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.

Stop the soft keyboard from popping up

Touch screen devices have a built-in soft keyboard that will pop up automatically every time there is an opportunity to enter text. This is a convenient feature on devices that do not have hardware keyboards, but it can quickly become annoying if you have a built-in QWERTY keyboard and prefer to use it for text entry.
If you want the soft keyboard to stop popping up, go to an application or screen that accepts text. When the soft keyboard pops up, ignore it and use your device’s hardware keyboard to enter text.

Setting the Sensitivity in Tasks and Calendar Appointments

One of the built in features of Tasks and Calendar Appointments is the ability to set the Sensitivity level. In the New Task or Appointment screen, there are four Sensitivity levels to choose from:
  • Normal (default setting)
  • Personal – Use for content that contains personal (not business-related) information.
  • Private – Use for personal or business-related content that you don’t want others (who may have access to a PC you synchronize with) to see.

Know the Start menu structure

In order to take full advantage of the Start menu on touch screen devices, it can be helpful to know how it is structured and how it functions. The Start menu is divided into three sections:
  1. Top section: Contains links to a maximum of seven applications. By default, it lists Calendar, Contacts, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, and others. You can configure this portion of the Start menu to list any built-in or user-installed application by going to Settings >Menus.

Using the “Today timeout” feature

The Today timeout feature allows you to set the amount of time (1-12 hours) that you want your device to wait before it automatically returns to the Today screen if another program is open. Note that your device must be powered off and remain idle for the allotted time in order for the Today timeout to work.

Use the Internet Explorer Home Page

Microsoft made a customized Home Page for Internet Explorer on Windows Mobile devices that featured a search bar and a drop-down list for Favorites and History. Some of the newer devices come set up with a default carrier version of the Home Page which may not be as useful as Microsoft’s. If you want to set up your device to use Microsoft’s Home Page, do the following (for touch screen devices):

Using the “USB Charging” option in HP iPAQs

Most HP iPAQs have a built-in feature called “USB Charging,” which enables the ability to charge your device from your PC’s USB port and allows you to set the rate of charge to “Slow” or “Fast.” To activate this feature, go to Start >Settings >System tab, tap on the Power icon, and select the tab labeled “USB Charging.” Check the box labeled “Use USB Charging” if you want your iPAQ to charge while it is connected to a desktop PC via a USB sync cable.

Three ways to make phone calls

Windows Mobile smartphones have a variety of ways that you can make phone calls. Here are the three primary ways:

Personalize your Home Page in Internet Explorer Mobile

In WM Standard and Professional, you have the option of changing your Home Page in Internet Explorer to either the default or one that you specify. In Internet Explorer, go Menu >Tools >Options >(WM Standard): Home Page. You can then pick from Default or Custom (WM Professional: Navigate to the page you want to set as your Home Page and then tap on Use Current in the Home Page menu).

Create new Office documents on Windows Mobile 6 smartphones

Windows Mobile 6 Standard Edition for smartphones includes the ability to edit Office (Word and Excel) documents, which was not available in previous versions of Windows Mobile for smartphones. However, the ability to create new documents is not built into WM 6 Standard. Here is an easy workaround for this:

Download Windows Mobile 6 Reference Guide

Microsoft released a free, comprehensive Windows Mobile 6 reference guide in Acrobat PDF format (click here). The 61-page document includes detailed descriptions and graphics that cover all the improvements and changes that were made to the operating system.

Using “Normal,” “Silent,” “Outdoor,” and other sound Profiles

Non-touch screen smartphones have a “Profiles” menu that allows you to switch your phone into different sound modes, depending upon how you want your phone to sound when you are receiving a call or another notification. To view or change these sound modes, or "Profiles," go to Start >Settings >Profiles. Note that different smartphones have different Profiles built in, depending on the make and model. The following Profiles are the ones shared by most smartphones:

Three Talk key functions

The green Talk key has three different functions:

  • While the phone is ringing, press Talk to answer the call.
  • If you press Talk when there is no call in progress, the Call History screen will open where you can select a call to bring up the person’s contact information (if available).
  • During a call, you can press and hold Talk to switch to speakerphone mode if your phone has this capability.

Search e-mail by typing letters

On WM 6 Standard and Professional devices, you can search your e-mail in Messaging simply by typing letters on your keyboard (if you have one). Messaging will sort and display corresponding messages and highlight what you type in both the From and Subject lines.

Use shorthand in Transcriber

If you use the Transcriber option for entering text into your touch screen device, you can make the process easier by using the Shorthand feature so that any shorthand text that you write on the screen (e.g. “app”) will appear as the full (longhand) word typed out (“application”). Here’s how you do it:

Hiding or dismissing notifications

When receiving new e-mail and MMS messages or if you have a missed phone call on your Windows Mobile device, a “Notification” may appear in the lower left corner of the Today screen. Once you tap on the notification, you will have the option to either “Hide” or “Dismiss” it—tapping Hide will place it in the background, and it will remain on the bottom task bar; tapping Dismiss will permanently get rid of it.

