How to enable Cortana in Windows 11

How to enable Cortana in Windows 11

Cortana is installed but not enabled in Windows 11 and Windows 10 version 21H2 by default. Previous Windows 10 versions, such as Windows 10 version 20H2 have Cortana visibly pinned to the taskbar. But this case is different in Windows 11 and Windows 10 21H2 updates. If you have updated your Windows 10 to 21H2 update or Windows 11, you won’t have Cortana visibly pinned to the Windows taskbar. Windows 11 new release is running on 21H2 firmware.

In Windows 10, Cortana is docked on the left side of the taskbar by default. You can activate Cortana using the keyboard shortcut: Windows logo key + C.

Windows 11 does not have Cortana pinned to the taskbar by default. You can still pin the Cortana app to the taskbar, as you can on any other app. In addition, the keyboard shortcut that launched Cortana (Windows logo key + C) no longer opens Cortana.

How to Open Cortana in Windows 11

To use Cortana in your Windows 11 or Windows 10 21H2, first enable the Talk to Cortana app by launching the app. To do that, type Cortana on the search bar and open Cortana as shown on the image below.

how to open cortana in windows 10
Cortana in Windows 10 version 21H2

To use the Cortana app, speak or type in command through the app microphone or text area. Cortana can respond to any request you say or type. Here are all the things you can do with Cortana in Windows 10 and Windows 11.

How To Setup Microphone in Cortana

Cortana in Windows 11

Open Cortana > click the 3 dot menu button on the top left > Settings > Microphone.

If the green message “All required permissions are turned on” is shown, it means your microphone is configured for Cortana, and you don’t need to proceed further. If you have a “You haven’t turned on all required permissions” red message shown, that means your PC’s microphone has not been configured to work with Cortana. So continue by clicking on Microphone privacy settings to open the microphone settings page. Then, scroll down and turn on the button for Cortana as shown in the image below.

cortana windows 10 microphone activation

How to Enable “Cortana” Wake Word

To issue commands to Cortana by voice, you have to first click on the microphone button on the Cortana app. You do this every time you use your voice to command Cortana. But.., instead of regularly clicking on the microphone button, you can activate the “Cortana” wake word so you can issue commands by voice without clicking on the mic button.

To do that, open Cortana > click the 3 dot menu button on the top left > Settings > Voice activation > Click on Voice activation privacy settings to open Voice activation page.

Scroll down to Cortana and enable “Let Cortana respond to “Cortna” keyword.

Or, click the 3 dot menu button on the top left > Settings > Microphone > Microphone Permissions to open the microphone settings page (image) > Scroll down and ensure Cortana is allowed to use the microphone.

Now select Voice activation on the left side of the same page. Then Scroll down to Cortana and enable “Let Cortana respond to “Cortna” keyword. (image)

cortana keyword activation in Windows 10 and Windows 11

So now, every time you say Cortana, Cortana will be enabled and listen for your commands.

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Article written by Ifeanyi Okey

Ifeanyi creates content that help individuals develop their tech skills and be more resourceful and productive in their businesses. He's a web Designer and a WordPress Technical Expert.

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