How to add iOS contacts to People on Windows 10

If you use an Apple product, and only one Apple product, you will quickly run into lots of roadblocks when you try and get it to work with the other non-Apple devices that you use. A very common example of this is users who own iPhones but still prefer Windows or Linux desktops. Getting the two different devices to play nice isn’t easy and you miss out on lots of features. Windows 10 tends to be more open while iOS and macOS are restrictive. To that end, if you want to sync iOS contacts to People on Windows 10, you’re going to find there’s no way to connect the two services.

While you cannot sync iOS contacts to People, you can still import them. There’s a difference between the two which we’ll explain towards the end but for now, let’s get down to adding iOS contacts to People. The bigger problem is importing them because the People app is just the worst. It has no direct import option.

Export iOS contacts

You need to export your iOS contacts. To do that, you must have your contacts synced to iCloud. You can enable sync on your iPhone. Once you’ve done that, visit iCloud in your browser and select the Contacts app.

At the bottom left, click the cog wheel button. Select ‘Select all’ from the menu, and then the export option. This will export all your contacts as a single VCF file.

VCF to CSV

You’ve got all your contacts in a VCF file but, in order to import them, you need the file to be in CSV format. There are numerous online converters that can do the job. Pick any one and use it to convert the VCF file to CSV. Not all apps work equally well so if you have trouble importing the converted CSV file in the next step, use a different app to convert the VCF file to a CSV file, and try again.

Import CSV file in Outlook

Your iOS contacts are now in a CSV file. Visit Outlook contacts online. Sign in, click the Manage button, and select the Import option. The contacts will take some time to import depending on how many there are.

Add Outlook to Mail on Windows 10

Return to your Windows 10 desktop and open the Mail app. Click the cog wheel button. In the panel that opens, select Manage Accounts. Add the Outlook account you just imported contacts to.

Once the account has been added, select it under Manage Accounts again. You will see an option to manage sync settings for the account. Click it and make sure both Email and Contact are enabled.

This should do the trick. Your contacts will now appear in the People app. If you disable Email sync for the account, the contacts will disappear from the People app. Don’t ask us why. That’s just how it works.

Sync vs Import

You’ve jumped through quite a few hoops to import these contacts but they’ve been imported. They are not syncing. This means that if you update or add new contacts on your iPhone (or MacBook), you will need to go through this entire process again. The new changes won’t automatically be added to the People app. The whole process is what red tape looks like in an online world and if you feel like setting your computer on fire at this point, we understand.

Read How to add iOS contacts to People on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to back up a Windows 10 product key

Windows 10 requires a license to work. A Windows license can be bought and used on any system of your choice, or you can by hardware that comes with Windows 10 installed with an OEM license. The license basically comes with a Product Key that you enter in Windows 10.  Generally speaking, if you have an OEM license, there is little to no need to back it up. A license that you bought separately i.e., one that isn’t associated with hardware is more likely to be lost. Regardless of what type of license you have, here are two fail safe ways to back up a Windows 10 product key.

Product key and Windows 10 edition

Before we show you how to back up a Windows 10 product key, you need to know that product keys are specific for different Windows 10 editions. A Windows 10 Home product key will not be able to activate a Windows 10 Pro installation even if it’s authentic. It is important that you know which Windows 10 edition the product key is for. What doesn’t matter when it comes to using a product key is whether you’re installing 32-bit or 64-bit Windows. A product key for Windows 10 Home will work regardless if you’re installing the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version.

Back up Windows 10 product key

There are two methods you can use to back up a Windows 10 product key and regardless if you have an OEM license or not, you should still back it up.

Notepad

The best solutions are often the simplest ones. Find your Windows 10 Product Key, copy it to a Notepad file, and save it somewhere safe. Make sure it isn’t saved where anyone else might have access to it but, also make sure that you do not save the file to a location where it might be deleted by accident.

Associate key with Microsoft Account

Microsoft knows that its activation services fail on occasion. To work around it, there’s an option to associate your Product key with your Microsoft Account. It’s fairly simple but you must be using a Microsoft account on Windows 10 for this to work. You must also be signed in with the Administrator account, and your Windows 10 version must be 1511 or later.

Open the Settings app and go to the Update & Security group of settings. Select the Activation tab. You will see an ‘Add account’ option. Click it, and sign in with your Microsoft Account. The product key will be associated with the account right away.

Using Product key backup

Now that you’ve backed up the product key, you may want to know how you can use it to activate Windows 10. If you used Notepad to back up the key, copy the key from the file. Go to the Settings app and select Update and Security. Select the Activation tab and enter the key when prompted to.

If you associated the key with your Microsoft Account all you need to do is sign in to the account on the system you want to activate Windows 10 on, and the license will automatically be detected. This method cannot be used to transfer OEM licenses to other systems.

Read How to back up a Windows 10 product key by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to convert an ISO file to VDI for VirtualBox on Windows 10

An operating system is normally distributed as an ISO file. The file can be used to install the OS that it’s for though you will need a license depending on the OS that you want to run. Although an ISO file has everything needed to install an operating system, VirtualBox can’t install an OS from it. It needs a different file format i.e., a VDI file. Here’s how you can convert an ISO file to VDI.

