Cortana is a virtual assistant created by Microsoft for the Windows operating system and its associated services such as the Invoke smart speaker, Microsoft Band, Surface Headphones, Xbox gaming console, iOS, Android, Windows Mixed Reality, and Amazon Alexa.
Cortana can understand your natural voice and what you’re saying so you don’t need to type words with the keyboard to get her to understand what you want her to do for you. You can use Cortana to set reminders, answer questions, and give other information, some of which is personalized. The version of Cortana and device you’re using will slightly change what it is Cortana can do. Always keep Windows up to date for the best virtual assistant experience as possible.
Over the years Cortana has gotten a lot more skilled in understanding the human voice so you don’t have to repeat yourself as many times as you used to. Still, there’s even more you can do if you want to make sure Cortana hears your voice crystal clear when you come calling “Hey Cortana” to start your questions.
Starting from Windows 10 build 16188, you can head to the Settings application to get Windows to understand how you say common phrases beginning with “Hey Cortana” to maximize the chances of your virtual assistant being ready to answer your questions.
The same area of the Settings app also has two more useful features directly related to Cortana that you can choose from as well: choosing whether or not you want to have Cortana answering to anyone’s voice that says “Hey Cortana” or if you want to limit her assistance to your voice only.
The following tutorial demonstrates how to have Cortana learn your voice so your virtual assistant is always ready to answer your questions.
How to Have Cortana Learn your Voice for Hey Cortana in Windows 10
1. Click on the Cortana icon in Search.
2. Click on the Cortana Settings icon.
3. Turn on the option to Let Cortana respond to “Hey Cortana” by clicking on the toggle and turning it on. (click to enlarge screenshot below)
4. Click on Sure when Cortana asks for your permissions to help make the change that you’ve requested.
5. From the same area in the Settings app, click on the Learn how I say “Hey Cortana” to begin running through some sentences that will better help Cortana get to know your voice when you ask her questions. (click to enlarge screenshot below)
6. Click on Start when Cortana says she is going to give you six phrases that’ll help her get more failure with your voice.
7. Say “Hey Cortana, do I have anything on Wednesday?”
8. Say “Hey Cortana, what’s the traffic like on the way to work?”
9. Say “Hey Cortana, what’s a cheap pizza place that’s open now?”
10. Say “Hey Cortana, when I talk to Joy, remind me to tell her ‘congratulations on the job.'”
11. Say “Hey Cortana, remind me to look for the yellow tape measure when I get home.”
12. Say “Hey Cortana, tell me a good joke.”
13. You can close Cortana when you get the message letting you know that you’re all set and that Cortana has learned how you say some common phrases that begin with the words “Hey Cortana.”