Quickly deleting e-mails in Messaging

If you have accumulated a high number of e-mails in your Inbox and want to get rid of them quickly, here are a few tips to expedite the process:

Select, cut, copy, and paste text on WM Standard devices

You can select, cut, copy, and paste text on WM Standard devices while composing e-mails and text messages or while using Word or another word processing program. You can also copy read-only text in Internet Explorer and can select, cut, copy, and paste text from editable fields as well. To use these features, select Menu while in the program and then select Edit or Copy/Paste, which will open a menu containing the different functions.

Enter message recipients quickly with auto-complete feature

When composing a new text or e-mail message on WM Standard devices, you can quickly and easily enter a recipient from your Contacts in the “To:” field by typing the first few letters of the person’s name, which will open a drop-down menu below the field containing contacts that start with those letters. Simply scroll down and select the desired contact from the list.

Use the multi-select function in Messaging

In Messaging on WM Standard devices, there is a convenient new option that allows you to select multiple e-mails so that you can take further actions with them, such as replying, forwarding, or moving them to a different folder. In Messaging, go to Menu >Select Messages and choose All, All Below, or Several (select messages by scrolling up or down from current selection).

Set X button to close down programs completely

The X button in the upper right corner of a touch screen display does not really shut down the current program. For example, if you are working on a Word Mobile document and open Calendar to check an appointment, when you tap on Calendar’s X button Word Mobile pops back up and you no longer see Calendar. But Calendar is still running in the background, using some of your system RAM to do it.

Adjust the scrolling speed of the D-pad

The D-pad allows you to scroll through menus, lists, and data fields on your Windows Mobile device. You can fine tune the D-pad’s scrolling speed on touch screen devices by adjusting its “Repeat rate” and “Delay before first repeat.” Here’s how you do it:
  1. Go to the Start >Settings >Buttons >Up/Down Control tab.
  2. Adjust the slider on the “Delay before first repeat” field. If you hold the D-pad in the down or up position, it waits a brief period of time before scrolling.

Use the “Hint” option to remember a password

If you want to set a password to access your touch screen device for added security but are afraid you might forget it, you can use the “Hint” option in the Password menu.
  1. Go to Start >Settings >Password (or Lock) and tap the Hint tab.
  2. Enter a hint for yourself in the data field. Remember that the hint that you enter may be visible by others, so be sure it is something that only you will know.
  3. After you have set the desired Hint (as well as a password and options in the Password tab), tap OK.

Select an ink color in Transcriber

Transcriber is found on all Windows Mobile touch screen devices. When activated, it allows you to use your stylus to write on the screen in print, cursive, or mixed styles, and have the writing translated into text. By default, your handwriting appears as blue “ink” on the screen. After it is translated into text, the ink disappears from the screen. You can change the ink color from the default Blue setting to a different color by following these steps:

How to get rid of auto-synchronization in Messaging

Werner Ruotsalainen explains how to use a registry editor to disable Messaging from being automatically synchronized when you sync your device to your desktop PC.

Click here for the article.

MAC address of your Wi-Fi unit/card

Werner Ruotsalainen explains how to obtain the MAC address of your Wi-Fi unit/card using both built-in and third-party applications. Click here for the article.

How to change the 5 minute backlight timeout limit

Read Werner Ruotsalainen’s tutorial on making registry changes to get around the 5 minute backlight timeout limit.

Click here for the article.

Organize your Programs in folders

If your Programs folder is cluttered with numerous application icons that you have amassed over a long period of time, you can organize it by creating new folders within Programs to arrange different apps by their type. For example, if you have installed a number of system tools, you could create a “Tools” folder and move their icons in that folder. Here’s how you create folders:

Set the default settings for new Notes, Voice Notes

You can use the Input configuration utility in the Settings folder to change the default settings for Notes or Voice recordings. Go to Start >Settings >Input, select the Options tab, and do any of the following:

Using ClearType to make text more readable

ClearType is a text font setting that is built into touch screen devices that smoothes the edges of screen fonts to make the text more readable. Opinions vary widely on whether ClearType actually makes text more readable or not. This may be partly due to the various screen sizes and number of pixels that are available on different devices, which can cause the look of ClearType to vary slightly.
To turn ClearType on, go to Start >Settings >System tab, open the Screen configuration utility, and select the ClearType tab.

Using the Device Lock feature

Windows Mobile 5 and 6 touch screen devices have a “Device Lock” feature that disables all input into the device. This feature is useful if you want to make sure that there will be no accidental button presses or other input into the device, perhaps while you’re carrying it in your pocket or a shoulder bag.

GPS vs. aGPS: A Quick Tutorial

A number of new devices are coming out that feature aGPS (assisted GPS). Malatesta at WMExperts.com provides an excellent tutorial on the differences between aGPS and standard GPS. Click here for the article.

View Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 tips on YouTube

Microsoft has produced a series of narrated and animated tips on using Windows Mobile 6 Professional (for touch screen devices) and posted them on YouTube (youtube.com). The tips cover the use of Contacts, e-mail, Call History, and more. To view the tips, go to YouTube and do a search for “Windows Mobile tips.” The Microsoft tips (numbered 1-9) should be the first search results listed.

The Today screen “New” menu

On pre-WM 5 touch screen devices, there was a convenient built-in feature on the Today screen: a New menu in the lower left corner that allowed you to quickly open a new Word document, Contact, Appointment, or other item without having to navigate to it through the Start menu.
This feature was left off of Windows Mobile starting with version 5, but a third-party freeware program called WM5NewMenu (saman-cz.com/ppc/index.html) is available that adds this feature back to Windows Mobile

Display the clock in all programs

One of the most important and convenient features on Windows Mobile touch screen devices is the clock in the upper right corner of the screen. If you notice that the clock disappears from the top taskbar whenever you go from the Today screen to another application, this means that the “Display… in all programs” setting in the Clock & Alarms menu is not selected.
Go to Start >Settings >System tab >Clocks & Alarms.

Deleting all Outlook data quickly

For various reasons, you may need to delete all or large portions of your Outlook Mobile Contacts, Calendar, or Tasks entries. For example, you might want to delete a number of contacts at a company that went out of business. The ability to do this quickly is limited on Windows Mobile devices. Here is what you can do:

Learning Call History symbols

Outgoing, incoming, and missed calls are all stored in Call History (press the green Send Call button to view Call History) on Windows Mobile devices. Each type of call has a symbol associated with it to distinguish what type of call it is, which is located along the left edge of the Call History screen next to each number. They are:

Answer incoming calls automatically

You can set a phone-enabled touch screen device to answer calls automatically without pressing the Talk key.

  1. Go to Start >Settings >Phone >More tab.
  2. Check the box labeled “Answer incoming calls without pressing Talk after [x] rings” (under Automatic Pickup).
  3. Once you have checked this box, you can select the number of rings you want the phone to wait (1-10) before answering in the drop-down menu.
  4. Tap OK to save the changes.

Add iPhone-like Contact scrolling to your device for free

A freeware program for touch screen devices called iContact provides iPhone-like scrolling for your Contacts. The program displays all your contacts vertically in a full screen format (except for the top task bar), and the list can be easily scrolled up or down using your finger or a stylus. A light touch on a contact name will open the normal Contact page, and if you tap OK, you will be taken back to the iContact list of contacts.

Realign screen to improve tap response

If you find that the display on your touch screen device is slow to respond to taps or isn’t responding accurately, try realigning it. To do this, go to Start >Settings >System tab >Screen and tap on the Align Screen button.
Align Screen asks you to tap on a series of five crosshair icons that appear in the center and four corners of the screen. Be sure to press down on the crosshairs as firmly and accurately as possible to ensure that your screen will be aligned correctly.

Assign pictures to your Contacts

Windows Mobile devices have the ability to assign a picture ID to your Contacts. Once you assign a picture to a contact, it will pop up on your screen when that contact calls you. After you have snapped a picture of the contact with your device (or saved one on it from another location), do the following:

Touch screen devices:

Create your own ringtone

The surest way to have a unique ringtone on your smartphone is to create your own by recording one! The process is simple on Windows Mobile devices. Follow these steps.

Touch screen devices:

T9 keypads: Entering punctuation, symbols, and numbers quickly

Cell phone users are familiar with T9 numeric keypads, which assign 3 or 4 letters to each key and allow you to enter letters by holding down a number key until the letter appears. You can also use a T9 keypad to enter punctuation marks, symbols, and numbers. Here’s how you do it:

Create your own mobile blog

Suzanne Ross from Microsoft explains how you can create your own "moblog" using the built-in Outlook programs and Internet Explorer. Click here for the article.

Get rid of text message delivery notifications

Some Windows Mobile users have found that the delivery notification that appears after sending a text message can be annoying. To turn it off, do the following:

Phone-enabled touch screen devices
(This option may not be available on all models)

  1. Open Messaging and open a new text message.
  2. Select Menu >Message Options.
  3. Uncheck the box labeled “Request message delivery notifications.”

Non-touch screen smartphones

Select and dial phone numbers quickly with the D-pad

The Contacts manager built into all Windows Mobile devices lets you store more than one phone number for each contact (Work, Mobile, Home, Fax, etc.). When you tap on an item in the Contacts list, the various numbers are displayed on the screen with icons next to them. If your Windows Mobile device has phone capability, you can tap on the displayed number to place the call. Fortunately, there’s a quicker way to do this:

Access Clocks & Alarms directly from the Today screen

You can open the Clocks & Alarms Settings menu from the Today screen on touch screen devices by tapping on the date, which is located at the top of the screen directly under the Start menu. This lets you set an alarm, adjust date and time, or switch between Home and Visiting cities quickly without having to go through Start >Settings >Systems >Clock.

Access the “Quick List”

Non-touch screen smartphones have a built in menu known as the Quick List. As the name suggests, the Quick List provides quick access to a number of different functions, including “Power off,” “Flight mode,” “Device lock,” and the ability to change profiles (Silent, Vibrate, Outdoor, etc.).

Configure touch screen devices to use GPS

Windows Mobile 5 and 6 touch screen devices have a GPS setup program called “GPS” (or “External GPS”) located in the System tab of Settings. This program allows you to set up and run more than one GPS application simultaneously. The GPS setup program has three tabs:

Save power while playing music: Turn off the screen

If you are listening to music on your device for a long period of time, you can save power by turning the screen off. This can be done by assigning a button to toggle the screen on and off in Windows Media Player. Follow these steps:

Use “Copy Contact” option to duplicate information

If you need to enter multiple new contacts into your device and they have much of the same information, such as several people from the same company, you can use the Copy Contact option instead of creating a new Contact for each person. Follow these steps:

Activate Internet Explorer “High Resolution” mode for better viewing

If your touch screen device has a VGA display and is running Windows Mobile 6 Professional, you can use High Resolution mode in Internet Explorer for a better viewing experience. This increases the amount of Web content you can see on your screen by compacting the text, graphics, and pictures while still maintaining (if not improving) clarity. To do this, open Internet Explorer Mobile and select Menu >View >Use High Resolution.

Delete shortcuts to built-in programs

There are many programs built into Windows Mobile devices, and you may never use some of them (e.g., Terminal Services and Bubble Breaker). Unfortunately, you cannot delete these programs because they are permanently installed on the device. You can delete a program from the Start menu by going to Start >Settings >Menu and un-checking it in list.

Change your clock from digital to analog

You can change the clock display on touch screen devices from the default digital style to analog view, which displays the hands of a clock. Simply tap and hold on the time display in the upper right corner of the screen and select Analog from the pop-up menu.

Hide those annoying Wi-Fi/modem connection “bubbles”

Werner Ruotsalainen explains how to turn these off in the Settings >Sounds & Notifications menu. Click here for the article.

Picking the right e-mail strategy for your Windows Mobile device

An overview of the different options available for receiving e-mail on Windows Mobile devices, including POP, IMAP, and Exchange. Click here for the article.

Hiding Internet Explorer vertical scrollbars

Werner Ruotsalainen recommends Internet Explorer plug-ins to hide vertical scrollbars, such as MultiIE or PIEPlus. 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.

Synching Contacts between a Pocket PC and a smartphone

Read Werner Ruotsalainen’s recommendation on how to directly sync Contacts between a Pocket PC and a Smartphone using the third-party program Indovisi SMS here.

Change the navigation pad scrolling behavior in Internet Explorer

You may notice that in Internet Explorer, if you use the navigation pad to scroll around on a Web page, the links will be highlighted instead of the entire page being scrolled. Werner Ruotsalainen discusses how to change this, from using registry editors to using third-party Web browsers. Click here for the article.

Paste a number into the phone dialer

On touch screen devices, you can copy and paste a number (from a document, e-mail, or Web page) into the phone dialer. Note that the procedure may vary according to the device. On WM 6 Professional devices, you select Menu >Paste in the phone dialer, and the number will appear in the number field. On WM 5 devices like the Palm Treo, you tap and hold in the phone dialer field and then select Paste (after you have copied the number). On pre-WM 5 devices, select Edit >Paste. Once you have pasted the number into the dialer, hit the Call button to place the call.

WM 6 smartphones: Use left/right navigation button in Call History

In Windows Mobile 6 smartphones, you can use the left and right navigation button when in Call History to cycle through the different phone numbers of a contact. For the contact to appear in Call History, you must have called them or they must have called you. To open Call History, press the green Call button and highlight the contact you want to call (below the number field).

Using the Lock feature on non-touch screen smartphones

Using the Lock feature on your smartphone will disable the function of the keys. This can be especially useful if you have your device tucked into a pocket or bag where the keys can be accidentally pressed. Here is how it works:

Accessing IMAP4 mail servers on the Pocket PC

Werner Ruotsalainen discusses the advantages of using IMAP4 to access your e-mail and the third-party applications that allow you to do so, such as FlexMail 2007 and Qmail. Click here for the article.

Smartphones: Use the right and left navigation buttons to see the next and previous screens in Settings

The Settings menu on non-touch screen smartphones has more options than can be displayed in a single screen. To see the second screen of Settings options, you can select “More” at the bottom of the first Settings screen, or press “0” on the numeric keypad. However, the quickest way to switch back and forth between the first and second Setting screens it to press the right or left functions on the D-pad.

Get album art to appear in Windows Media Player

Media Player Mobile is designed to display album cover art when a song from the album is being played. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always do it—a bug that can greatly annoy music enthusiasts. One way to ensure that they will display is to manually create folders for each album and include the album image in the folder. Follow these steps:

Pre-WM 5 Pocket PCs: Customize the New menu

You can open a new (empty) document in Word Mobile by tapping on the New button in the lower left corner of the screen. The New button is also found on Excel Mobile, Notes, Contacts, and other applications. The key here is that you have to be in the desired application to open a new document associated with that application.
In addition to the New button, pre-Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PCs have a New menu which is activated by tapping on the small up-arrow icon next to the New button.

