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Hands-on with the new Cortana Show Me app for Windows 10

Microsoft released a new app that walks users through several common Windows tasks that your average Joe or Jane may not know or be comfortable with doing. Just like the Windows 10 out of box experience, this new tutorial app is driven by Cortana and features step-by-step guides that are easy to follow.

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Let Cortana show you

I've always said that the Cortana powered out of box experience is great because it helps the everyday user setup a new PC. Having Cortana there to help walk you through the process makes that task a little easier.

The same thought process has been applied to the new Cortana Show Me app. The app itself features a rather basic design, with the hope screen showcasing a few common tasks that the user might want to complete, including adding Bluetooth devices, changing your background, checking for updates, and more.

Getting a tutorial started is super easy, you just select one of the tasks, and the app does the rest. The app will begin to load a "lesson", which will see Cortana take control of your PC and complete the task step by step. Cortana will narrate, and move your cursor around the display, interacting with buttons and text fields to show you how to do it.

For example, I wanted to learn how to add Bluetooth devices to my PC, so I fired up the Show Me app and began the Bluetooth lesson. The app took a few seconds to load, and then Cortana began narrating steps, along with controlling my mouse, to navigate through Windows Search and open the Settings app, select the Devices category, ensure that Bluetooth is enabled, and run the "add Bluetooth" dialog box. From there, the user can take control and select the Bluetooth device they want to connect.

The experience itself is relatively straightforward. It's almost like having a real support person remote into your PC and help you with a task (except voiced by a somewhat robotic lady). The user can stop the walkthrough at any time by moving the mouse and taking back control of the cursor.

At the end of the tutorial, the app will ask you to rate how the tutorial went, and you can then start another tutorial or close the app. I assume that over time, Microsoft will be able to add more tutorials to this app, too, as more features get added to Windows.

A glimpse of the future

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I'm a huge believer in integrating Cortana into the OS in ways like this. Perhaps we'll see more of this kind of thing in upcoming updates to Windows 10.

The Cortana Show Me app is available for users running the Spring Creators Update. Just head to the Microsoft Store and give it a download!

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Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

26 Comments
  • I'm waiting for SCU public release 🙄😶.
  • It's start rolling out on the 10
  • What's about Cortana Collections? I install SCU, but not find Collections. Removed or?
  • I believe collections is now called "Lists" and it's hidden in Cortana's notebook.
  • yeah, not gonna work. Cortana is still a US mainly thing. Still waiting for more language and region support for Cortana. 5 years wait and still counting. happy though for the people it does work for, only not accessible for everyone unfortunately.
  • That has to be frustrating. Do you think it would be different if you ran MS and owned the bottom line?
  • So Cortana is the new Tips and guide to Windows 10.
  • Those menus and windows look horrendous. Why is the graphic designer behind this garbage?
  • The graphical layout of Windows 10 had been crap forever. Even worse is they even try anymore with Cortana when we talk know they will just kill any addition they add, in the near future.
  • Bull-oney!
  • They won't kill Cortana for a while. It will come quicker if they don't hire some graphic designers though. I don't know how they can release this kind of crap.
  • Ehhh… It just says "Something's Not Right. Would you like to try again?"
  • This is super useful
  • I can see this very useful for most of my clients.
  • Already upgraded from public FCU to SCU☺. Even though it doesn't have gigantic features than FCU, overall I feel much better. My bluetooth headphone functioning much better, all the headphone buttons work 👌🏻.
  • By all accounts MS have stopped people from disabling Cortana in Windows 10 1803 using group policy when will this company stop trying to force us to use their cloud services?
  • While I don't like a product controlling my options with its use, is Microsoft any different than Apple or Google? I would say they strong-arm less.
  • Easy enough to turn off Siri on both phone and Mac and the google assistant is disabled on my Android phone via options, not like Windows 10 where I have to use either group policies or reg hacks.
  • And your Android phone works just fine not connected to google's cloud services???
  • can't use the google voice commands or voice search without enabling google history, it's quite clear that services won't work if you disable anything like that on android. let alone having privacy on android is a blissful dream... and that's the real joke.. (Source : i actively use several platforms)
  • Depends on what you use at the end of the day, my brother have an Android phone and it do not even have a google account set up on it, but for a phone it doses what he needs. But people buy smart phones because of what they do normally, they know they connect to the cloud, that is what they do.
    I and many other people do not buy a computer, do access MS or Even Apple for that matter cloud services, some of us just buy or in my case build a computer to use the software we want to use. That is why one of my mates keep his windows machines off the net unless he have to update them and he only does that once in a blue moon. He uses a linux machine if he needs to access the net. My computer, is to run video editing software, audio software, graphics manipulation software, 3d software, a office suite to write a letter or two now and again, browse the net, grab some emails, watch some you tube vidoes and that is about it, so why do I need Ms cloud services?
  • Office still works completely offline. If you choose to use cloud based services, you can house your Office files/docs in MS's own OneDrive, or you can choose somewhere else to keep those, whether it be DropBox, googledrive, your own home server, etc. Try saving googledocs or googleslides somewhere other than googledrive. Obviously, MS wants you to use OneDrive, but you aren't forced to. As far as killing Cortana on your machine, if you don't like the idea of messing with your registry, then there's the option of installing the Win10 Education OS, which has Cortana disabled out of the box.
  • You can not really compare googledocs to Office, if you are going to compare Google docs to anything is Office online, as they are both online services. Also google docs cost nothing while Ms office cost a small fortune if you buy it outright.
    On the older versions of Office you could change the default save folder, someone told me a few weeks back that is not possible now, default is once drive and you have to browse now to save files in any other folder, how true that is I do not know. I only use office now and again at work and that is an oldish version. I have no problem with messing about with the registry, just that we should not have to as for the education version of Windows 10, try getting hold of it and cortana is enabled in it.
  • The point wasn't a comparison between Word and googledocs, but rather that you were making a statement that singled out MS as being more forceful in reeling users into their cloud ecosystem. My point was that google and chrome OS (and for most users android) are cloud based at the core, often with no other option. MS doesn't have to be. for the most part.
  • You said it your self, google is cloud based, that is what they do, we all know that, you buy a chrome book it is cloud based.
    Windows was never cloud based until they tried it with Windows 8 and that failed. this is why they are trying again with Windows 10.
    If windows 8 had done well, we would be more integrated to the cloud than we are now. I know things change and I get it that maybe some people like to run their life on the cloud, but some of us don't, some of use just like to use our computer as a computer for running software we want to use.
    Even on my phone I do not use most of the functions and google assistant , location and other stuff I do not need is turned off. I just want a phone to be a phone most of the time, maybe allow me to send text. I will say one thing, this new Windows 10 update what ever it is eventually called, did not reset any defaults when I installed it on a mates computers as we wanted to be nosy. It did reactivate cortana and we did find out what I posted above is true, it can not be de-acitvated, it could be a bug as the group polices are still there, they just do nothing. Mind we downloaded a version of Windows in ESD format ands had to convert to ISO, so maybe that is why it kept the defaults, if it will do that when it comes via the proper updates channels we will see.
  • This is groundbreaking. It means they've put hooks in the system to automate control of windows. This will make cortana much more powerful.