If 2024 is the year of AI, then Microsoft Copilot is one of the tools you're most likely to use in your daily arsenal. That's because the AI assistant will be woven throughout the Windows operating system, able to integrate data from your personal files, local apps like Office, online resources, and even system settings.
But not every Windows PC has Copilot right now. Even if you have Windows 11 and a relatively new laptop or desktop, the Copilot icon might not be showing up on your taskbar.
Future Windows PCs will eventually ship with Copilot enabled right out of the box, and some laptops will even have a dedicated Copilot key (as we saw at CES 2024), but for everyone else, a few simple steps can get you caught up with the latest version of Windows and its Copilot AI tool.
Ok, it's not a secret code, but it is the version of Windows 11 you need to be running as of this writing to get the current Copilot preview. Even if you religiously run Windows Update, you might not have this bigger OS upgrade. On most of my Windows machines, I found that I didn't have it.
The easiest way to check is to go to Settings > System > About > Windows Specifications. If the Windows version isn't 23H2, then we'll have to update. If it doesn't happen automatically after checking for updates, there's an easy fix.
First, go to Settings > Windows Update and make sure "Get the latest updates as soon as they're available" is checked off. Then try the Check for Updates button on the same page. That may not force the 23H2 update in some cases, especially if your Windows 11 version is a bit behind. But don't worry, there's an easy way to force the latest updates.
First, download the Windows 11 Installation Assistant, found here. Before it will install the 23H2 update, you'll be asked to run the Windows 11 PC Health Check app, which can be found here. That makes sure your hardware meets the minimum spec requirements for Windows 11. Yes, I had to run it even though I was already using an earlier version of Windows 11.
After the Health Check app gives you the all-clear, then it's just a matter of downloading and installing the 23H2 version of Windows 11 (or if you're reading this later, it may already be time for the 24H1 update). Once that happens and the system restarts, the Copilot icon should appear in the Windows taskbar.
Right now, the version of Copilot built into Windows 11 acts more like the current AI-enhanced Bing search or ChatGPT, basically a cloud-based AI chat and research assistant. But once more laptops and desktops get new CPUs with built-in NPU hardware for local AI, Copilot will become a more fully integrated part of the Windows experience.
Micro Center Editor-in-Chief Dan Ackerman is a veteran tech reporter and has served as Editor-in-Chief of Gizmodo and Editorial Director at CNET. He's been testing and reviewing laptops and other consumer tech for almost 20 years and is the author of The Tetris Effect, a Cold War history of the world's most influential video game. Contact Dan at [email protected].
good to see some competition regarding chat gpt and bard
it's going to be interesting to see how AI is used in the future now that it is getting added to almost everything.
Time to have conversations with Copilot!
Rich Text Editor.
To edit a paragraph's style, hit tab to get to the paragraph menu. From there you will be able to pick one style. Nothing defaults to paragraph.
An inline formatting menu will show up when you select text. Hit tab to get into that menu.
Some elements, such as rich link embeds, images, loading indicators, and error messages may get inserted into the editor. You may navigate to these using the arrow keys inside of the editor and delete them with the delete or backspace key.
Submit photos and a description of your PC to our build showcase
See other custom PC builds and get some ideas for what can be done
Services starting at $149.99