How to improve Cortana experience on Windows 10?

November 27, 2018 |

greater than 7 minutes

One of the biggest new features of Windows 10 is Cortana; your very own digital assistant that can help with everyday tasks like finding information, organizing your schedule, reminding you to do things, etc. The more it learns about you, the more personalized your experience will be.

To get started with Cortana just tap or click the search box on your taskbar and type a question. For example, you can ask what the weather’s like in your city, and Cortana will give you the answer, or if you fancy watching a movie, it can find out what’s playing in the cinemas nearby. You can ask Cortana literally anything you want. If it doesn’t have the answer offhand, you will be directed to a web search where you can get more info from Bing. Moreover, If you have a microphone attached or built into your device, you can even talk to Cortana by clicking the microphone icon beside the search box, and it’ll respond with its voice. On the other hand, you can activate “Hey Cortana” from the settings so that it automatically responds to those words. First, you’ll need to give it permission to access your microphone and other data so that it can understand the way you talk. Once that’s done, you’re all set. Just ask a question by speaking into your microphone. Cortana will help you to improve your productivity.

You are also able to customize the behavior and look of Cortana to the way you want. In this article, we are going to show you how to change the Cortana settings in Windows 10. We are assuming that this is not your first time

using the feature. Otherwise, you will need to set it up for use.

When you click on the Cortana box for the first time, you will be presented with options where you need to provide your personal information. Cortana uses these details to provide you with better search results. Moreover, it

helps to organize your activities. Once you are done setting your virtual assistant, we can now continue with this tutorial.

How to back up your Registry?

Here, we are going to make changes to the Windows Registry. This is a very important and delicate tool in the Windows operating system. Many system settings and files are stored in here. If you make a mistake while editing the Registry, it may lead to fatal errors and even permanent damage to your operating system. That is why we recommend that you create a backup of the Registry. To do this, use the following instructions:

  • Press the Windows logo key + R on your keyboard to open the Run dialog box.
  • Input regedit in the box and press Enter. This will open the Registry Editor. Now, in the Registry window, right-click on Computer and select Export.
  • In the next window, you need to select a location to save the file. It should be well-protected and free of viruses. It will be saved as a .reg file.
  • Once you have backed up your Registry, you can now continue with the tutorial with peace of mind.

You must restart Windows Explorer for the changes you make in the Registry to take effect. To do so, open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc. If there is currently a File Explorer window open, right-click on Windows Explorer and select Restart.

Here are some of the ways you can Customize the Cortana settings in Windows 10:

Table of Contents

  1. Add or Remove the Submit button in the Cortana Search Box
  2. Change or remove the Cortana search box text
  3. Change the Transparency of the Cortana Search Box background
  4. Change the Transparency of the Cortana Search Box Highlight
  5. Change the Cortana Search Box Text Transparency
  6. Change the Cortana SafeSearch Settings
  7. Show Cortana Web Search Results on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer

Method 1. Add or Remove the Submit Button in the Cortana Search Box

You are able to input what you want to search or ask in the Cortana

box. Press Enter to get the results. Alternatively, while using the mouse, you can hover it over the right side of the Cortana search box to display the Submit button. It has the same function as the Enter button on your keyboard. Use the following instructions to add or remove the Submit button:

  • Open the Registry Editor and navigate to the following location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Search > Flighting
  • Now, select Flighting, go the right side of the window, and make sure that Current and RotateFlight are set to 0 in the Data column.
  • Now, navigate to the following location and look for the key named ShowSubmitButtonRightOfSearchBox. If you do not see it, then you have to create it: HKCU > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Search > Flighting > 0
  • Create a DWORD (32-bit) and name it Value. To add the Submit button to the Cortana search box, then set the value to 1.
  • If you want to remove the Submit button, set the value of the ShowSubmitButtonRightOfSearchBox key to 0.
  • Once you are done, close the Registry and restart Windows Explorer.

Method 2. Change or Remove the Cortana Search Box Text

It is possible to change the default text which is displayed in the Cortana search box. Before, it was “You can ask me anything”. Currently, it is “Type here to search”. You can even remove this text from here if you prefer an empty box. To do this, use the following instructions:

  • Open the Registry Editor, and go to the following location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Search > Flighting > 0 > SearchBoxTex.
  • Right-click on Value and select Modify. Now, input the text you want to see in the Cortana search box, or just leave it blank if that is what suits you.
  • Now, exit the Registry Editor and restart Windows Explorer.

