Cortana is your personal digital assistant fully integrated into Windows 10 designed to help you make your life easier. The more you use it, the more Cortana can learn about you, and the experience becomes more personalized and accurate. It can perform a variety of tasks, and it's full of handy tricks, but perhaps one of the best features is the advanced speech recognition that enables Cortana to understand the context of a natural voice conversation.
On Windows 10, and across platforms with the Cortana app on iPhone and Android, the assistant can understand virtually any voice command and perform tasks. For example, by just speaking you can find facts, create reminders and manage your calendar, launch applications, change settings, and a lot more.
Now, if you're looking for an official list of all the voice commands Cortana supports, you'll never find it because it doesn't exist. Cortana can understand natural language and context, there's no particular set of commands to make things happen. In a sort of way, you are speaking to Cortana as you would to any other person.
Before using voice commands, it's important to know the ways in which you can invoke Cortana using natural language:
- You can click the microphone icon in the taskbar next to the Start menu.
- You can use the Shift + ⊞ Windows + C keyboard shortcut to open Cortana in listening mode.
- You can use the Hey Cortana feature, which lets you invoke the assistant by simply saying Hey Cortana followed by the command. For example, Hey Cortana: How's the weather?.
- On Windows 10 Mobile devices, you can press and hold the search button to open Cortana in listening mode.
Comprehensive list of Cortana voice commands
The following list of commands are examples you can use to learn how to control Cortana with voice commands. Keep in mind that there isn't a specific way to speak the commands. For example, Hey Cortana: Let me listen to some tunes
is the same as asking for a more systematic command like Hey Cortana: Play music
Cortana basic voice commands:
Getting the time for any location:
- "What time is it?"
- "What time is in New York?" or "What time is in Greece?"
Getting weather information for any location:
- "What's the weather like?"
- "What's the weather in Madrid?" or "What's the weather in Slovakia?"
- "When does the sun set?"
- "Is it hot in Hawaii?"
- "How's the weather looking for tomorrow/next week?"
Opening (Store and desktop) apps and websites:
- "Open Photoshop" or "Go to Firefox"
- "Open errortools.com."
Getting news information:
- "Show me top headlines."
- "Show me the latest news."
- "Show me weather news."
- "Show me Blizzard stock."
- "Show me bitcoin exchange rate."
- "What was the score of the last Brazil football game."
Creating a note:
- "Create a note."
- "Create Shopping note."
- "Create Shopping note: Buy a basket of eggs"
- "Take a note."
- "Draft a note."
- "Write a note."
Translating to a different language:
- "Translate Hello to German"
- "Translate Where is the nearest park? to Spain"
- "What's 34% or $764.89?"
- "What's 43 times 59?"
- "What the square root of 26509?"
- "What's 29 times 6 divided by 12?"
- "Convert 6.9 cups to fluid ounces."
- "How many miles are in 89 Kilometers?"
Defining a word:
- "Where is my package?"
- "Show me my packages."
Cortana search voice commands:
Finding documents, photos, videos:
- "Find photos from August 1998."
- "Find cat videos."
- "Find document called Collection of poems."
Searching the web:
- "Search the web for Heroes of Might and magic."
- "How tall is Mount Everest?"
- "Who is Steve Jobs?"
- "When Arnold Schwarzenegger was born?"
- "Who is Mercedes CEO?"
- "When does spring begin?"
- "What's the capital of Zimbabwe?"
- "When is Thanksgiving?"
It's important to note that Cortana is capable of conversational understanding, which means that you can also ask follow-up questions without having to be very specific.
For example, if you ask Cortana: "Who is the president of the United States"
, you can then ask a follow-up question, such as "Who is his wife?"
or "When was he born?"
and the assistant should be able to answer those questions accurately.
Discovering food places nearby:
- "Find food places near me."
- "Find restaurants near me."
- "Find bars near me."
- "What's a good restaurant near me?"
- "What's interesting nearby?"
- "Show me Chinese restaurants near me."
- "Show me Italians restaurants in Los Angeles."
Cortana health and fitness voice commands:
- "How was my sleep last night?"
- "What was my step count yesterday?"
- "How many calories did I burn today?"
