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June 19, 2014

4 ways to personalize the sounds on your Windows Phone

Windows Phone is all about letting your personality shine through. For instance, whenever I receive a call from my wife, The Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back plays. (Love you, honey.) With that in mind, here are my top tips for personalizing your sounds in Windows Phone 8.1.

1. Take your pick – If you go to Settings > Ringtones + sounds > Ringtone, you’ll notice that there are now over 20 ringtones built right in—a whole bunch of new ones, and the oldies you already know and love. Just tap one to make it your default (or tap the Play icon to hear a sample first). Want to add more ringtones? Learn how.


2. Give ‘em a tone – As I mentioned earlier, you can give that special someone in your life a unique ringtone. That way, when that person calls or messages you, you know it’s them. In People, tap a contact, and then tap Edit. Tap Ringtone or Text tone, tap the ringtone or text tone you’d like to use, and then tap Save.


3. Customize your reminders and app sounds – New in Windows Phone 8.1! Some people like bells when an incoming text arrives, others prefer a dog howl. Go to Settings > Ringtones + sounds, and then tap Reminders to choose a sound for reminders, or tap Manage app sounds to customize sound and vibration settings for stuff like Facebook notifications, incoming emails, text messages, and more.


4. Pump up the volume – This new feature was the result of, er, voluminous user feedback: There are now separate volume controls for your ringer and notifications, media and apps, headphones, in-call volume, Bluetooth, and more. You can still adjust the volume with the traditional hardware buttons, of course, but now you can also manage volume controls right on your phone screen. Simply press the Volume up + or Volume down – button, and then tap the Open volume bar arrow at the top of the screen to use the new volume controls.

Drag your finger along the slider to adjust the volume, or tap the icon beside it to mute or unmute. The slider and icon will be different depending on what sounds you’ve currently got going on your phone. You can also turn vibrate on or off with a single tap. For more info, check out Ringtones, sounds, and volume.