Convert ISO file to VDI

In order to convert an ISO file to a VDI file, you need to have VirtualBox installed on your system, and you need the ISO file that you’re going to convert. Once you’ve installed the app and downloaded the ISO, open File Explorer and navigate to the following location.

C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox

You need to open Command Prompt at this location. The easiest way to do that is to type CMD in the location bar, and tap Enter. In the Command Prompt window, you need to enter the following command. The command needs to be edited. Replace the “Complete-path-to-ISO-file” with the complete path to the ISO file you want to convert. Likewise, you need to replace “Complete-path-to-VDI-file” with where you want the output file to be saved.

Syntax

VBoxManage convertfromraw --format VDI "Complete-path-to-ISO-file" "Complete-path-to-VDI-file"

Example

VBoxManage convertfromraw --format VDI "D:\Test 100\ubuntu-14.10-desktop-amd64.iso" "D:\Test 100\ubuntu-14.10-desktop-amd64.vdi"

The command takes only a little time to run and when it completes, the VDI file will be created. The ISO file will still be intact. The command won’t replace it.

VirtualBox will now be able to read this file however, there is no guarantee that you will be able to install the OS to a virtual machine from the VDI file. This is because the ISO file itself needs to be bootable. The file must not be corrupt and you have to make sure the machine has the correct resources needed to install the operating system as a virtual machine.

Creating a virtual machine isn’t always straight forward and often getting your hands on an ISO file is the easy part. You might not have VirtualBox set up so that it can run the OS correctly, or the host OS might have its own limitations. This is often why users who are just learning to use VMs will go for pre-made VDI files. You don’t necessarily need to do but make sure you understand the settings that are required to run the OS as a virtual machine and tweak VirtualBox accordingly.

Read How to convert an ISO file to VDI for VirtualBox on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to run multiple VLC player instances on Windows 10

Media players normally only run one instance at a time and this makes sense. No one can play two different audio files or video files at the same time and still understand what’s going on. People don’t listen to two songs at once, and no one watches two movies side-by-side. That said, if you need to compare videos, playing them side by side is one way to do it. The only thing you need is a media player that can run multiple instances and VLC player is just the app for the job. By default, you cannot run multiple VLC player instances. You need to change two settings to enable it.

Multiple VLC player instances

Open VLC player and go to Tools>Preferences, or just tap the Ctrl+P keyboard shortcut to open the app’s preferences window.

Select the Interface tab and look for the ‘Playlist and interfaces’ section. Here, there are two settings that you need to change to run multiple VLC player instances. The first is the ‘Allow only one instance’ setting. Make sure that this option is NOT enabled.

With this option disabled, each time you run VLC player from a shortcut or its Start menu/apps list tile, it will create a new instance of the app.

The second setting is optional and should only be enabled if it fits how you plan on playing media. It’s the ‘Use only one instance when started from file manager’, and again, this needs to be disabled. When it’s disabled, each time you select and open a video from File Explorer, it will open in its own instance. If this option is enabled, each time you open a new file from File Explorer, it will run in the same instance. This means that playing a video will stop the current one.

The second option is something you want to be careful with. It’s useful but it can also lead you to have one too many instances of VLC player open at once. Managing them might be difficult, and eventually playing too many media files may slow your system down until you free up resources.

As for audio, the audio will of course play for all videos and it will be sent through your sound device. There’s no way to route the audio to two different devices when you’re using the same app. The volume controls for each instance will be separate so you can change volume levels for the various videos you’re playing if it helps you work more effectively.

Read How to run multiple VLC player instances on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to convert a PowerShell script to EXE on Windows 10

Scripts are great for when you have a very specific need that an app can’t meet. If you know how to write a script, or you’ve found the perfect one, it’s likely going to ease an everyday task for you. A script is great but it comes with some restrictions. Sometimes, it’s better if you have an EXE file to work with and you’d be surprised to know just how easy it is to convert a PowerShell script to an EXE file.

Convert PowerShell script to EXE

PS2EXE-GUI is a tool that gives you a GUI for converting a PowerShell script to an EXE file. All you really need is the script and an icon for the EXE to use. Getting an icon is super easy so pick something that suits your script, and then download and run PS2EXE-GUI.

In the Source field, select the script that you want to convert to an EXE. In the Target File field, enter a name for the output file and make sure it has an EXE file extension. In the Icon field, select the icon file that you created for your executable.

The other fields are pretty self-explanatory so go ahead and fill them out. There are no other settings that you need to change. Click ‘Compile’.

A PowerShell window will open and show the compilation process. It shouldn’t take too long but when it completes, you will see a message ‘Press Enter to leave:’. Tap the Enter key twice to close the PowerShell window. Visit the folder that had the script you converted and the converted EXE should be there.

The app will not create an installable program. When you run the EXE file, it will simply run the script as though it were run from the PS1 file. If the script was written to perform a certain function and then quit itself, the EXE will act the same. It will still act like the original script, it’s just in a different packaging.

With a PowerShell script in the EXE file format, it makes it much easier to run the script as part of an automation process. Not all automation tools may play nice with a script but EXEs are usually better supported. If you’re looking to distribute a script and don’t want inexperienced users tampering with it, distributing it as an EXE is probably a better idea.

Have a batch script that you want to convert to an EXE? It’s just as easy though results may vary depending on the script.

Read How to convert a PowerShell script to EXE on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter