How to use “Hey, Cortana” with only voice commands in Windows 10

Now that you’ve upgraded to Windows 10, there’s the “Ask me anything” field at the bottom of the screen, right next to the Start Button. If you click on that, you’ll get introduced to Cortana, your personal assistant. We were promised the ability to activate Cortana by voice, by saying “He, Cortana” – but I didn’t see that option when I first started using the new feature. I clicked the Microphone, and it had me say a phrase so that it could adjust volume levels and learn to understand me better, but nothing was mentioned of “Hey Cortana.” So I did some digging.




First, you have to click in the “Ask me anything” box, then click on Cortana’s notebook on the left, then click the settings cog icon. Once you’re in there, you can scroll down and enable “Hey Cortana.” By default, it’s designed to listen for any mention of that phrase (meaning she will respond “to anyone”). You’ll notice the option to respond “to me” is probably not selectable, but you can easily click “learn my voice” and speak a half-dozen phrases, saying “hey Cortana” before each one. If you use the same cadence each time, she will learn to better respond only to you, and not every podcast you listen to or jerk friend near by.




If you have problems, you can always instruct her to re-learn your voice. Also, I’ve noticed that, after you ask a question, such as “hey Cortana — what does the weather in Saskatchewan this weekend?” – the Cortana window will stay up on the screen until you click the “X” in the upper right. OR you can use another command, “Hey Cortana — please close” and the Window will go away.


It’s also worth noting that, if you speak up, Cortana can hear you over your music, and will pause the music playing to listen to your question. When you’re done, you can say “Hey Cortana — resume music” and Groove Music will pick up right where it left off. I haven’t tested this with Windows Media Player or any other software, yet, but I did find that to be pretty darn handy!

No, Windows 10 actually DOESN’T share your networks without your authorization

I’ve been reading people complaining about this for a few weeks now. It’s completely blown out of proportion, and has been a feature in Windows Phone for over a year.

The central reason people put passwords on their Wi-Fi is to stop total strangers from sitting in a parked car on the street and using their internet. Wi-Fi Sense, if enabled, allows you to share connectivity with your friends, without having to reveal the actual passwords. If anything, it’s not only more convenient, but safer.

  1. You have the option of turning this service on or off when installing Windows. It’s not hidden in a menu, or Continue reading

How to DISABLE (or enable?) Wi-Fi Sense in Windows 10

People have worked themselves into a frenzy, but I have discussed why I think this has been blown out of proportion. Although you should have selected whether or not you want this feature enabled when you first set up Windows 10, if you want to check your settings and change them either to share or lock yourself down, here are some instructions for you!

First, get in to Windows 10’s Wi-Fi settings. Simply use the search bar at the bottom of the new Start Menu and type wifi, then click “Change Wi-Fi Settings.”

Continue reading

How to backup Windows 8.1 before upgrading to Windows 10

We already discussed whether or not you should take Microsoft up on their offer to upgrade you to Windows 10. In that article, I specifically mention that, although Windows my prompt you to perform the upgrade, even if you want to it, it may be wise to wait a month to see if any headlines emerge with catastrophic upgrade stories, and give Microsoft time to patch the Upgrade process, if so. Perhaps waiting until November of 2015 isn’t so bad. You have a full year to claim the free upgrade, so don’t be in a rush.

When you’ve decided you’re going forward with the upgrade, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re doing it safely Continue reading

How to Backup Windows 7 before upgrading to Windows 10

We already discussed whether or not you should take Microsoft up on their offer to upgrade you to Windows 10. In that article, I specifically mention that, although Windows my prompt you to perform the upgrade, even if you want to it, it may be wise to wait a month to see if any headlines emerge with catastrophic upgrade stories, and give Microsoft time to patch the Upgrade process, if so. Perhaps waiting until November of 2015 isn’t so bad. You have a full year to claim the free upgrade, so don’t be in a rush.

When you’ve decided you’re going forward with the upgrade, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re doing it safely Continue reading

How to remove the “Get Windows 10” ad & Icon

Many users are happy with their computers the way they are and are not interested in upgrading to Windows 10. We’ve discussed some pros and cons, but if you have made up you’re mind that you’re not interested, here’s the best way to get Microsoft to stop bugging you.

In short, you need to uninstall a particular Windows Update. Microsoft KB3035583 in particular. After it is uninstalled, you’ll need to reboot your computer, search for Windows Updates, then hide KB3035583 to make sure it doesn’t automatically reinstall itself. The step by step instructions are below. Continue reading

Apple’s insane profits from the iPhone are not an anomaly, it’s a business model

A friend asked me, this morning, if it was true what he had heard about Apple having less than 20% of sector shipments, but over 90% of smartphone profits. I replied with a simple: “can confirm.”

Wall Street Journal reported those numbers yesterday, and other sites have been discussing ever since. It’s been pretty widely discussed believed, but this is the first time such numbers were confirmed – and they were even higher than many people suspected. Continue reading

Should I use the Windows 10 upgrade icon in my system tray?

UPDATE 1: How to backup Windows 7 before upgrading to Windows 10 & How to backup Windows 8.1 before upgrading to Windows 10 articles have been published!


Original article below…


Alright, lots of Windows users have seen a new icon in the System Tray, lately. Recognize this little fella?




Clicking that brings up the offer from Microsoft to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, beginning July 29th. So that sounds great. But… should you do it?


First things first, my rule of thumb: if you’re interested in Windows 10, then by all means, go ahead and upgrade! But for people who don’t necessarily like change, here’s my advice: if you have Windows 7 and you like it, ignore the upgrade (I will link to an article, below, to help you ‘hide’ and ignore the upgrade icon). If you have Windows 8 or 8.1? I would say go for it! Even if you don’t like change, I think you’ll appreciate the enhancements Windows 10 offers over 8/8.1. But, there are still some caveats.


Most importantly, WAIT. Go ahead and “reserve” your Windows 10 upgrade, but wait to install it (it won’t be available until July 29th at the earliest, so you have time to finish reading this article). Windows 10 is “free for the first year” – which means you can reserve your copy now, and after July 29th, you have until July 29th of 2016 to go ahead with the installation at no charge. After that, you’ll have to spend at least $119 to buy the “home edition” and $199 “Professional” edition. But, just because you have it reserved does NOT mean you need to install it right away. This “enrollment program” or “reservation program” will simply download all of the bits to your computer so that it is ready to be installed, and it will pop up a notification letting you know it is ready, but you will have the option of ignoring or delaying the installation. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to wait until, say, September or even all the way until January of 2016, just to make sure any installation errors get the kinks worked out. I think it is important to note that I genuinely believe it’s going to be the most reliable upgrade in Microsoft history, this is the first time Microsoft has been in full control of the upgrade path. No more OEM upgrade, no more worrying about HP or Dell releasing a new version and mailing you a CD, it’s Microsoft actually taking the reigns. However, Windows 10 is going to have a learning curve, certain applications and devices might not work right. It is, after all, a brand new version of an Operating System. Drivers could go missing, or there could be other hardware problems you’re unaware of such as a failing drive, etc…

So what should I do?

I’m going to provide additional articles for creating backups of your Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers. If something in the installation process goes wrong, you will need to be able to restore your computer to working order. Stay tuned to this spot for links on how to handle the upgrade from Windows 7, 8/8.1, or how to get rid of that icon if you’re happy where you’re at and you DON’T want to upgrade to Windows 10! UPDATE 1: How to backup Windows 7 before upgrading to Windows 10 & How to backup Windows 8.1 before upgrading to Windows 10 articles have been published!