase. If you enable this option right here, your computer will never go into sleep mode, and it will always listen for that trigger phrase.
Now this is not a great option for saving electricity, and it's not great for a laptop, but the option is here and it could be very convenient for you. Now of course there are some other settings here that you might want to adjust, and we'll talk a little bit more about some of those as we go through the rest of this chapter. So that's all I want to cover right now in this movie. So we've seen the bare essentials of Cortana, and some important configuration options. We'll see more of these settings in other movies as we continue working with Cortana in the rest of this chapter.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- Running Windows 10 for the first time
- Launching applications
- Interacting with windows, menus, and ribbons
- Multitasking to switch between multiple applications
- Switching to Tablet mode
- Browsing and managing files and folders with the File Explorer
- Browsing the web with Edge
- Working with email, contacts, and calendars
- Using and installing apps
- Managing display and account settings
- Searching with Cortana
- Sharing with home networks
- Backing up Windows 10
- Troubleshooting Windows 10
Skill Level Intermediate
Q. This course was updated 04/28. What topics were part of the update?
A. The following topics were part of the update: bookmarking in Edge, using extensions in Edge, working with the Mail app, editing photos, managing musics, movies, and TV shows, and connecting to another computer over a home network.