Remotely turn on your PC with Cortana by using VoiceWake for Windows Phone 8.1

VoiceWake Lite is a new app for those running Windows Phone 8.1 and who also have Cortana available to them. That means mostly people in the US, unless you used a region-hack to enable Microsoft’s new voice-assistant. The app has one singular purpose: wake up your PC using ‘Wake On LAN’. That’s useful for a number of reasons, including turning your PC on when 2,000 miles away, and we’re sure you have your ideas too.

Not sure what Wake On LAN is for? Read the Wiki history right here. Hint: it's not to turn your PC on when in the same room. 

The app is simple enough to use and the ‘lite’ feature, implies a non-ad-supported version is on the way too.  More on that below.

To use the app, just download, and it configure it with your PC’s MAC address, IP info and some other tidbits. Likewise, you need to have Wake On LAN enabled on your PC, which is usually found under the BIOS settings when the computer first boots. Many of you probably already use Wake On LAN, so this should be old hat.

Once you have everything configured, you can then bark this command at your phone: "Cortana wake [computername]". All the app of course does the Wake On LAN part, but really it’s a simple voice command that is the trick here.

Want to see it in action? Make sure you watch the embedded video to see how it works!

A paid version is also on the way, and it has a provocative “location based wake feature and a wake schedule feature.  Meaning you will be able to tell Cortana to wake your PC when you arrive somewhere, or at a given time”. That sounds all sorts of awesome to our ears and look forward to its arrival.

Pick up VoiceWake Lite here in the Store, and we’ll keep an eye out for that paid version coming later. Windows Phone 8.1 ONLY.

Want to talk to the developer? Head into our forums.

Thanks, MactavishFreeman, for the tip!

QR: voicewake lite

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, 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 for some reason, watches. 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.

  • This would definitely be faster!
  • I see what you did there
  • Seems... Awesome!!
  • Sound pretty cool!
  • Cortana is really being put to a good use.. There is a lot of potential I guess!! Just have to wait and watch.. :D
  • Amazing feature. Looking forward where Cortana seriously ignition the car for me, or lock my house through WiFi. Lol anything can happen. Because she absorbs internet.
  • This here is very possible and I want this. I will soon have my house fully automated and this will be awesome, arming and disarming my alarm. Turning lights on and off through Cortana. The potential should be endless
  • And Cortana listening through WP, PC or Xbox one :)
  • Yes they all should be able to communicate with each other through the cloud. And since my house is on my network at home Cortana should be able to control my automated home.. But Cortana should be limitless, being able to understand anything and being able to do anything
  • In a perfect world, yes. In our current fucked-up world you must think of the security implications of this stuff.
  • Internet of Things!
  • Do we have any idea when Cortana will ship outside US? For example, the new 630s coming out imminently in India/Philipines/Italy etc - will Cortana be disabled on those devices?
  • UK and China late 2014 and other places to follow, so Indian 630s will have a pre-loaded 8.1 but with no available Cortana - like anyone ex-US running the DP now.
  • Installed this app last night. It would not accept any of my mac addresses. But this morning it updated and now works fine. It works and is cool.
  • Do you have to enter your PC name exactly as it is set in your PC, or do we just enter a Nickname for Cortana to recognize?
  • Does it work with laptops?
  • Yes... SMH... Lol!
  • LOL, laptops are computers....
  • That can't be a serious question unless this guys been in a coma for like the past 20 years...
  • Best comment ever
  • Lol!
  • I had an app like that on my iPod about 3 years ago, it only worked with desktops cause of lilitions.. you never know
  • Limitations*
  • Cortana Canada please :(
  • +++
  • +eh
  • BBM please :(
  • Very cool! Cortana is shaping up nicely!
  • While nifty, I'm not sure that's any faster than reaching my hand down and hitting a button.  So wouldn't be a lot of help for me. Butttttt...  Has anyone tried Cortana's location awareness with this?  Could I potentially tell Cortana to wake my work machine when I'm in the parking lot on my way in?  That, to me, would be an awesome feature.
  • While nifty, I'm not sure that's any faster than reaching my hand down and hitting a button.
    I'm not sure you know why PCs come with Wake On LAN. It's for remote access or so you can run services while away via scripts, not to save you time turning your PC on when in the same room.
  • Fully aware of original intent on WOL, have no use for either, so was looking at alternate applications. In this particular case(with the paid version, which got pointed out that I didn't read the full article), I could save myself a few seconds by my computer being available by the time I hit my office.
  • You didn't read the whole article. Yes you do location, time turn on/ off with the paid version.
  • Of your work network admins allow this they should be fired without hesitation.
  • Think bigger; enterprise computing; data centers; global reach; emergencies; convenience.
  • Does anyone else do a little happy dance when ever there a mention of wp 8.1?
  • I do that "little happy dance" when WPC points out something extraordinary in WP8.1.
    Edit: Specially when they mention WP8.1 "ONLY"..
  • Can some one help with saying the reading by cortana supported apps in wp8.1 like wpcentral
  • Lazy people are lazy.
  • You won't be interested in my Scratch My Ass app then?   "Cortana, I have an itch" "I'm on it."
  • ;-)
  • How is using Wake On LAN, lazy? It's a core feature of every PC for a reason.
  • Really??? Try waking up a server or workstation in another state when boots on the ground aren't available. You gonna fly/drive to a location without first taking the easy approach by sending a magic packet remotely?
  • Insight,,, life is all about insight, If you have an imagination.... If not,, then life is dull...
  • Insite? Do you mean insight?
  • Yes, thanks.. Life is also about proofreading.
  • Would this work on an Xbox One?  Because that would be awesome to have Netflix up and running by the time I even enter the door.
  • They are working on bringing Cortana to Xbox with Kinect. So ill bet on what u want will happen too. I'm waiting for the Smartwatch with cortana on it. Pre launch my Xbox when I'm almost home would be awesome.
  • The XboxOne would have to support WOL
  • The promised location awareness thing will be cool, but a lot of these apps that are being updated to "support" Cortana really could work on 8.0. 8.0 had an awesome voice plugin system and 8.1 hasn't expanded upon it at all- it's the same thing. Kinda depressing that devs are only now implementing it. I hope by the end of Cortana's beta, she can a) launch apps while the phone is locked (perhaps through kid's corner). b) let apps play audio over HSP. Between a and b, "hands free" support is a joke and non existent on WP. c) Run background tasks on demand. Why should this voicewake app even have to open to do something so trivial? There should be a background task that can be invoked manually by Cortana.
  • I'm jealous. I wrote a PowerShell script to wake up my PC in the basement via Wi-Fi back in 2009. Never thought about doing it for WP. Kudos to the developer.
  • Region-hack :P
  • Cortana doesn't shuffle my music when I ask her to shuffle. After asking two times to shuffle she shuffles my music at the third time. Help??
  • Same. I say Shuffle music and she just plays it, no shuffle.
  • It's a feature, oh, I meant bug.
  • That's awesome!
  • Very cool app if it works... I have a few computers on my home network that I take advantage of S3 sleep (only 2-3watts in standby and wait time is less than 1/2 a second on most of them). The only problem is, when I remote into my server, these machines are asleep and it can be a pain to wake them up.   This is an app I might actually use....
  • How is it a region hack? The region is simply a setting on the phone...
  • I have configured it correctly but still my pc doesn't respond to the app while it is shutdown. 
  • I alwyas had this feature in Bios.. So u need to enter your BIOS or UEFI... Most MBs should have this feature..
  • Does it require having my laptop and WP connected on the same Wifi or Network. Is it possible to use it without Cellular Data
  • my questions is does it work on laptop, how do i check for my port number, tried everything no luck
  • Yes... Laptops and desktops are exactly the same except for the form factor.
  • You have to say "Cortana?"
  • WoL only works on your LAN, unless you have a fancy gateway. Read the wikipedia article...
  • Software needs to be updated
  • Is this app secure? I mean, using it implies giving out your IP and MAC Address.
  • Ask Cortana "who is better you or google now?" LoL
  • How to know what port number to put in there?