Method 3. Change the transparency of the Cortana search box Background

The Cortana search box background is semi-transparent by default. If you wish, you can change it to either opaque (White) or fully transparent. You will be able to see the color of the taskbar through Cortana search box when it is fully transparent. Use the following instructions to change the transparency:

  • Open the Registry Editor and navigate to the following location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Search > Flighting.
  • There, you will find two folders, namely 0 and 1. First, go to the 0 folder and create the SearchBoxTransparencyBackground key if it does not exist. Do the same in the 1 folder.
  • Now, create a new DWORD (32-bit) key and name it Value.
  • Right-click on Value and edit its value, using the following scale:
  • Transparent = 0
  • Semi-transparent = 60
  • Opaque or solid white = 100

Method 4. Change the Transparency of the Cortana Search Box Highlight

When you hover your mouse over the Cortana search box, you will notice a semi-transparent highlight. This can be changed to opaque or fully transparent by using the Registry Editor. To do this, use the following instructions:

  • Open the Registry Editor and navigate to the following locations:
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Search > Flighting > 0 > SearchBoxTransparencyHighlight
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Search > Flighting > 1 > SearchBoxTransparencyHighlight
  • Now, look for the SearchBoxTransparencyHighlight key, and if you can’t find it, then you need to create it.
  • Also, create a new DWORD (32-bit) and name it Value.
  • Right-click on Value and edit its value using the following scale:
  • Transparent = 0
  • Semi-transparent = 60
  • Opaque or solid white = 100

Once you are done,

exit the Registry Editor and restart Windows Explorer.

Method 5. Change the Cortana Search Box Text Transparency

The default text in the Cortana search box is semi-transparent. If you do not want it this way, you can change it to opaque of fully transparent. Use the following instructions to do so:

  • Open the Registry Editor and navigate to the following locations:
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Search > Flighting > 0 > SearchBoxTransparencyHighlight
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Search > Flighting > 1 > SearchBoxTransparencyHighlight
  • Now, look for the SearchBoxTransparencyForeground key, and if you can’t find it, then you need to create it.
  • Also, create a new DWORD (32-bit) and name it Value.
  • Right-click on Value and edit its value using the following scale:
  • Transparent = 0
  • Semi-transparent = 30
  • Opaque or solid white = 100

Once you are done, exit the Registry Editor and restart Windows Explorer.

Method 6. Change the Cortana SafeSearch Settings

You are able to use the SafeSearch feature in Cortana to protect your kids while they are surfing the Internet. Popular search engines like Bing, Google, and Yahoo having these settings.

SafeSearch is set to Moderate by default. Use the following instructions to change the settings:

  • Press the Windows logo key + I on your keyboard to open the Settings app.
  • Select Cortana from the list of options available.
  • In the next window, click Permissions and History in the left pane, then select either Strick, Moderate, or Off under the SafeSearch option.

Method 7. Show Cortana Web Search Results on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer

The results of searches made using Cortana are usually displayed on the Microsoft Edge browser, using Bing as the default search engine. If you prefer your search results on Internet Explorer instead, then you need to use the following instructions:

  • Open Microsoft Edge and click the Menu button (three dots at the right side of the window) and select Settings.
  • Navigate to the end of the Settings pane and choose View advanced settings.
  • Now, scroll down and toggle the switch for Optimize taskbar web search results for screen readers on. Exit Microsoft Edge.
  • The next time you do a web search in Cortana, the results will be displayed on Internet Explorer.

Pro tip: If the performance of your computer has decreased over time, there are two main things which could be the reason; junk files have accumulated in your system, and background apps are draining your computer’s resources or both. After a long period of usage, your system collects junk files that take up space in your hard drive. They could also be potential hosts for viruses. moreover, unnecessary background apps can slow your computer down by draining its resources. To fix this, we recommend that you download and install Auslogics BoostSpeed. This tool will remove all the junk files in your system and disable the unnecessary background apps.

We hope that this article has shown you how to customize Cortana. Share it with others who need such information.

We appreciate your ideas and comments, and we are ready to answer all your questions regarding this topic.

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