If you use a PC, Xbox, or other Microsoft device, chatting with Cortana can be an easy way to get things done while you work.
But as with all voice assistants, beware of business browsing. In August, Motherboard discovered that Microsoft contractors listen to recordings of Cortana voice commands, sometimes from personal computers and browsers with low security.
Cortana recordings are now being transcribed in "secure facilities," according to Microsoft. But the transcription program is still in place, which means that someone may still be listening to everything you say to your voice assistant.
Don't worry: if you crawl out of this, you can delete your recordings. This is how.
The first step is to open a Windows PC and log in to the same Microsoft account that you used to chat with Cortana. Once you've done that:
- Type & # 39; Settings & # 39; in the search bar next to the Start button. The Settings app appears; Click here. You can also click the Start button and scroll down to the Settings icon.
- Click on "Accounts" in the lower left corner
- Click on the "Manage my Microsoft account" link under your username. You will be redirected to the Microsoft website and logged in to your Microsoft account.
- Click on & # 39; Privacy & # 39; at the top left of the menu at the top of the page
- You will be asked to enter your Microsoft password again; do that. You may also need to verify your identity with two-factor authentication if you have set that up.
- You should now be back in the Privacy section of the Microsoft website. Click on "My activity" in the menu under the banner.
- Open the menu on the left side of the screen & # 39; Filter by data type & # 39; says. Click on & # 39; Voice & # 39 ;, which is the second option.
- In the center of the screen you will see a list of Cortana recordings that are linked to your Microsoft account. You can click the play button to listen to each recording individually.
- If you want to delete all your voice recordings, select "Delete Activity" at the top right of the list. To delete individual recordings, click the & # 39; Delete & # 39; at the bottom of each item (just next to the & # 39; View Details & # 39; link).
Note: This does not prevent Cortana from sending your voice recordings to Microsoft. For this you need to switch off online speech recognition.
How Cortana can stop recording your voice
- Return to Settings. This time, scroll to Cortana in the right column.
- Click "Permissions" in the menu on the left
- Click "Manage the information that Cortana can access from this device." Scroll down and select "Speech Privacy Settings".
- Disable online speech recognition  Now Cortana only uses device-based speech recognition, which is less accurate than its cloud-based recognition engine and has limited functionality. But Microsoft will no longer transcribe or collect your voice recordings.
Vox Media has affiliated partnerships. These do not affect editorial content, although Vox Media can earn commissions for products purchased through affiliate links. See our ethical policy for more information.