How to Use Cortana in the Microsoft Edge Browser

Let Cortana help you surf the web

Cortana, the virtual assistant integrated into Windows 10, helps you to complete tasks by typing or speaking commands into a computer's microphone. Enabling Cortana in-browser settings in the Microsoft Edge web browser provides even more benefits.

Instructions for this article apply to Cortana in Windows 10 using Microsoft Edge version 80 or earlier. The Cortana feature has not yet been ported to Microsoft Edge Chromium.

Benefits of Using Cortana With Microsoft Edge

From setting reminders in your calendar to getting the latest updates on your favorite sports team, Cortana acts as a personal secretary. The digital helper also enables you to perform various functions within the Windows operating system, such as launching an application or sending an email.

Another benefit Cortana offers is the ability to interact with Microsoft Edge. You can submit search queries, launch web pages, and send commands or ask questions without leaving the current web page. This is done through the Cortana sidebar, located within the browser.

How to Activate Cortana in Windows 10

Before you can use Cortana in Microsoft Edge, you must activate it in the operating system. To do that, complete the following steps:

  1. In the Windows toolbar, select the Windows search icon.

    A screenshot of Windows with the search icon highlighted
  2. In search, type Cortana. A white circle appears in the Windows toolbar.

    A screenshot of Windows 10 with the Cortana icon highlighted
  3. Windows takes you through the activation process. Cortana uses personal data, such as location history and calendar details, so you must opt-in before continuing.

  4. On the Windows toolbar, select the Cortana icon (the white circle) to ask questions or run searches.

How to Use Voice Recognition

While you can use Cortana by typing in the search box, its speech recognition functionality makes it easier. There are two ways to submit verbal commands.

  1. The first method involves selecting the Cortana icon in the Windows toolbar. Once selected, the accompanying text should read Listening. At this point, you can speak the commands or search queries you want to send to Cortana.

    Screenshot of Talk to Cortana
  2. The second method is straightforward but needs to be enabled before it becomes accessible. Select the Cortana icon.

  3. In the Cortana window, select Settings.

    A screenshot of Windows 10 with Cortana's settings icon highlighted
  4. Select Talk to Cortana, then turn on Hey Cortana.

    A screenshot of Cortana settings with the Hey Cortana switch highlighted
  5. Once activated, instruct Cortana to either respond to anyone or only to your voice. After you enable this feature, the voice-activated app listens for your commands as soon as you say Hey Cortana.

Enable Cortana to Work in Microsoft Edge

After you activate Cortana in Windows 10, enable it in Microsoft Edge. To do so, complete the following steps:

  1. Open a Microsoft Edge browser window.

  2. Select the More actions icon, represented by three dots.

    A screenshot of Microsoft Edge with the More icon highlighted
  3. Select Settings.

    A screenshot of Microsoft Edge with the Settings option highlighted
  4. In the sidebar, select Advanced.

    A screenshot of Edge settings with the Advanced option highlighted
  5. Under Cortana, turn on Have Cortana assist me in Microsoft Edge.

    A screenshot of Edge Advanced settings with the Cortana switch highlighted

How to Manage the Data That Cortana and Microsoft Edge Generate

Just like the cache, cookies, and other data are stored locally while you surf the web, browsing and search history are saved on your hard drive, in the Notebook, and sometimes on the Bing dashboard (depending on your settings) when you use Cortana with Microsoft Edge.

To manage or clear browsing and search history stored on your hard drive, follow the instructions in our Microsoft Edge private data tutorial.

To delete search history stored in the cloud, complete the following steps:

  1. Return to the Cortana Settings.

  2. In the sidebar, select Permissions.

    A screenshot of Edge settings with the Permissions heading highlighted
  3. Select Change what Cortana knows about me in the cloud.

    A screenshot of Edge settings with the "Change what Cortana knows about me in the cloud" option highlighted
  4. In What Cortana knows about you, select Clear.

    A screenshot of Cortana settings with the Clear button highlighted