How to enable Hey Cortana on Windows 10 Preview and other cool shortcuts

If you are on the brand new build of the Windows 10 January Technical Preview and you are also in the US with US English enabled, you are lucky enough to have Cortana too. Cortana is Microsoft's increasingly universal personal assistant found on the phone and now Windows (she also powers Maps too in a future update).

Did you know Hey Cortana is also available? Found on the Lumia 930 and Lumia 1520 with the Lumia Denim update (see our demo), Hey, Cortana lets you call up the assistant just using your voice. The feature is disabled by default, but here is is how to enable it.

Cortana settings Windows 10

Enable Hey Cortana (Windows 10 Preview)

  1. Tap in the search area
  2. Tap the hamburger button in the upper left
  3. Select Settings
  4. Scroll down and select 'Let Cortana respond when you say "Hey Cortana"

Enabling Hey Cortana in Windows 10

Interestingly, unlike the current phone version, you do not need to say "Hey, Cortana" and then wait for her to acknowledge before sending your request. Instead, you can just blurt out in one stream "HeyCortanaWhatIsTheCurrentWeather" and she brings up the current forecast. This way is much more natural, although it may throw off those with Hey Cortana on the phone.

Cortana Keyboard Shortcuts

If you do not feel like using your voice and are a keyboard shortcut kind of person, remember these two:

  • Win + Q = Cortana's main screen with interests and news
  • Win + S = Right into Cortana's search engine

Both are very easy to remember and use, and for some who love their shortcuts, we are sure you'll get great use out of them.

If you do not yet have Cortana in Windows 10, don't fret as Microsoft is sure to roll out the service in later updates throughout the year.

Find any other neat tricks? Let us know in comments!

Thanks, @silviub88, for the shortcut tip!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.