Open Cortana and type in Notepad. Before you even finish typing out the word ‘Note’ it will have listed all matching apps and files that begin with the letters you’ve typed. The first result is of course going to be the default Notepad app and if that’s the app you wanted to quickly open then you’re all set. If however you wanted to open a different app with a name similar to Notepad, such as Notepad++, then you might not like that the first result is always the Notepad app and you have to manually select the second or third result which is actually relevant for you. Cortana lists Notepad because it’s obvious but also because it doesn’t yet know which app you want to use. Here’s how you can teach it know which app to show first.
Cortana learns over time and it learns from how you interact with it. If you always select the Notepad app when it appears in Cortana’s results, she learns that Notepad is in fact the app you want to open when you type in the word ‘Note’. If you want to teach it to open a different app you need about five minutes.
The app in question that we worked with is a Windows Store app called Notepad Classic. Open Cortana and type in the word Notepad. The first result will be the Notepad app but the ones that follow will be other apps that begin with the same name. Select the other app and allow it to open. Now close the app and repeat this process.
Type in the word ‘note’ in Cortana and consistently choose the app you want to open. After five tries, Cortana stopped showing the default Notepad app as the first result and learned that Notepad Classic was the preferred app.
Teaching Cortana like this allows you to quickly use it to search for and launch an app. Ideally, it should just learn over time but if you at times do open the first result, it effects Cortana’s learning. The best way to drive in the message is to take five minutes out and teach Cortana which app you prefer over all other results.