On Windows 10, Cortana is your digital assistant that can help you to stay on top of your tasks and get things done, and starting with the Fall Creators Update, the assistant is picking up one more useful skill. The ability to shutdown, restart, lock, and sign out of your account.
Microsoft revealed the new skill in the past, but it’s not until this update that it’s fully implemented into the OS.
If your hands are busy, you no longer have to stop what you’re doing to turn off or lock your PC. Instead, you can use these voice commands.
- Hey Cortana — restart PC.
- Hey Cortana — turn off PC.
- Hey Cortana — sign out.
- Hey Cortana — lock PC.
But it’s a two-step process. To prevent accidental shutdown, restart, or sign out, Cortana will ask you for voice confirmation when using these commands to which you need to respond Yes to proceed.
Alternatively, you can type specific commands in the taskbar search box, including: turn off PC, restart PC, sign out, and lock PC.
In addition, if you have Cortana enabled above the Lock screen, you can also ask the assistant to execute the power option above the Lock screen.
The only caveat is that you can’t actually use the “shutdown PC” command with Cortana, because Windows 10 already includes a command line tool called “Shutdown,” which means that it’s a reserved word.
If Cortana doesn’t recognize the commands it’s likely because you’re not running the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The new voice commands are available starting Windows 10 build 16251.