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How to download a copy of your Cortana data stored on the Microsoft servers

On Windows 10, Cortana can help you to automate an extensive array of tasks to stay better organized and get work done more quickly. For this feature to work across devices and provide a personalized experience, Microsoft has to collect and store specific pieces of data about you in the cloud, including reminders, notes, interests, commitments, inferences, and more.

However, because this is your data, if you ever wanted to know exactly the information that has been collected about you, or you want a backup before clearing your data{.nofollow}, Windows 10 includes an option to request and download a copy of the data created while using Cortana.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the steps to request and download a copy of the data that Microsoft has collected about you when using Cortana. Also, we'll show you a quick way to view this data using a JSON viewer.

How to download a copy of your data when using Cortana

If you want to download and view the data stored on the Microsoft servers about you when using Cortana, use the following steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Cortana.
  3. Click on Permissions & History.
  4. Click the Change what Cortana knows about me in the cloud link.

  1. Under "See my information," click the Get my info button.

  1. Open your email account inbox. (Usually, it'll be an Outlook account.)
  2. Check the email that includes the "Request submitted, data ready" subject.
  3. Click the download it here link.
  4. Confirm your Microsoft account credential as required.
  5. Click the Yes button to allow "CortanaExport" to backup your data.

  1. Click the Save as button.
  2. Select the folder where to save the Zip file with all your data.
  3. Click the Save button.

Once you've completed the steps, you'll end up with a zip file, which you can extract using these steps.

Inside the zip folder, depending on the data that Microsoft collected, it's possible to see a number of text files with specific Cortana information about you, including data about commitments, interests, lists, notes, and reminders.

Although it can be useful to get a copy of your data created using Cortana, Microsoft doesn't make it easier to understand it. Similar to the ability to view diagnostic data, the text files include information structure in a JSON format.

If you want to make sense of the information, you'll need to use a JSON viewer, such as the one offered by CodeBeautify.org that allows structuring the JSON data in some meaningful ways. (You'll be copying and pasting personal data on a third-party website, as such make sure that you understand the risks involved. Use this service at your own risk.)

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

8 Comments
  • Show how Microsoft speaks about data privacy transparency and walk the talk! Great tips!!!
  • I'm pretty sure this is a result of GDPR.
  • I really frustrated that WC App comment lack the notification when someone else comment on your comment! If WC lacks this critical consumer engaging feature, what hope for us to expect Microsoft to improve on communication? WC W10M app has no comment possibility. If WC would not invest, what hope do we have on app gap on Microsoft store.
  • Have you tried Settings > Notifications in the app?
  • WC Android app 3.1.11.1, notification enabled. Notified new articles but not when someone comment on my comments like Disque. Which I think will multify no of comments per article. Will bring WC users together.
  • 2nd this. There's no notification from someone commenting my comment.
    No email, no Win10 notification, no android notification.
  • You can use Notepad++ to make sense of JSON without the need of an online service.
  • Unfortunately, I cannot install Cortana on my Samsung S8... apparently is not available on the Android Store Romania ... and that's a big problem for me because a cannot sync Cortana 's memo, notes, mementos and reminders over different devices. I need sometime to add something while I use my phone in my car and see the stuff on my computer... I hope Microsoft will make Cortana available soon on different stores all over the world, otherwise my new Microsoft Book 2 could not be as efficient for me as it was my previous Macbookpro. Any suggestions regarding the Cortana activation/installation on my Samsung will be welcome.