What is Cortana?

Applies to: CortanaWindows 10

Cortana is Microsoft’s digital assistant whose mission is to help you get things done.

To get started, select the Cortana icon in the taskbar or type a command in the search bar. If you’re not sure what to say, try asking, "What can you do?"

Cortana home screen with call out to home, notebook, devices, settings, feedback

1. Home 2. Notebook 3. Devices 4. Settings 5. Feedback

Here are some things Cortana can do for you:

  • Give you reminders based on time, places, or people.

  • Track teams, interests, and flights.

  • Send emails and texts.

  • Manage your calendar and keep you up to date.

  • Create and manage lists.

  • Play music, podcasts, and radio stations.

  • Chit chat and play games.

  • Find facts, files, places, and info.

  • Open any app on your system.

Set a reminder

Cortana can remind you to do things based on time, places, or people.

For example, say, "Remind me to congratulate Tanya the next time she calls."

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

Extra bonus—if you have the Cortana app on your phone, you can sync your notifications between all your devices.

Image of Cortana reminder confirmation

Activate "Hey Cortana" mode

Open Cortana, select Settings , and then under Hey Cortana switch the toggle to On.

Settings page where to enable or disable