How useful is Cortana? Try it to find out!

by Lucia Danes - -

Cortana is a useful virtual assistant that more people should make use of

Cortana is a virtual assistant and one of the most prominent new features of Windows 10 OS. It can be used on a variety of devices, including computers, Android, iOS, Windows mobile devices, Xbox One,[1] Windows Mixed Reality[2], and others. While Cortana resembles a simple search that we are used to using in Windows 8 and other versions, it‘s referred to as a „personal assistant“ meaning that there‘s a lot more you can do with it than simply perform a search.

Cortana makes the lives of Windows 10 users much more comfortable as it reminds them about upcoming events, continuously learns about the user by tracking packages, teams, interests, etc., allows sending emails/texts, manages the calendar, can open any app installed on the system directly, etc. Additionally, if you are bored, she can serve as a companion or even a friend – she will tell you a joke or play a video game with you.

Cortana can be used in the written and spoken form, meaning that you can type a needed question in Cortana‘s search box or select a microphone and talk to her. Basically, Cortana is an Artificial Intelligence[3] project, just as Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa.[4]

How useful is Cortana?

Since Cortana was officially unveiled in the July of 2016 (along with the official release of Windows 10), most of the Windows 10 users already adopted the new feature and adjusted its benefits to the everyday life, but the number of users who fail to use Cortana is still immense. Nevertheless, Microsoft announced that Cortana has almost 150 million monthly users. [5]

Microsoft speculates that this might be due to the people‘s unawareness of Cortana‘s capacities. Therefore, in this post, we would like to introduce a couple of examples of not-so-obvious commands that prove the fact that Cortana is more than useful.

To get started using Cortana, you have to enable some privacy settings in „Speech, Inking, & Typing.” Besides, it requires access to the location. After that, you can open Cortana and talk to her by saying “Hey Cortana.” Here are several commands that you may not know and that prove the fact that it's worth trying – hopefully, this will answer how your question “How useful is Cortana?”

Text translation

Instead of using Google's translate service or another corresponding translator, you may use Cortana. It is capable of translating English to 50 languages and more in the near future. To enable Cortana’s translation, you have to say something like: “How do I say “I am from France” in German?” and Cortana will give you the answer.

Usage of emoticons

You must have heard about Cortana’s text dictation. By this, you may simply say words to Cortana, and she will automatically write everything down. However, you might not hear that it is also capable of placing emoticons in the written text. For this purpose, you just have to say “smiley,” “frownie,” “cwl,” “hearteyes,” etc. and Cortana will add the corresponding emoticon into the text.

Use emoticons with Cortana

Multimedia search

You don’t have to remember the exact names of the files that you save. That’s because Cortana is capable of sorting out the data, including word, excel, power point files, pics, docs, etc. according to the date of creation. Thus, to find what you need, you can ask Cortana to “Show me pictures, documents, etc. from yesterday/last week” or similar.


Our busy lifestyle requires setting an agenda that would help us to manage our day without forgetting important things. Cortana is right here to help its users! It allows settings reminders that give an alarm at a certain time of a day or when you are in a particular place. For example, you can command Cortana “Remind me to call mother when I finish the lunch” or “Remind me to take my son to the basketball at 6 pm”. This applies to the combination of task and location.Cortana's reminder

Avoid heavy traffic

Big city life is all about massive traffic. If you want to find out what is the state of the traffic to the bank, home or another location, you may ask Cortana „What is traffic like on the way to home?“ and she will inform you about the obstacles and current traffic jams.

Avoid traffic with Cortana

Although these are just a few examples of Cortana‘s usefulness, they perfectly illustrate how handy the application. Thus, don‘t hesitate and start using your personal assistance in real life, especially when it‘s for free!

Prevent websites, ISP, and other parties from tracking you

Private Internet Access is a VPN that can prevent your Internet Service Provider, the government, and third-parties from tracking your online and allow you to stay completely anonymous. The software provides dedicated servers for torrenting and streaming, ensuring optimal performance and not slowing you down. You can also bypass geo-restrictions and view such services as Netflix, BBC, Disney+, and other popular streaming services without limitations, regardless of where you are.

A VPN is also crucial when it comes to user privacy. Online trackers such as cookies can not only be used by social media platforms and other websites but also your Internet Service Provider and the government. Even if you apply the most secure settings via your web browser, you can still be tracked via apps that you are connected to the internet. Besides, privacy-focused browsers like Tor is are not an optimal choice due to diminished connection speed.

Therefore, to stay completely anonymous and prevent the ISP and the government from spying on you, you should employ Private Internet Access VPN. It will allow you to connect to the internet while being completely anonymous, prevent trackers, ads, as well as malicious content. Most importantly, you will prevent the illegal surveillance activities that NSA and other governmental institutions are performing behind your back.


Recover your lost files quickly

Unforeseen circumstances can happen at any time while using the computer: it can turn off due to a power cut, a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) can occur, or random Windows updates can decide to reboot the machine when you went away for a few minutes. As a result, your schoolwork, important documents, and other data might be lost.

Additionally, you might also be attacked by malware that can corrupt your Windows or encrypt files with a robust encryption algorithm, and ask for a ransom in Bitcoin for the decryption tool. Cybercriminals might not deliver what they promised, however, so it is better to attempt alternative file recovery methods that could help you to retrieve at least some portion of the lost data.

Data recovery software is one of the options that could help you recover your files. Once you delete a file, it does not vanish into thin air – it remains on your system as long as no new data is written on top of it. Data Recovery Pro is recovery software that searchers for working copies of deleted files within your hard drive. By using the tool, you can prevent loss of valuable documents, school work, personal pictures, and other crucial files.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Security researcher

Lucia Danes is the news editor at UGetFix. She is always on the move because the eager for knowledge makes her travel around the globe and attend InfoSec events and conferences.

Contact Lucia Danes
About the company Esolutions


Your opinion regarding How useful is Cortana? Try it to find out!