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How to enable Copilot in Windows 11

Published Oct 12th, 2023 9:56PM EDT
Copilot in Windows 11 logo
Image: Microsoft

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Microsoft is officially replacing Cortana with Copilot, a new AI-powered assistant that will bring Bing Chat directly to your desktop. It will also introduce many other features, allowing you to take full advantage of OpenAI’s GPT-4 throughout Microsoft’s various services. Here’s what you need to do to enable Copilot in Windows 11.

First, you will need to update Windows to the latest version. Microsoft released Copilot with version 23H2, which is the big 2023 upgrade for Windows 11. Considering we’re already hearing rumors about Windows 12’s release next year, this could be the last big upgrade we see for the operating system, so you’ll want to make the most of it.

Microsoft will offer a ton of free Copilot features, including tons of AI options in Paint and other basic Windows programs. But to make the most of the new assistant, you’ll need to turn it on. To do so, head to Settings > Personalization > Taskbar and then toggle Copilot on. It’s currently in a preview phase, as Microsoft plans to offer even more features through Copilot down the line.

Windows Copilot available in Windows 11 beta release.
Windows Copilot available in Windows 11 beta release. Image source: Microsoft

Once you’ve enabled it, all you need to do to start using Copilot in Windows is to click the Copilot button on the taskbar. This will bring up Copilot, which appears on the right side of the screen. From there, you can set which mode you want GPT-4 to respond in, or you can just start asking it questions and getting answers.

It’s nice to have access to Bing Chat directly on your desktop, but overall, Copilot’s features aren’t super appealing for the average person, at least not yet. Microsoft plans to upgrade the AI assistant with even more capabilities further down the line, though it hasn’t said exactly what it will do. But, as generative AI like GPT-4 continues to improve, it’s likely we’ll see Copilot improve alongside it.

Of course, that can only happen if we survive the AI takeover, which some AI pioneers are concerned about.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.

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