List Of Cortana Commands

Keith wrote this comment on our story about my favorite Google Now voice commands. “Any chance you know all the commands that Google understands (and Cortana). I tried to ask for a list but I get just one or two (or five) but nothing complete. Also since I’m asking does Google ever talk back (give verbal answers) if so what commands trigger that? I know if I ask Cortona to tell me a joke or give me the weather she will do that but if I ask for news she just shows me her news webpage and I have to (gasp!) READ!


I know Keith! What kind of personal assistant won’t read the news aloud for you? Cortana doesn’t have that capability yet, but I would not be at all surprised if she can soon.

The list of Cortana commands is growing every day and I probably couldn’t list all of them.

But I can give you a list of the types of commands she’ll accepts.

Open – Say “Hey Cortana, open….  Just about any app on your PC and she’ll open it for you.

Create – Tell Cortana to create a new e-mail, word document, calendar appointment or reminder.


Show – “Hey Cortana, show me the local news headlines.” or perhaps, “Show me my appointments for today.”

Alarms – Tell Cortana to “Wake me at 8 a.m. tomorrow.” or “Set an alarm for 4 p.m.”

Take Note or Note – “Hey Cortana take a note.  Make sure to look for latest Faye Kellerman book when you stop at library.”

Remind – “Hey Cortana, remind me to turn on the slow cooker at 8 a.m. tomorrow.”

Play – “Play my music.” or “Play some Yo Yo Ma.”

Math – Give Cortana basic math problems. “What’s 3 x 27?” or “How many ounces is in a cup?”

Get – “Get me directions to the nearest gas station.”

Tell – “Cortana, tell me a joke.”

Then there are the questions:

Who – “Who’s the governor of Ohio?

What – “What’s the weather like outside? What time will Jet Blue flight 17 arrive? What time does  The Avengers start at the Cinemark Theater is Maumee?” or “What should I eat if I want to lose weight?” “What’s traffic like on I-475?”

Where – “Where is the closest pizza place?”


Why – “Why did the chicken cross the road?”

How – “How’s my IBM stock doing today? How do I get a passport?”

As I said, the list keeps growing. Those of you with Windows 10, do you have a favorite Cortana command? Share it with us in the comments.

In part 2 of this article, I’ll look at some more Google Now voice commands.

~ Cynthia

0 thoughts on “List Of Cortana Commands

  1. Do any of the personal voice assistants (Siri, Cortana, Amazon Echo) read the news for you? If the Echo did, i would totally be swayed to buy one!

  2. Wow! That helps a lot! Thanks! I’m going to print that all out right now! While on the subject is there any way to change her name. I have no idea how to pronounce Cortana.. Cortaina… However you say it.

    1. No, you can’t change her name. It’s an important one to Microsoft. She’s a character in the Halo games that have made them a fortune. Her name is pronounced like you’re saying cortex – Kor-tah-nah like Rhianna or Brianna.

  3. The problem I have with Cortana is that I have to sign in with a Microsoft account. That means MS is then tracking me everywhere, searches, sites and who knows what else. So I’ll never use Cortana because I will never agree to give up my privacy to MS. I will continue signing in with my local account and search for things manually through a search engine that is NOT Bing. Ixquick is what I use, completely private and no tracking me. Big brother IS here. And I think of MS and Google as his parents. That may not be an evil thing, but I don’t want those two corporations or the government tracing my every move, I can’t imagine why anyone does. They “say” they won’t do anything with all that data, but that requires I trust corporations to be true to their word. And I don’t. Too many monster data breaches, too many after the fact, “oops” events have already happened for me to ever trust a corporation or government to put my interests ahead of its own. You aren’t paranoid if they really are out to get you. And just giving it to them goes against the grain for me. A 60 something brought up to never trust anyone over 30 and still holding true to that small slice of privacy that I have.

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