Copy your Internet Explorer Favorites list from your PC to your device

If you want your Windows Mobile device to have the same Favorites list as the one found in Internet Explorer on your PC, all you have to do is copy them from your PC to your device via ActiveSync.
  1. Connect your device to your PC, open the ActiveSync window on the PC, and click on the Explore icon.
  2. In Explore, navigate to the “C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Favorites” folder on your PC.
  3. Select and copy the sites that you want to appear as Favorites on your device.
  4. In Explore, navigate to the

Be notified of incoming e-mail on your Pocket PC

Werner Ruotsalainen explains how to get your Pocket PC (Phone Editions work the best) to notify you only when there is new incoming mail being received by going into Messaging settings and Sounds & Notifications. Click here for the article.

Extracting Voice Note files to your desktop PC

Werner Ruotsalainen provides his own third-party program for extracting WAV files (Voice Notes) from Notes files so that they can be listened to on desktop PCs. Click here for the article.

How to create links to programs in your Settings menu

Read Werner Ruotsalainen’s full tutorial on creating and using .lnk files and downloading them.

Click here for the article.

How to change your Messaging account names

The built-in Messaging application doesn’t allow you to change an account name after it has been created. Read Werner Ruotsalainen’s explanation of how to get around this using the third-party program Pocket dbExplorer.

Click here for the article.

How to send money using PayPal on your Windows Mobile device

Dan Hanttula explains how to send a payment on your device using PayPal via e-mail or text message. Simply set up an account with PayPal and send your payment. Read the full how-to.

Click here for the article.

How to stop your device from trying to connect to the Web

Check your Today plug-ins and your POP3 Inbox accounts. Read the complete Werner Ruotsalainen how-to.

Click here for the article.

Set “out of office” status

The Out of Office Assistant feature allows users with an Exchange Server 2007 mailbox to set “out of office” status from their mobile device.

  1. Open Messaging or Calendar.
  2. Select Menu >Tools >Out of Office.

How to extract Contacts from backup files

Werner Ruotsalainen explains how to use his own third-party program to extract Contacts from ActiveSync and backup files.

Click here for the article.

Create an enhanced Task on a non-touch screen smartphone

This application has been enhanced to include many of the capabilities found on the Pocket PC version of the program. Users can now edit a Task’s notes and properties, create recurrence patterns for the task, and enable task actions from the list view.

Specify the view Calendar opens in

Calendar Week view displays an appointment summary: A summary of an appointment selected in Week view is displayed at the bottom of the screen on both touch screen and non-touch screen devices.

  1. Open Calendar and go to the Menu >Tools >Options screen.
  2. Select the desired view (Agenda, Day, Week, Month, and Year) from the drop-down menu labeled “Start in.”

Change the text size on a Web page

The WM 6 version of IE Mobile also has the ability to change the size of the text displayed on a Web page. In addition, internal changes to Internet Explorer Mobile enable faster Web page and file downloading, better image rendering, and better support for Web pages designed for more recent versions of Web browsers.

Use SmartSearch to find and play a song in Media Player

  1. Open Media Player, select Menu >Library, and open the desired media folder. For example, select My Music and then All Music to display a list of all the songs in your library.
  2. Start keying in the name of the song you want and you will jump to it in the list.
  3. Finally, hit the Play soft key to play the song.

The SmartSearch feature lets you find and play songs quickly.

Search e-mail on your Exchange Server account

The Exchange e-mail search feature allows the user to search their Exchange Server 2007 mailbox and download the results of the search for viewing.

  1. Open Messaging and select Menu >Tools >Search Server.
  2. Enter a name or topic you are looking for and select Search.

Find a contact in your Exchange Server global address book

The Online Global Address Book Lookup (GAL) feature lets the user search for contacts in their enterprise Exchange Server 2007 online address book.

  1. Open a New e-mail message and place the cursor in the To: field.
  2. Select Menu >Add Recipient.
  3. Select Company Directory >Search.
  4. Enter the name of the contact and select Search again. Your device connects with and searches the corporate GAL and returns the contact info to your device.

Set an e-mail follow-up flag

Messaging now supports the ability to set a follow-up flag to e-mail messages. The mobile user’s e-mail account must be hosted by an Exchange Server 2007.

  1. Open the desired e-mail.
  2. Select Menu >Follow up >Set Flag. (You can also set Complete Flag and Clear Flag.)

The Messaging application on WM 6 devices now allows you to attach follow-up flags to important e-mails.

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.)

Use SmartFilter to display the messages you want

The SmartFilter feature allows a user to display only those messages that relate to the filtering criteria entry. This lets the user display the information he or she is interested in. Note that WM 6 does not support synchronization of Contacts subfolders. However, you can use the SmartFilter feature to filter contacts by category. Note also that SmartFilter is available in other applications.

Changing the text font color on the Today screen

Werner Ruotsalainen discusses the third-party programs (including Tweaks2K2 and CETuner) that can change the Today screen’s text font color. Click here for the full article.

How to use Excel Mobile on non-touch screen WM 6 smartphones

Excel Mobile on non-touch screen WM 6 smartphones (Smartphone Standards) has many but not all of the features found on the touch screen version of Excel. Its main function is to edit and view Excel Mobile documents.

