Changing e-mail settings: past e-mail, size limit, and more

When changing your e-mail settings in Messaging, remember that there are two places to do so: in the Options menu in ActiveSync or Windows Mobile Device Center on your desktop PC, and in the Options menu in Messaging on your device.

Download and install ringtones on your device from your PC

There are thousands of inexpensive or free ringtones available on the Web, which you can download and install on your Windows Mobile device. After you have downloaded a ringtone to your desktop PC, follow these steps to install it on your device:

How to reestablish an ActiveSync partnership

If your Pocket PC has experienced a reset and loses its data, you can use your old ActiveSync partnership by creating a new one and using the same name as the previous one. Go to the Start >Settings >System tab >About >Device ID screen and type in the old name in the field.

Wi-Fi synching in ActiveSync

Werner Ruotsalainen discusses the inability of using Wi-Fi to sync using ActiveSync and other options that are available, including Bluetooth. Click here for the article.

Appointments timestamp sync problem

If you find that your Appointments are transferred onto your desktop PC with the wrong timestamps on them, make sure that both your device and your desktop PC are in the same time zone.

Accessing shared drives on your desktop computer via ActiveSync

Werner Ruotsalainen discusses how to access the shared drives on your desktop PC via ActiveSync using File Explorer, and suggests a third-party solution as well. Click here for the article.

Use ActiveSync as a Recycle Bin for your device

You are probably aware that if you delete a file on your Windows Mobile device, it's gone for good. Unlike a Windows desktop PC, there's no Recycle Bin you can go to to undelete the file. The tip here is, make sure you want the image file, word document, spreadsheet, etc., gone before you delete it.
Fortunately, there is a workaround using ActiveSync, which makes it possible to undelete a file.

Install .CAB files from your desktop

Read Ben Stanley's description of how to use a third-party program called CABviaActiveSync to install CAB files to your device using ActiveSync on your desktop computer here

How and why you can kill the ActiveSync process

Werner Ruotsalainen discusses why you may want to kill the ActiveSync process and the third-party programs that can be used to do so, incuding KillSync and Resync. Click here for the article.

Windows Mobile Device Center built into Windows Vista

Microsoft’s new Windows Vista operating system for PCs includes Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC)—the latest version of the program formerly called ActiveSync. The user interface on WMDC has been overhauled, the partnership wizard has been improved, media files can be automatically synchronized, and Windows Update has been integrated to provide automatic updates. WMDC is compatible with devices running Windows Mobile 2003 or later versions of the OS.

Set up an e-mail account from ActiveSync

This simple enhancement allows users of Exchange Server 2007 e-mail servers to access the ActiveSync e-mail setup through the Messaging application in WM 6 touch screen and non-touch screen devices.

  1. Open Messaging and select “New E-mail Account.”
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions. (You may need to contact your e-mail service provider for some of the information requested.)

Outlook Notes not synchronizing to your Pocket PC

You may receive the following error when you try to synchronize your Outlook Notes with the Pocket PC using Activesync: "Synchronization cannot be started because you are not able to log on to the network and access information. Restart your desktop computer and synchronize again. If the problem persists, contact your network administrator." If this happens, there is a good possibility that your Personal Folders Store (.pst) file is damaged. Microsoft's support Web site has a fix for this problem.

Can't sync with more than two PCs using ActiveSync

Because most people have a computer at the office and at home, ActiveSync lets you sync with two PCs. ActiveSync must be installed on both PCs. Simply connect to one of the PCs, establish a partnership, and sync your Outlook data. Then do the same with the second PC.

Where to get the latest version of ActiveSync (for Windows XP PCs)

From time to time, Microsoft will update ActiveSync and make it available for download on their Web site (

How to enable e-mail attachments

Change the default settings in ActiveSync’s Tools >Options screen to synchronize e-mail attachments to your device. On touch screen devices, you can redirect attachments to be saved on storage cards under the Storage tab in Messaging’s Menu >Tools >Options screen.

Avoid problems with ActiveSync

Most of the problems a new user can encounter with ActiveSync are caused by connecting their Windows Mobile device to their PC before they set up their device and install ActiveSync.

