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How To Enable Cortana & Turn On ‘Hey Cortana’ Feature In Windows 10

Cortana is easily going to be one of our most extensively covered features of Windows 10. Cortana isn’t enabled by default so if you never set it up, you essentially have just the normal Search feature that you can type queries into and search online or on your device. The disadvantage of not turning Cortana on is that you can’t use the Notebook, Places, and Reminder features. Here’s the super simple way of turning Cortana and the ‘Hey Cortana’ feature on.

Click in the Search bar and you will prompted to enable Cortana. Click ‘Allow’ and wait for Cortana to connect. It will then ask you for your name, and set-up will be complete. That’s all takes but this works if set-up is successful in the first go which it was’t when we tried it out.

So, what do you do when Cortana consistently tells you it was unable to connect? Check if you’re signed in to your Microsoft account. The action center might alert you if you aren’t signed in or need to sign in again. The failure to connect stems from your credentials needing to be verified. After that, give it a few more goes and you should be able to connect.


Cortana has an always listening feature similar to ‘Hey Siri’ and ‘Okay Google’ on iOS and Android, respectively. Like these features, it consumes battery life and isn’t turned on by default. To enable it, click the hamburger icon at the top left of the Cortana pop-up. Select Settings and then scroll down until you see the ‘Let Cortana respond when you say “Hey Cortana” option and turn it on. Remember that if you’re running Windows 10 on the Surface tablet, this will effect battery life.

hey cortana

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