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