How to establish a Guest partnership in ActiveSync

When you connect a Windows Mobile device to a PC, ActiveSync prompts you to set up a “sync relationship.” If you decline to do this by clicking on the Cancel button, a “Guest” partnership is established. This lets you install programs from the PC to the device and copy files between the two. However, you cannot synchronize Outlook data.

How to troubleshoot ActiveSync problems

ActiveSync sometimes misbehaves; in such cases, reset/reboot all devices and hardware connections, and try again. If that doesn’t work, ActiveSync troubleshooting guides are available on Microsoft’s Windows Mobile Web site (see below) and on

How to sync directly to an Exchange Server

Set up your device to synchronize directly to an Exchange Server by going to Start >Programs >ActiveSync >Menu >Configure Server. Then input the information provided by your system administrator or service provider.

Add sites to your Mobile Favorites list from your PC

When you install ActiveSync on your desktop PC, it installs a plug-in called Mobile Favorites in the desktop PC version of Internet Explorer (version 5.0 or greater). This appears in the toolbar as an icon that looks like a small handheld device with a gold star covering part of it. While you’re browsing, if you come across a site that you want to place in your Mobile Favorites list, simply click on this icon.

How to uninstall and reinstall programs using ActiveSync

ActiveSync’s Tools >Add/Remove Programs screen lists all the programs that have been installed on your device. To uninstall a program, uncheck the box next to it and click on OK. To reinstall a program, click on the empty box next to it and click on OK. Do not click on the Remove button.

How to install software using ActiveSync

Once you’ve acquired the program you want to install and established a connection between your PC and your Windows Mobile device via ActiveSync, run the program’s installation file on your PC and follow the on-screen instructions.

How to change synchronization options in ActiveSync

ActiveSync's Tools >Options screen lets you set and change the type of information you sync between your PC and Windows Mobile device.

How to sync documents and other files

Check the File option in ActiveSync's Tools >Options screen to sync documents and other files between your desktop PC and your Windows Mobile device.

How to back up and restore your Windows Mobile device

Pre-WM 5 devices: In the ActiveSync window on your desktop PC, click Tools >Backup/Restore. WM 5 and 6 devices: Use the built-in backup program or get a third-party backup/restore program.

How to copy and move files using ActiveSync’s Explore function

Once you’ve established an ActiveSync connection, you can manipulate files located on the Windows Mobile device from your PC using ActiveSync’s Explore tool in the ActiveSync window.

How to install ActiveSync

Install ActiveSync (on Windows XP PCs) from the Companion CD that came with your device so that you can set up a partnership between your device and your PC. Insert the CD into your desktop PC’s CD-ROM and follow the on-screen instructions to install ActiveSync. When you are prompted to Get Connected, attach the device’s USB cable or cradle to the PC and connect your device to it.

How to get started with a new touch screen or non-touch screen smartphone device

Insert and charge the battery; turn on your device and follow the setup prompts; install ActiveSync (for Windows XP) and Outlook on your desktop PC (the Windows Vista OS has Windows Mobile Device Center built in); connect the USB cable or cradle that came with your device to your PC, and connect your device to the cable or cradle to synchronize. Then follow the on-screen setup instructions.

How to use ActiveSync to reinstall software

Once you have installed software on your device, you can use ActiveSync’s Tools >Add/Remove Programs screen to reinstall it at any time. Click on the check box next to the desired program(s) and click OK.

How to stop the ActiveSync window from popping up

Open ActiveSync and go to File >Connection Settings to disable the ActiveSync window.

Restore individual files from ActiveSync's backup

ActiveSync has an "all-or-nothing" function that lets you back up all the databases and other files into a single backup file on your desktop PC.

How to delete a partnership in ActiveSync

If your ActiveSync partnership isn’t working correctly, you should delete the existing partnership and reestablish it. To delete a partnership, first disconnect your device from your computer. Then, open ActiveSync on your PC and click on File >Delete Partnership (or Delete Mobile Device).

Synchronizing an e-mail with an Outlook item as an attachment

On the PC version of Outlook, you can attach a Contact item or Calendar appointment to an e-mail and send it to an associate. When he or she receives it (on a PC) they can save it directly to the Contact or Calendar application. You cannot do either of these on a Windows Mobile device.
If someone sends you one of these attachments, you must open it first on your PC and save it to Outlook. Then, when you synchronize your Windows Mobile device with your PC, the information will be synced with your device.