How to use Word Mobile on non-touch screen WM 6 smartphones

Word Mobile on non-touch screen Windows Mobile 6 smartphones (Smartphone Standards) is a stripped-down version of the one found on touch screen devices (with fewer text formatting tools and options). Its main function is to edit and view Word Mobile documents.

Conserve memory by deleting large files using Search

If you find that you are running low on memory on your Pocket PC, a good way to get some back is to search for and delete unneeded files, especially large ones. You can use the built-in Search (or Find) tool to do this quickly and easily.

Office 2007 documents can't be viewed on Windows Mobile 5 devices... yet

Due to major Office 2007 (XML) file format changes, devices running Windows Mobile 5 and earlier will not be able to directly read Office 2007 Excel, Word, and PowerPoint file on their device. Office 2007 users will need to resort to workarounds for viewing files on Windows Mobile devices, such as saving them in pre-2007 formats such as RTF or CSV. Microsoft announced that they will at some point issue an update for Windows Mobile 5 devices which will allow users to read the documents.

Following up on Contacts in Outlook Mobile

If you're used to using the Follow Up feature in Outlook Contacts on the desktop (Actions >Follow Up), you may find it frustrating that Outlook Mobile has no parallel feature.

How to add a number from Call History to your Contacts

Anytime you receive a call from a number that is not in your Contacts, you can add that number to a new or already existing Contact from the Call History list.

Start a program automatically after a soft reset

If you want a program to start automatically on your Windows Mobile device after you do a soft reset, all you have to do is paste the program shortcut into your “StartUp” folder.
Open File Explorer (or File Manager) and navigate to the program that you want. Copy the program and navigate to the StartUp folder (under My Device\Windows). Paste the program in StartUp. The next time you soft reset your device, the program will automatically launch.

Password protect your Excel files

To password protect an Excel file in a Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition device, open that file, go to Tools >Password and enter the password that you want to set up. After you save and close the file, you will be required to enter the password again before you can open the file. If you synchronize the file to your desktop PC, the password will be lost.

Finding a downloaded file

If you downloaded a file to your device and are unable to find it, then you should try looking for it in File Explorer (or File Manager) in Windows\Temporary Internet Files. Internet Explorer downloads all content to the subdirectories of the above mentioned directory. If a downloaded file does not have an association with any of the installed programs on your device, then it will be downloaded in that folder as well. You can copy the file from that folder to any other folder using File Explorer. To find a file more easily, you can sort the files by date.

Setting the default phone number for a Contact

(Note: This option is only available in pre-WM5 Pocket PCs.) The built-in Contacts applications displays the work phone number of a contact as the default phone number on the main screen when you are viewing the list of all the contacts. If you want, you can change the default phone number that is displayed with the contact name on the main screen. To change it, tap on the single alphabet letter that appears next to the phone number of the contact in the Contacts list.

How to add birthdays and anniversaries to Contacts and have Calendar remind you about them

You can enter birthdays or anniversaries for selected Contacts on your device in the Edit menu.

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.

Switch views quickly with the hardware button in Calendar

To quickly cycle through the day, week, month, and year views in Calendar on your touch screen device, press the Calendar hardware button repeatedly. (If your device does not have a button assigned to Calendar, assign one from the Start >Settings >Buttons utility.) Pressing the Contacts hardware button in the same fashion will cycle through any categories that have been set up.

Don’t send password protected documents

You can password protect Word and Excel documents you create on a desktop PC. Unfortunately, Word and Excel Mobile on touch screen devices and non-touch screen smartphones cannot open them, even if you have the password. If you want to e-mail a document to an associate, remove the password protection on your PC first, and then send it.

Stop using paper notes

Whenever someone gives you a phone number or some other important bit of information, resist the urge to write it on a piece of paper that you'll stuff in your pocket or briefcase. Paper notes are hard to organize and are easily lost. Take the extra 45 seconds to enter the information into Calendar, Contacts, or Tasks. If you're really in a hurry, hold down the voice record button and make a brief recording of the information. Then, when you get some time, transcribe the voice recording and enter the information into the appropriate application.

Viewing file extensions on a Windows Mobile device

The File Explorer program built into the Pocket PC and Smartphone does not display file extensions. Instead, it displays an icon indicating the type of file you are dealing with. This is fine for most file types, but you may occasionally run into a file type that File Explorer does not recognize.

Calendar appointment symbols in Month and Day views

The icons used in Calendar’s Month and Day views provide information about the appointment. Here’s what they mean and how to make them appear.

Calendar Month view symbols
These square and triangular symbols appear in Calendar’s Month view by default and give you information about the appointments on a specific day.

How to use your alarm to wake up to music

Many bedside alarms these days include a setting that allows you to wake up to music first thing in the morning. Touch screen devices are no different. You can use the third-party program The Core Pocket Media Player (TCPMP) (see Web site below) and the built-in Alarms program to wake up to music.

How to turn off your phone so you can use your Windows Mobile device on a plane

To turn off the phone function on your device, open the Wireless Manager (the name of this menu will vary on some devices) screen and turn on “Flight Mode” or turn the phone function off. The method for opening Wireless Manager or accessing Flight Mode will vary from device to device, so consult your owner’s manual.

