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How to set a reminder with Cortana in Windows 10

One of our favorite features with Cortana in Windows 10 is setting reminders. You can ask the personal assistant to set reminders based on time, place, or person. We'll show you how. See it in action on the Surface Pro 3.

Time-based reminders

To get started, bring up Cortana by using the keyboard shortcut Window key + C or by clicking the microphone in Search. You can tell Cortana to remind you at certain times. Need a reminder at 5:30 A.M. tomorrow? How about 9 P.M. every night? Or 2:33 P.M. on Tuesdays? It's up to you. Here are some examples:

  • Remind me to get the laundry in 30 minutes.
  • Remind me to throw the garbage every Monday night
  • Remind me to go to the post office tomorrow morning
  • Remind me to wash the car in 2 days at 7 P.M.
  • Remind me to pick up Sheila from the train station on September 3rd at 12 P.M.

Location-based reminders

You can tell Cortana to remind you certain things when you leave or arrive at certain locations. This type of reminders works best if you also also have a phone running Windows 10 because any reminders you set in your PC also gets stored in Cortana's notebook in your phone. Here are some examples:

  • Remind me to water the plants I get home
  • Remind me to buy groceries when I leave the house
  • Remind me to buy milk and bread when I get to Trader Joe's
  • Remind me to get cash when I'm near any ATM

Person-based reminders

You can tell Cortana to remind you anything next time you talk to certain people in your contacts book. An alert pops up when you send or open an email from that person. Here's an example:

  • Remind me to ask about the office next time I talk to Daniel

Since the reminders also get transferred to Windows 10 mobile, you'll also get the reminders when that contact calls or sends a text message.

Handling the reminders

The reminders appear on the lower right corner. You can choose to snooze or complete. Snooze lets you choose an amount of time, but next time is selected by default. You'll need to click one of the two buttons for the reminder to disappear.

Many Windows Phone users will be already familiar with setting reminders with Cortana, but this is a welcome feature for those who are new to Windows 10. How do you feel about reminders with Cortana? Let us know in the comments!

Note: Cortana is currently only available for the U.S., UK, China, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Cortana is also expanding to Japan and Australia, and in English in Canada and India for those on the Windows Insider program (early access). Later this year, Cortana will be available to Windows Insiders in Brazil and Mexico, and in French in Canada as well. Read more about Cortana's cultural training and programming from Microsoft _right here._

Was this guide helpful? We have many more posts like this in our Windows 10 help, tips and tricks page.

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

29 Comments
  • Why doesn't Cortana sync with my Windows Phone Cortana? What's the point of it if they don't sync together?
  • As I understand it, syncing who only take place between Window 10 devices.
  • This is correct. My phone's on an insider build and it gets all the reminders and stuff sent from my computer.
  • This is how I understand it also. While Interests have always synced across devices, Windows 10 is required to sync reminders and the full Notebook.
  • You mean that this incomplete address book (ie, without twitter and facebook or skype contact info) is because I don't have a Windows 10 Mobile enabled phone?
  • Yup they sync. Showed it in the video above
  • How quickly does it sync from pc to phone?  For example, if you are at your computer and tell cortana to remind you about something in two minutes, will your phone beep in two minutes?  Or is there a long sync delay?
  • about 2 minutes
  • You have to have Windows 10 mobile.
  • I have no problem with CORTANA syncing with WINDOWS 10 for Work PC on Domain, Surface Pro 3 & HTC One M8 (Windows 10 Mobile). I even posted pics this morning on my facebook.      
  • Will this synch with Windows Mobile 10 Insider builds?
  • Windows 10 Mobile: Yes.
  • Couple of days ago... Cortana asked me that "A place which I used to stay in Working days " -My College... to save as Work place..
    Later from 2 days , Cortana is Giving me Reminder exactly at 8:33A.M by saying " it will take 27min to reach your Work Place " ITS TIME TO LEAVE. As I was reaching my college everyday at 9:00A.M
  • Baffling that Cortana is available on WP8.1 in Canada (as alpha, but still) but requires Insider for W10 in Canada.
  • I have dnt sign in Cortana when I clk option of sign in no any action....plzzz help this problem
  • Why can't I just switch my settings in win 10 to, say US, and have cortana work, as I do with WP? I can't download "cortana and speech (US)" on my computer here in finland even if I'm allowed to change my country and all of windows otherwise to US. Drives me insane.
  • Yeah, me too! It's also annoying that Microsoft talks about Cortana whenever they can, when it's not available to everyone. I have no problems speaking English to Cortana, if I was allowed to.
  • Can't find cortana on windows 10
  • He missed the first step:
        Move to a country that Microsoft thinks deserves to have Cortana
  • Am I right in thinking that reminders don't sync across devices (they don't from my PC to my Phone anyway)... I can't get Cortana on my PC to remind me of something when I get to work via my phone... And I can't get reminders set on my phone to appear on the PC... This seems like an obvious thing but appears to be missing? EDIT: Might be because my phone is on 8.1... I'm not carrying my 10 phone around with me because it's not up to it just yet!
  • Yes, mine seem to sync 10 to 10.
  • Does someone really need a remider to get cash when they get to the ATM?  I'm forgetful but not that forgetful.    But that is cool if it works.
  • Cortana has range based reminders so you can tell it to remind you to get cash the next time you're near an atm. I rarely use the general location based reminders, but do use the specific location reminders quite a bit.
  • Reminders work, but why you can't set Timer? :)
     
  • Cortana is still very, very buggy on W10. Windows 10 in general lacks the polish it desperately needs. What a shame really! I miss 8.1 a lot :/
  • Malaysia needed
  • I currently live here in Vietnam right now and I have cortana but some people don't. I even upgraded my windows here. 
  • What if I have no mic. I can't set a reminder by date?
  • How do you edit reminders in Cortana once they're scheduled?  I only see the 'Complete' and 'Delete' options.