Enable and set up Cortana in Windows 10

In this post, we will see how to set up Cortana in Windows 10 and enable Hey Cortana. We will also see how to set up your mic or microphone, so that Cortana can understand you properly.

Cortana is your digital assistant built into Windows 10. Using Cortana you can search the web, find things on your PC, keep track of your calendar and even engage in light chat.

Set up Cortana in Windows 10

To begin with, click inside the taskbar search box. The Cortana settings box will appear as shown below. Move the slider to On position, to enable Cortana, so that it can give you suggestions, ideas, reminders, alerts etc on your device. Also move the slider to the On position for Hey Cortana here. If you scroll down, you will find settings that let you turn on or off, Flights information and Taskbar tidbits.

1 Cortana in Windows 10

If ever you need to access these settings again, you have to click on the hamburger menu > Notebook > Settings.

Once you have enabled Cortana, you will next see a privacy statement as follows. Click on I agree to proceed.

2 Cortana in Windows 10

Next it will ask you for your name. Enter a name that you’d like Cortana to call you as, and click Next.
Cortana in Windows 10

You then be asked for access to use your location to serve you with better results. Clicking on Yes and Allow is recommended in my opinion.


Once done, the Privacy settings app will open up. Choose the apps you want to allow access to your location.


Having done this, you may exit the Privacy settings app.

Now you are all set to go! If you click inside the taskbar search box, you will see the following display.


Click on the Mic icon in the bottom right corner and start speaking.

If you mic is not configured properly and Cortana is not able to hear you properly, the following box will automatically pop up, asking you to set up your Mic. Click on Next.

7 Cortana in Windows 10

Cortana will give you a phrase to repeat. So clear your throat, get ready and click Next.

8 Cortana in Windows 10

You will be asked to read a sentence. Read it clearly, ensuring that there is no other noise in the room.

9 Cortana in Windows 10

Once done successfully, click on Next, and you will see that your microphone has been set up correctly.

10 Cortana in Windows 10

Now try again and ask Cortana something. Try asking How old are you or saying Tell me a joke and see if you get a suitable response.

5 Cortana in Windows 10

You will see Cortana respond.

6 Cortana in Windows 10

In case you abandon this process half, way, you can always pick it up later on. When you next click inside the taskbar search, you will see Cortana display the following Welcome back message.

4 Cortana in Windows 10

You can then continue where you had left.

Want more? take a look at these Cortana Tips and Tricks. Also read Windows 10 Tips and Tricks.

If Cortana is not working or enabled for your country, set your Region to United States. You will see the setting in Settings > Time & Language > Region Language, under Country or region.

See tis post if you receive You’re not old enough to use Cortana message and this one if Cortana and Taskbar Search are not working in Windows 10.

Next, we will see how to use Cortana integration in Edge browser. From time to time, you may want to clear Cortana Search Content. If you do not use Cortana, you can Turn Off Cortana in Windows 10.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. Eternal Optimist

    What really troubles me with this upcoming release of Windows 10 is the over-reliance on Cortana. Considering the A.I is not going to be available to every country yet (ex no ETA for Canada, according to the @Windows twitter account), that takes a huge chunk of usefulness out of both Search and Windows new browser Edge

    Yes, I am aware I can switch my region and language to the U.S to get it to work, but there are obvious differences that come from that. Temperatures are shown in Fahrenheit in the Calendar app as an example, and issues due to the incorrect region being used erupt when there are Windows Updates

  2. Alberto Gorin

    nice to play

  3. Here on my computer, sometimes the Cortana does not index the PC’s files (kind sometimes play some musics, but sometimes it does not). Another trouble is that the Cortana’s Settings does not open. I don’t know why!

  4. Ravis

    This is really getting old. I’m trying to log into Cortana and after I do Cortana asks me to type in my OLD PASSWORD, Cortana tells me it’s wrong when I know it’s right because it’s recorded in my RoboForm history. Something is wrong with Cortana. I can log into my Microsoft account and Outlook but not Cortana. I end up in an endless loop of it asking me for my Old Password and then telling me it’s wrong every time.

    It says: From here on out, you’ll unlock this device using the password or PIN you just set up.

    Before we can say goodbye to your local password, you need to provide it one last time.

    Old Password

    Leave blank if none)

    I keep trying this over and over creating a new password and then trying again but it keeps failing. I can log into my outlook email account, OneDrive, OneNote, Office Online but just not Cortana. Do you have any idea why I can’t get into Cotana and why it can’t see my correct OLD PASSWORD?

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