How to set up and use Cortana with Windows 10 UK

If you have Window 10 installed, you’ll no doubt notice the presence of Microsoft’s voice-controlled personal assistant. Cortana is capable of writing emails, setting reminders, searching for apps and performing web searches. As long as you’re happy for Microsoft to pick up your internet habits, it can be a very useful tool. Here’s how to set up and use Cortana on Windows 10 in the UK.

How to set up and use Cortana with Windows 10 UK

Windows 10 should take you through the setup process when you open Cortana for the first time. However, if it doesn’t, then here’s how you can get started with Microsoft’s personal assistant.

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How to use Cortana on Windows 10: Check your language settings

  1. Some UK users are experiencing issues getting Cortana to work. This could be a problem with speech settings. Before you start to set up Microsoft’s digital assistant, make sure the language settings are set to UK.
  2. To check your language settings, search for Region and Language. Here you’ll have an option for Country or Region. Make sure this is set to United Kingdom. Below you’ll find an option for Languages.
  3. If English (United Kingdom) isn’t there, you’ll need to add it as a language option. To do this, click on Add a language, then find English (United Kingdom) and select the download Language Pack and Speech options.
  4. With the UK language pack installed, you’ll need to select the Speech tab in the Time & Language settings panel. Here you’ll be able to choose the Speech Language used by your PC. Make sure it is set to English (United Kingdom). 

How to use Cortana on Windows 10: Setting up Cortana

  1. The first time you use the search box you should be faced with an option to turn Cortana on. If you aren’t type Cortana into the search box and click “I’m in”. After you’ve opened the option to turn Cortana on, you’ll be faced with information about the data Cortana will collect. If you’re not comfortable with Microsoft collecting information on your browsing history and location history, you have the option to cancel.
  2. Cortana will ask for your name and give you the option to add interests.
  3. If you click the microphone icon in the search bar, it will bring up a brief microphone calibration. 
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  4. After you’ve set up the microphone, Cortana is ready to use. But if you’d like to change Cortana’s settings, type Cortana into the search bar and click the first option, “Cortana & Search settings”.

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How to get Cortana to respond to “Hey Cortana” in Windows 10

  1. Open Cortana and search “Cortana settings” to navigate to the Settings menu. Now click the top result.cortana3.png
  2. Once you’re in the Settings menu, flick the switch underneath the heading: “Let Cortana respond when you say ‘Hey Cortana’”. Here you’ll also be able to turn Cortana on and off.

How to get Cortana to display tracking information in Windows 10

  1. If you want Cortana to display tracking information for your flights and deliveries, start by searching for “Cortana Settings” and click the top result.
  2. Scroll down and flick the switch under the “Find flights and more” header. Here you’ll also find an option for Cortana to give greetings from time to time, as well as a range of privacy settings.

How to get Cortana to understand non-native speech patterns in Windows 10

If English isn’t your first language, Cortana has an option to help it understand non-native speech patterns. Here’s how to turn this on:

  1. Press the Windows key and type “Speech”, then select the Speech Settings option.
  2. From here, just tick the box titled “Use speech patterns for non-native speakers of this language”.


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