15 cool things Cortana can do in Windows 10

It's time to make Cortana work for you.

Microsoft's voice-activated virtual assistant is more than just a direct link to Bing (or whatever search engine you've got her to use) -- she's, well, an assistant. That means she can do everything from scheduling meetings and setting alarms to delivering a decent joke. You probably know several of Cortana's hidden talents, but there's always more to discover. So here are 15 cool things you can ask her to do in Windows 10.

Editors' note: This article was originally published on March 22, and was updated on October 6, to reflect changes made in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.


Calculations

Need to perform a simple calculation? Cortana can perform simple math right inside her search box. You can either say the sum aloud ("Hey Cortana, what's 35 times 22 plus 861 minus 4?") or type it directly into the search box.


Convert currency

Sure, you can plug your currency conversion into Google, but why bother when you can do it right from your desktop? Just type in the amount, original currency, and currency you want to convert it to, and Cortana will answer your currency question right inside her search box. (You can also ask her to convert something, such as "What is 260 euros in dollars?") Other conversions Cortana can tackle for you include temperature (Celsius to Fahrenheit and vice versa -- nothing crazy, like Kelvin or Romer), weight, volume and height/length.



Launch a program

Say "launch [program]" and Cortana will open the program for you. Cortana can also open specific websites -- for example, say "open CNET.com" and Cortana will open this very site in your default web browser.



Track packages

Ask Cortana "Where are my packages?" and she'll pull up package tracking info from your email account. You will need to have an email account configured in the Mail app for this to work.



Manually track packages

If you don't have an email account configured in the Mail app, no problem -- Cortana can still track your packages if you give her the tracking numbers. To add tracking numbers to Cortana, open the Cortana menu, click the Notebook icon and click Packages. You can add a tracking number to the list by clicking Add a package under Packages you're tracking. Cortana will keep a running list of the packages you add, so this is slightly different from simply looking up individual tracking numbers on Bing.