These commands require a tracking device, such as the Microsoft Band 2 to enable your fitness and health activities, and you need to connect Cortana with the Microsoft Health (Microsoft Band) service.
Cortana settings voice commands:
Opening the Settings app:
- "Open Settings."
- "Open Action Center."
- "Turn on/off Bluetooth"
- "Turn on/off Wi-Fi"
- "Turn on/off Airplane Mode"
Cortana reminders voice commands:
- "Remind me to wash the car."
Creating location-based reminders:
- "Remind me to buy CDs next time I go to Walmart."
Creating person-based reminders:
- "Remind me to ask for vacation time next time I talk to Goran."
Creating time-based reminders:
- "Remind me to watch the basketball game at 6 PM."
- "Remind me to buy the food for the d&d session on Sunday at 3 PM."
Cortana calendar voice commands:
Viewing calendar events:
- "How's my schedule looking today?"
- "Show me my appointments for next week."
- "When is my dentist appointment?"
Adding new calendar events:
- "Add dental appointment for Monday at 2 PM."
Moving calendar events:
- "Move dental appointment to Friday at 5 PM."
Cortana alarms voice commands:
- "Set an alarm for next Monday at 5:30 AM."
- "Set an alarm for Saturdays at 9 AM."
- "Cancel alarm for Saturdays at 9 AM."
Cortana timer voice commands:
Creating a timer:
- "Set a timer for 5 minutes."
You can only start a one-timer at one point in time. If there is a timer already running, Cortana will ask you to restart it at a new time.
- "Show timer."
- "How much time is left on the timer?"
Cortana location voice commands:
Knowing your exact location:
Cortana messaging voice commands:
Sending text messages:
- "Send a text to Milan: I'll be late for lunch today."
Sending quick emails:
- "Send email to Milena: See you later tonight."
- "Send email to John and Claudia: How is the project coming along?"
Cortana location voice commands:
- "What's the traffic like on the way home?"
- "How do I get home."
- "How long would it take to drive to Madison Square Garden?"
- "Get me directions to Port Authority."
- "How do I get from my location to Long Beach, New York?"
- "How far away is the moon?"
- "Show me walking directions to the nearest gas station."
- "Show me public transit to 11 Times Sq, New York, NY 10036."
- "Show me the map of San Francisco."
- "Track flight 1056."
- "Is my flight delayed?"
- "Is my flight on time?"
Cortana entertainment voice commands:
- "Play Metallica."
- "Put some Symphonic music."
- "Shuffle music."
- "Play and Justice for all by Metallica."
- "Stop music"
- "Pause music"
- "Pause song."
- "Play next"
- "Next track"
- "Skip track."
Identifying what's playing:
- "What is this song?"
- "What's playing?"
Movies & TV:
- "What's Blade Runner run time?"
- "Who was the director of Gladiator?"
- "What movies are playing near me?"
- "What are the showtimes for Star Trek lower decks?"
Cortana technical support voice commands:
- "How do I install a printer?"
- "How do I project my screen?"
- "How do I change my background?"
- "How do I update Windows?"
- "How do I make a backup?"
- "How do I change default apps?"
- "How do I change Privacy?"
- "How do I connect a wireless device?"
Sometimes asking a "How to do I" question will result in a web search response.
Cortana phone voice commands:
- "Call wife on speakerphone."
- "Call David at home."
- "Call Goran."
- "Send a photo to my PC."
Cortana random voice commands:
- "Tell me a joke."
- "Tell me a riddle."
- "Tell me something interesting."
- "Tell me something funny."
- "Tell me a scary story."
- "Sing me a song."
- "Surprise me."
- "Do an impression."
- "What do you look like?"
- "Which is the best smartphone?"
- "What is love?"
- "Which is better, Google or Bing?"
- "Why should I buy this phone?"
- "What do you think about Google?"
- "Do you like Google?"
- "What do you think about Yahoo?"
- "Do you like Windows 10?"
- "Play the movie game."
- "Are you better than Siri?"
- "Where is Clippy?"
- "What do you think about Clippy?"
- "Heads or tails?"
- "Rock, paper, scissors."
- "Roll a dice."