See more about appointments and Tasks on the Today screen

If you find yourself constantly opening the Calendar application to check your upcoming appointments for the day, you can change the settings so that they will appear on the Today screen for quick viewing.
  1. Tap Start >Settings >Today.
  2. Tap on the Items tab and select Calendar.
  3. Tap the Options button and select “Upcoming appointments.” (Note: You can also check the "Display all day events" check box so that any event you entered in Calendar for that

How to search for contacts by phone number

You can use the Search feature on a Pocket PC (or Find in pre-WM5 devices) to search for Contacts by phone number if you are on the road and are missing calls.

Change the default area code in Contacts

When you’re entering information for a new Contact on your Pocket PC, you will probably notice that whenever you tap on a phone number field, the area code 425 always appears.

Updates to your device's operating system

Periodically, Microsoft will release a minor update to their Windows Mobile OS and software suite, which may include bug fixes and minor enhancements; these are called “ROM updates.” These are made available to the device user through the manufacturer of the d

Be careful about removing items from the Startup Folder

The Startup folder on a Windows Mobile device is used to launch programs automatically at startup. Many programs automatically install themselves or a part of themselves in this folder and thus start running each time you reset your device. Be careful about attempting to delete these items. Some are necessary for programs to run correctly. However, if you determine that one is not necessary, you may delete it to free up system resources.

Free themes for Windows Mobile devices

You can change the look of the Today or Home screen on any Windows Mobile device (2002 or later) by selecting a different “theme” file. Individual themes include a color scheme for menus and a background image for the Today screen. To change the theme, please see “How to customize the Today or Home screen” in the Learning section.
Windows Mobile devices come with a couple of default themes.

Visiting option can throw off Calendar appointment times

The Clock & Alarms screen on touch screen devices lets you set a Home and Visiting city (not available on non-touch screen smartphones). Use Home to set the time zone, time, and date for where you live and work. Use Visiting to set the time zone, etc. for a city or location you visit. When you travel to this location, open Clock & Alarms and select Visiting and your clock will automatically be adjusted to the different time zone.

You can't uninstall the built-in applications

Even if you never use Word, Excel , or PowerPoint Mobile, you can’t uninstall any of the Microsoft programs to free up file storage space. Microsoft considers the built-in software an integral part of your device and pre-installs it into a portion of flash ROM that cannot be accessed by the end user.

Windows Mobile is different from Windows XP and Vista

The Windows Mobile operating system (OS) is different from Windows XP, Vista, and other Windows OSs found on desktop PCs. Programs designed to run on the desktop PC cannot be installed on Windows Mobile devices, and vice versa. Note, however, that some software developers offer separate versions of their program, one for Windows XP or Vista computers and another for Windows Mobile devices.

Use soft keyboards and Today screen plug-ins to be more effective

You can be more effective and make your device more useful to you by installing one of these soft keyboards and Today screen plug-ins.
TenGo places the entire alphabet on six large keys.
Soft keyboards
A number of third-party soft k

Excel is a powerful built-in calculator

In addition to the simple calculator built into Windows Mobile devices, all Pocket PCs and Smartphone Professionals have Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet program built into them. Excel has powerful capabilities, allowing you to create formulas and functions, calculate values of data entered into a range of cells, and more.

What do those status icons mean?

Status icons are small icons that appear at the top of the screen to indicate what’s going on with your device. For example, if you’re running low on power, the “low battery” icon will pop-up, and if your device has a phone built into it, a signal strength icon will be displayed.

What's built into your device?

Pocket PCs and Smartphones come with the Windows Mobile operating system, a variety of productivity and entertainment programs, and the necessary configuration utilities built in and ready to go.

How to assign a ringtone to a Contact

To easily identify who is calling you, assign different ringtones to each Contact in the Edit menu.

How to install and use Voice Command

Install Microsoft Voice Command on your touch screen device and speak into the microphone to command it to look up Contacts, make phone calls, and more.

"Rip" music from your CDs

All touch screen devices and non-touch screen smartphones come with Windows Media Player Mobile built in. This lets you play music files recorded in MP3 and Windows Media Audio (WMA) formats, and view video recorded in WMV format.

Change the system registry using Tweaks2k2

The system registry is a file that contains the settings, options, and other information about your Windows Mobile device. For example, whenever you install a third-party application, information is added to the registry, telling the system where the program file is stored, what document files are associated with it, and more.

Free database program using Excel Mobile

Excel Mobile is one of the most powerful and overlooked applications on the Pocket PC. You can use Excel Mobile to create simple, searchable, and "sortable" databases quickly and easily. It's especially good at handling information with a numeric component. For example, it's quite easy to create a digital checkbook to track your personal or business expenses. You can sync, view, and edit them with the desktop PC version of Excel.

How to listen to music and watch videos

Microsoft Windows Media Player Mobile is software that lets you play music and videos on your Windows Mobile device.

How to use the History list to go to sites you've visited before

The History list in Internet Explorer Mobile keeps track of the sites you’ve visited in the past. To go back to a site, tap it in the History list.

