How to enable ‘Hey, Cortana’ on Xbox One

Dave W. Shanahan

Xbox One, Halo, Console, Bundle

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Hey Cortana is an alternative to the Xbox commands that come standard on the Xbox One and Xbox One S.

Writer’s Note: For those looking to set up “Hey Cortana” on their Xbox One, there are a couple of things that you will need to get this working; Kinect for Xbox One or an Xbox One headset (or just plug a mic into your controller!). Without these, Cortana commands will not work. Xbox commands will only work with Kinect, you cannot use your Xbox One headset for “Xbox” commands. It may be easier to use Cortana commands with Kinect because you don’t need to be constantly tethered to your Xbox One controller. 

Setting up Cortana on Xbox One is relatively simple. Setting up Hey Cortana commands on Xbox One, is easy to do in just 3 steps:

  1. Go to My games & apps tile.
  2. Go to Apps, select Cortana.
  3. Follow the prompts, Select I agree and your Xbox One will restart automatically for the changes to take effect.


Cortana, Xbox One

Now, you will be able to use Cortana commands on your Xbox One.

Hey Cortana, Xbox One

Here’s a short video showing some Cortana on Xbox One commands in action:

If you find that Cortana is not something you want on your Xbox One, or your Cortana commands are activating your other Windows 10 devices, you can always revert back to the original voice commands using the Xbox commands. Bringing back Cortana is simple, but by switching back to Xbox commands, you will lose headset voice control, voice recognition, expanded voice command options, and voice-to-text input and dictation.

Here are the steps to revert back to Xbox commands:

  1. Go to All Settings
  2. Go to System
  3. Go to Cortana Settings

A window will snap to the right, then with your Xbox One controller:

  1. Highlight the “On” button and press A to turn it “Off.”
  2. Select Restart to revert back to “Xbox” commands and restart your Xbox One for the changes to take effect.

Once your Xbox One restarts, you will be able to start using the original Xbox voice commands (only compatible with Kinect). Which method do you prefer to use? Hey Cortana or Xbox commands? Let us know in the comments.