Cortana voice commands on Xbox One

When you enable Cortana on your Xbox One, you can interact with your console in new and exciting ways. You can even use a headset microphone, in addition to a Kinect, to give Cortana voice commands.

You can also control your Xbox One using some of the most popular digital assistants.

To find out how to set up your digital assistant, see Set up Alexa as a digital assistant for Xbox One or Set up Cortana as a digital assistant for Xbox One. For info on what to say to control your Xbox One with a digital assistant, see What can I say using Alexa and Cortana as digital assistants on Xbox One?

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Say "Hey Cortana"

"Hey Cortana" is your primary entry to voice interaction on Xbox. For a list of more commands you can use with Cortana, ask "Hey Cortana, what can I say?"

To use the original voice control model with the “Xbox” command, see Revert to Xbox commands, below.

Use a headset with Cortana

With Cortana, you can use a headset with mic for voice control, in addition to the Kinect sensor. It works the same for both, with one exception: "Hey Cortana, Xbox on" only works with a Kinect. So you’ll have to turn on your Xbox with a controller if you’re using a headset.

Just about any headset with a 3.5mm headphone jack will work. Certain controllers may need an Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter to attach their headset. See Connecting a compatible headset to Xbox One for more information.

If you have two or more headsets connected at the same time and aren’t sure which one has voice control, the "home" controller, which is the one connected to the profile you see in the top-left corner of the Home screen, is the controller with voice control.

Turn your Xbox One off and on

With a Kinect, your voice works to turn your Xbox both off and on. If you’re using a headset, you can still turn your Xbox off with your voice, but not on.

  1. To turn off your Xbox with your voice, say "Hey Cortana, Xbox off."
  2. 2. To turn it back on, say "Hey Cortana, Xbox on." (Make sure your power mode is set to instant-on.)

If you forget or want to impress your friends, any of these will work just as well. It’s one of the great things about Cortana.

Say "Hey Cortana…" and one of the following commands:

  • "Turn off my Xbox"
  • "Turn off"
  • "Go to sleep"
  • "Turn on Xbox"
  • "Turn on"
  • "Start Xbox"

Select an item on the screen

When you want to select something on the screen, like one of your pins on Home, or a game in Microsoft Store, say "Hey Cortana" plus any one of these:

  • "Select"
  • "Make a selection"
  • "Turn on select mode"

When the screen text changes color, say anything that appears in green.

When you’re finished, say "Stop listening," and the green text will disappear.

Get more Cortana commands

For examples of commands you can give to Cortana and questions you can ask, say "Hey Cortana, what can I say?" and then browse through the categories.

You’ll see examples of all types of commands and questions you can ask, from media controls and Xbox navigation to sports and weather.

Revert to Xbox commands

If Cortana isn’t what you want, you have the option to use the original voice control model with the "Xbox" command. When you switch, here’s what you’ll lose:

  • Headset voice control
  • Expanded commands and voice recognition
  • Voice-to-text input (dictation)

You can bring back Cortana at any time.

To revert to the original voice control model:

  1. Press the Xbox button to open the guide.
  2. Select Settings > All settings.
  3. Select System > Cortana settings.
  4. In the window on the right, highlight the On switch, and press the A button to turn it to Off.
  5. Select Restart now to turn off Cortana and restart your Xbox.

When your Xbox has restarted, you’ll be able to use the original Xbox command model for voice control.

To bring back voice interaction with Cortana:

  1. Select the My games & apps tile.
  2. Highlight Apps, and then select Cortana.
  3. Follow the prompts, and then restart your Xbox for the changes to take effect.

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