How to Use Alexa and Cortana Together

Put the combined AI power of Microsoft and Amazon to work for you

Photo of Amazon Echo Dot next to Cortana open with the Alexa skill on a Windows 10 system.

Microsoft would like you to say, “Alexa, open Cortana,” to your Echo device. And Amazon wants you to say, “Hey Cortana, open Alexa,” to the Cortana voice assistant.

Each company allows you to access the other company’s voice assistant. That means you can check on Amazon orders, create lists, and manage smart home devices with Alexa from Cortana on a Windows 10 computer. And, conversely, you can access your Outlook calendar, set a reminder, or send an email with Cortana from Alexa-enabled devices.

But you need to connect the systems first. The following steps show you how to add the Cortana skill to Alexa, and how to enable “open Alexa” with Cortana.

How to Add the Cortana Skill to Alexa

You’ll need to use the Alexa app on Android, iOS or the web to add the Cortana skill. The sequence below shows you steps to add Cortana to Alexa with the Android app. The sequence is similar for the iOS or Alexa web app.

  1. Open the Alexa app, tap Menu (the three horizontal lines), and select Skills.

    Alexa Android screenshot shows Skills & Games menu
  2. Type “Cortana” and tap the magnifying glass to search.

    Alexa Android app search for Cortana skill
  3. Tap Cortana to select the skill.

    Screenshot of Cortana found in Alexa Android app search results.
  4. Tap Enable to activate the Cortana skill.

    Screenshot of Enable button displayed for Cortana skill in Android Alexa app
  5. Review device permissions requested, then tap Save Permissions if you agree.

    Cortana skill permissions requested screenshot in Alexa Android app
  6. Review Cortana permissions requested, then tap I agree, if you agree.

    Cortana permissions requested by device in Android Alexa app.
  7. Next, sign in to your Microsoft Account. You’ll need your Microsoft Account name, password, as well as any additional authentication methods (such as your phone or an authenticator app) you have configured for your Microsoft Account.

    Screenshot of Microsoft account sign in screen within Alexa Android app during Cortana skill install.
  8. Review the permissions requested by Microsoft to use Cortana on Alexa. Tap Yes, if you agree.

    Screenshot of Cortana on Alexa permissions approval request in Alexa Android app.
  9. You should see a message that reads, “Cortana has been successfully linked.”

    Screenshot that shows Cortana has been successfully linked to Alexa on Android.
  10. You should now be able to say “Alexa, open Cortana” to speak with Cortana from your Alexa device.

How to add Alexa to Cortana


To add Alexa to Cortana, you’ll need a laptop or desktop Windows 10 computer with Cortana enabled.

  1. Either select the microphone in the Cortana search box and say “Open Alexa” or press the Windows key + S then type “Open Alexa”.

    Windows screenshot that shows initial Cortana sign in screen
  2. If you’re not already signed in to Cortana, select Sign in. You’ll need your Microsoft Account name, password, as well as any additional authentication methods (such as your phone or an authenticator app) you have configured for your Microsoft Account. After you complete the Microsoft Account sign-in process, you’ll see a message that indicates “You’re all set. Now, whenever you want to talk with Alexa, just say Open Alexa.” However, you still have additional work to do.

    Microsoft account sign in to Cortana on Windows
  3. After you’re signed in with your Microsoft Account and you type or say “Open Alexa” to Cortana, you need to sign in with your Amazon account. You’ll need your Amazon account name, password, as well as any additional authentication methods (such as your phone or an authenticator app) you have configured for your Amazon account.

    Screenshot of Amazon sign in screen within Cortana
  4. Next, review the permissions requested by the Alexa Voice Service, and select Allow if you agree.

    Windows screenshot shows Alexa Voice Service permissions requested.
  5. The system will then ask if you want Windows to remember your sign-in name and password, so you won’t need to sign in again, as well as allow it to sync to other PCs. Select Yes if you agree.

    Windows screenshot that requests approval to remember sign-in and to sync settings to other systems.
  6. Review the permissions requested by to allow Microsoft to share information with Amazon Alexa. Select Yes if you agree.

    Windows screenshot that requests permission for Microsoft to share information with Amazon Alexa.
  7. You should see a message that reads, “Hello! It’s Alexa.”

    Windows screenshot that shows
  8. You should now be able to say “Hey Cortana, Open Alexa” to speak with Alexa from your Windows 10 computer.

How to Use Alexa and Cortana Together

Not every command works across the two platforms. For example, if you open Alexa on Cortana on a Window 10 system, you can’t yet play music, or set Alexa timers and reminders, although you can send smart home commands and handle Amazon orders.

To learn the latest commands available, visit each vendor’s sites. Amazon provides both a Get Started with Alexa page and a Things to Try list of commands. Microsoft also offers a Get Started with Cortana page in addition to the main Cortana site.

And Amazon and Microsoft each have announced that additional capabilities will be added in the future.