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Windows 10: This is how the Contacts app works

Step 1 - Set up contacts in Windows 10

The Contacts app in Windows 10 replaces the address book from earlier versions of Windows. The app has a very simple design and does not require a menu bar or toolbar. But the app should not be neglected, especially in conjunction with mobile devices, as it allows you to manage personal contacts on the Windows PC, which you can then call on the smartphone.

After calling up the new Contacts app, those contacts that are stored in your Microsoft account are initially displayed on the start page. Access is via the letter index on the left.

Step 2 - Include contact sources

To import contacts from other sources into the app, click on the button with the three dots and then on "Settings" and "Add account". In addition to Outlook, Google, iCloud and Exchange contacts, you can also access apps for social networks via the app.

Select the desired service, enter your access data and confirm the connection. After the setup, all contact details are downloaded from the configured service, displayed in Windows 10 and all changes made later are synchronized online. So it is a permanent two-way communication that keeps the Windows address book up to date.

Below the search field you will see the point "Displayed" as the first entry above the letter index, followed by "All". By clicking on "All" you can set a filter for the contact list, through which, for example, only your Google contacts are displayed.

Step 3 - edit contacts

To enter a new contact, click on the plus symbol in the top left. The first time you make a new entry, you must first define the account under which new contacts should be saved in the future.

Now enter all of the information that is important to you in the input mask. If necessary, you can add additional input fields by clicking on the plus symbols, for example to separate private and professional data. The pen symbol behind the name field opens an extensive name input mask for second or nicknames, phonetic first names and titles. Clicking on "Add photo" opens the selection dialog for the image assigned to the contact.

Step 4 - Link Contacts

There can be two or more records for the same contact in the Contacts app. Such apparent duplicates arise from the fact that contact information for a person is stored in different accounts. The Contacts app reads the relevant records from the individual accounts, but does not recognize that it is the same contact and therefore shows you both entries.

You can solve the problem by linking several contacts. This tells the Contacts app in Windows 10 to display all of the related data of the linked records on a contact card.

Make sure All Contacts are listed, then open the contact card that you want to link. At the top right, tap on the link button, which you can recognize by the chain symbol, and then on "Select contact to link". Your contact list will now appear, in which you click on the desired data record.

Step 5 - Contacts without a Microsoft Account

According to Microsoft's will, users should only use the Contacts app in Windows 10 if they log in to Windows 10 with a Microsoft account. At least in the Pro and Enterprise version of the operating system, this technically unfounded limitation can be remedied using the group policy editor. Enter gpedit.msc in the search field of Windows 10 and start the group policy editor with a right click as administrator.

Then navigate in the left pane of the editor to the item "Computer configuration" and then to "Administrative templates -> Windows components -> App runtime". Here you set the entry "Allow Microsoft accounts to be optional" by double-clicking on "Activated". You can now use the Contacts app with a local user account away from the Microsoft cloud.

However, you do not have to automatically synchronize the Windows address book with other devices when using it with a local user account.

(PC world / ad)