How to keep Internet Explorer secure

You can delete and disallow cookies and adjust your security settings in Internet Explorer Mobile from the Menu >Tools >Options >Security page (non-touch screen smartphones: Menu >Tools >Options).

How to send a Web link via e-mail

E-mail a Web link to a friend using Internet Explorer Mobile by going to Menu >Tools >Send Link via E-mail (or “Send Link…”).

How to make viewing Web pages easier

The smaller screens on touch screen devices and non-touch screen smartphones can make Web browsing a bit difficult. Use the Menu >View options to adjust the screen text size and to choose whether you want pictures to load or not.

How to create and work with Tasks

Use the Tasks application to create, delete, edit, and organize your to-do list; change the display options, and set reminders.

How to record and play back a Voice Note

You can create and play back an audio recording on your device using the Voice Recording feature. To record one on a touch screen device, select Start >Programs >Notes and tap on the button with a red circle (or press and hold down the button assigned to this function). On non-touch screen devices, select Start >Voice Notes >Record. To play it back, open the Notes (or Voice Notes) application and select the recording from the list.

How to use Word Mobile on touch screen devices

You can create and edit documents and templates in Word Mobile and save them as .DOC, .RTF, .TXT, and .DOT files. You can also edit Word documents and templates created on your PC on your touch screen device by copying the files to the device via ActiveSync or Windows Mobile Device Center.

How to add, organize, delete, and view Favorites in Internet Explorer Mobile

The Favorites feature of Internet Explorer Mobile allows you to save links to the Web sites you want to visit on a regular basis. Open IE and browse to the desired site. Tap and hold anywhere on the touch screen and then select Favorites >Add/Delete; (Non-touch screen smartphones: Select Menu >Add Favorite.) You can organize them into folders, delete them, and more.

How to copy text from a Web page

In Internet Explorer, go to the page you want to copy text from. Select the text with your stylus, tap and hold on the text, and then use the Copy and Paste function to move it to a Word document or another word processing program.

How to delete temporary Internet files, Cookies, and History

If you frequently use Internet Explorer, your temporary Internet files, Cookies, and History can build up quickly. Be sure to empty these folders from time to time to free up storage space on your device.

How to use PowerPoint Mobile

PowerPoint Mobile is built into WM 5 and WM 6 touch screen devices and most WM 6 Standard smartphones. It lets you open and view slideshow presentations saved in PowerPoint (.ppt) format. However, you cannot create or edit presentations.

How to set up e-mail through an Internet e-mail server

To send and receive e-mail through an Internet server, you must have an account with an Internet e-mail server and set it up in Messaging under Menu >Tools >New Account. (WM 6: Select the New E-mail Account button under “Select an Account.”) To connect an Internet e-mail server account, you must provide Messaging with information about those servers, such as account type, host or server name, domain name, and other information. You can get this information from your Internet service provider.

How to create, edit, and manage Contacts

Use Contacts to store and quickly access phone numbers, e-mail addresses, home addresses, and other information relating to a contact. You can even add a picture or assign a ringtone to a Contact.

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.

How to have your national holidays show up in Calendar

In the desktop PC’s Outlook, use Tools >Options >Calendar Options >Add Holidays to add national holidays and/or religious holidays; then sync with your Windows Mobile device.

How to convert Word documents to .LIT files and view them with Microsoft Reader

You can view, but not edit a Word document by saving it as an eBook and opening it in Microsoft Reader for Pocket PC. Download the “Word 2002/2000 Add-in” (microsoft.com/downloads) and install it on your desktop PC. (If your touch screen device does not have MS Reader, you can also download it from this link.) Open the desired document in Word and then on the Microsoft Reader icon in the tool bar. After entering your desired save options for the document, click OK. In ActiveSync, copy the file to the My Documents folder on your device so that it will be listed in the Library view of Microsoft Reader.

How to set up and use Outlook Mobile categories

Use the Categories feature to group related Contacts, Tasks, and appointments. You can then use these categories to quickly find the information you are looking for. You can also create your own categories to group information in ways that make sense to you.

How to get free Weather Information

Weather information formatted for your Windows Mobile device is offered free on the Internet, and can be accessed via Internet Explorer Mobile.

How to make Video iPod owners envious

Use Pocket PC Encoder on your PC and TCPMP on your Windows Mobile device to convert and watch full-screen videos from a variety of content sources.

How to set an image as your Today or Home screen background

On most Windows Mobile devices, you can use the Pictures & Videos application (known as “Pictures” in pre-WM 5 Pocket PCs) to select a JPEG image file as your Today or Home screen background image. Open the full-screen view of the desired image and select Menu >Set as Today Background (or Menu >Use as Home Screen).

How to conserve battery power by changing settings

You can extend the life the battery by changing the screen brightness, time to power-down, and processor speed settings. On touch screen devices these settings are accessed in the Start >Settings >Systems screen. On non-touch screen smartphones there are accessed from Start >Settings >Power Management. You cannot adjust brightness and processor speed on non-touch screen smartphones.

How to add fonts

To add TrueType fonts to your device, sync it to your PC via ActiveSync and copy the fonts from the Fonts folder on your PC to the Windows\Fonts folder on your Windows Mobile device.