Home and Learn: Windows 10 Tutorials

Cortana Voice Search

If you have voice switched on, you can speak your search term. To start with speech search, click the microphone symbol to the right of the search box:

Cortana search box - microphone

You'll then see a panel open up:

Setting up Cortana voice search - Step One

As the popup says, you need to let Cortana get used to the way you speak. Click the Settings button to launch the following screen:

Microphone settings in Windows 10

If you're going to be using speech, then make sure the toggle switch at the top is On. Once you have switched the microphone toggle to on, you'll see apps below that you can allow or disallow from having access to speech.

Once you have switched the Microphone to On, the popup should now look like this:

Cortana asking permission for voice search

Click the Sure button to confirm that you want to use Speech.

If something goes wrong, then you may see a message like this one, telling you that Cortana can't hear you:

Cortana detectinga problem with the microphone

Click where it says "Tap here to make sure Cortana can hear you". Windows will then try to diagnose the problem:

Cortana trying to resolve a microphone issue

The message above is telling us to plug in a microphone or headset. When one of these is plugged in, click the Next button. You may then see something like this:

Microphone setup in Windows 10

Click on Set up the mic and Windows will display this screen:

Set up mic, text to read for detection

Read the sentence that starts "Peter talks to his computer." When your voice is recognised, you'll see this:

Message stating that the mic has now been set up

Click Finish to return to your desktop. Click the Microphone icon once again in the Cortana search bar. You can now say something and Cortana should display whatever you say into the search area. In the image below, we have spoken the name of a program, Microsoft Word:

Launching a program with Cortana voice search

Cortana then tells you that it is now going to open up Word.

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