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

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

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 8.1 before upgrading to Windows 10”