Cortana Features, Tips and Tricks in Windows 10

The Mouse Trap
by Janis Weber

Cortana Features, Tips and Tricks in Windows 10
Have you met Cortana? Do you know she is included with the PC computer? She is a personal assistant and then some. Cortana has a come a long way from being deeply integrated into the system to now being a stand-alone app in Windows 10. It has been hated and loved for many things, but it’s staying in one way or the other. In this post, I will share Cortana features, tips, and tricks in Windows 10.

Microsoft has finally decided to let Cortana be a standalone app instead of tied to Windows Search and doing all background jobs. While it is still integrated within its services, users can choose not to use it if they don’t want it. That said, Cortana has lost a lot of features as well, compared to its previous version. They may come back eventually, but it’s going to be different. The app now offers a floating window that can be resized, cannot be disabled, but can stay hidden and still be invoked using wake-word or keyboard shortcut.
Users can now use any Microsoft account with Cortana and not just the one which is associated with their user account. It gives users the freedom to use a school account while they may be using a personal account in Windows 10 computer. If they haven’t signed in, they can Open Cortana, and sign-in using any account. If they accidentally signed in using the same account, then Open Cortana, and then click on the three-dot menu. Choose to sign-out, and then sign-in again. The account will be added to the Account list so it can be used again if they switch.
Cortana has skills that are strongly integrated within Windows, and Microsoft 365 products like Outlook, Word, and other products, but it cannot search for files anymore.
Talking about email integration, users can send an email, find emails, and even ask Cortana to play all recent emails. If they say play email, then it will show notification of all the latest emails in the action center. Here is the list of email commands; Send email to someone or show me emails from a certain person. This must be done using the software called Outlook or to access email for this to function.
Use Cortana to schedule or change appointments in a calendar. Have her remind you to do a task or to speak your daily appointments. You used to have to click on the circle by the start menu window icon but now all you have to do is say, for instance, “Cortana, open calendar” and magically it opens. She can open any Microsoft product or even the network settings.
Cortana offers complete control on how to manage Privacy, recent search history, and the option to delete it from Microsoft Privacy Dashboard. Open Cortana, and then click on the menu. Under Privacy, is the option to clear history, access to privacy dashboard, and an option to unlink the account. This action will completely erase any commands and questions you may have asked Cortana. This is not reversible and each request cannot be seen. It is all or nothing.
You can sign out of Cortana or just do not use it. This is a convenient option totally controlled by you.

Sylvania Senior Center Classes
New classes with be held as soon as the center reopens. Check the SSC newsletter and website for the most current information. Included will be Windows 10 Computers Basics, Facebook, Microsoft Word, Google Docs and iPhone/iPad. If you have a topic and know some folks who are interested, call the Senior Center and ask for Susan Jennelle at 419-885-3913. Limited seating fills fast so call ASAP to reserve a spot. We are considering an Excel Club. Interested? Call the SSC.

I make house calls (I enter with a mask)
I will come to your home or office and help you with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades and general software or hardware issues. I can be your resident “Geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience. Give me a text or call at 419-290-3570. Do not forget to sign up for my free newsletter at Subscribers will get a copy of this article plus added hints, tips, and trusted/valuable web-links.

Janis Weber, B.A., owner of Ohio Computer Training & Support, is a professional computer adjunct instructor. E-mail any specific questions or comments to
or call her for assistance at 419-318-9112.
Private tutoring and repairs are just a phone call, text or email away.

Leave a Reply