Non-touch screen smartphones

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.

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.

Turn down volume level to save power

When conserving power to extend battery life, every little bit helps. One way to conserve a little more power is to turn the volume down to the lowest setting that is bearable for you.

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):

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:

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:

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.

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).

Sending an MMS video message

Amy Mayer from describes how to send a video you record using your smartphone's camera as an MMS message. Click here for the article.

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.

How to set up a Bluetooth Personal Area Network (PAN)

Werner Ruotsalainen provides a full tutorial on how to create a Bluetooth PAN, which allows you to text or voice chat, share an Internet connection, or play multiplayer video games between two devices.

Click here for the article.

E-mail Word docs or other files from your desktop PC to your mobile device

Why do this? You might be having problems with ActiveSync/Mobile Device Center, or you might be in a hurry and want to avoid the bother of connecting your device to your PC, opening Explorer, and copying and pasting files. Whatever the reason, it’s quick and easy to open your PC’s e-mail program, attach a file to an e-mail, and send it to yourself. If you have a phone-enabled device, you can access your e-mail from your carrier’s network. Another option is to send the e-mail to your Hotmail or Gmail account.

Download free “Cool Stuff” from Microsoft

Microsoft has created a new site that offers free Windows Mobile downloads ( The site includes Ringtones, Wallpapers, Themes, Games, and Maps, Directions, Traffic.

Use your device as a flashlight

In a pinch, the LED backlight in the screens of Windows Mobile devices (and other mobile phones) can be used as a light in dark environments (such as lighting a darkened hallway, going up or down unfamiliar steps, or using it as a reading lamp if someone else is asleep in the same room). Here are some points to keep in mind:

Powering down phone-enabled devices to conserve power

Most phone-enabled devices can be powered down (completely turned off) to conserve battery power. This is accomplished by pressing and holding the power on/off button (or the red End Call button if your device has no power button). Note that powering down a device is different from leaving the device in suspend mode (which means that the screen is off but the device is still using power and its phone and other core operations are still running). Pressing the power button once on a touch screen device will put it into suspend mode (pressing it once again will turn it back on).

Smartphones to avoid

Jamie Lendino at provides advice on five smartphones to avoid while device hunting. Click here for the article.

Recycling your old cell phone

Recycling your old cell phones, accessories, batteries, and other mobile device objects can help reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Before recycling your device, make sure that you have terminated your service contract and that you have removed all personal data from the device. Here are some recycling options:

Color code your cables when traveling

If you do a lot of traveling and carry a ton of electronic equipment such as a Windows Mobile device, an MP3 player, a laptop, international power converters, DC adaptors for the plane, etc., each of these gadgets unfortunately comes with a number of power and sync cables.
One way to organize the clutter is to use Velcro color-coded cable ties. Each device that you carry can then get its own color tie.

Perform restart immediately after uninstalling a program

In my work as Editor of Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine, I have to install a lot of third-party software on my device so that I can test and review products or edit other authors’ reviews. I usually wait until I’m finished with a series of reviews before I delete these programs from my device, but that can cause a problem.
In some cases, after you delete a program, a message is displayed that instructs you to “restart the device to finish removing the program,” (below).

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:

GPS vs. aGPS: A Quick Tutorial

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

Download GPS config for BlackJack II, Q 9h, Q 9c, and others

There is a "must-have" GPS utility that can assign it to COM4 for some non-touch screen smartphones. Click here to read about it and download it.
For a hack to improve GPS signal acquisition on the Sprint Q 9c, click here.

How to buy a Windows Mobile phone

Dieter Bohn at has written an excellent article on the factors you should keep in mind when purchasing a smartphone. Click here for the article.

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 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.).

Personalizing Windows Mobile Device Center

mrailing on has written a series of posts about how to have an image of your device appear in the Windows Mobile Device Center menu instead of the default generic image. The posts also provide a variety of different images of Windows Mobile devices. Click here to view the posts.

Navigate through menus with the D-pad

With the D-pad, it is possible to navigate through any of the built-in menus in Windows Mobile devices (without the need for a stylus on touch screen devices).
For example, in the Settings menu on touch screen devices, you can use the D-pad to scroll through and highlight options, and to access the tabs at the bottom by pressing the down key when the last option at the bottom is highlighted.

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:

Smartphones: Select the number of a menu option

The menus on non-touch screen smartphones have numbers associated with each menu option. Instead of scrolling through the menu to select your preferred option, you can press the number associated with it on the device’s keypad. This can save time, especially if you find that you are continually using the same option from a menu—once you commit that option’s number to memory, simply activate Menu and press the option number on the keypad.
Some menus on newer smartphones are truncated (see image).

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.

Avoiding problems with the Windows Mobile shutdown model

Werner Ruotsalainen discusses ways you can improve the management of opening and closing processes. Click here for the article.

Mixing wireless types on a network can cause slow downs

When devices that run different wireless types are running on the same network, slow downs can occur due to the network's attempt to maintain a consitant speed.
For example, a network running on 802.11g (54 Mbps) is designed so that it can be used in a mixed mode environment and is therefore backward compatible with 802.11b (11 Mbps) wireless products. However, this comes at the cost of wireless speed optimization.

Transferring PIM information (Contacts, etc.) and messages to other Windows Mobile devices without Outlook/Exchange

Werner Ruotsalainen explains how to transfer PIM files like Contacts and Calendar appointments from one Windows Mobile device to another (without using Outlook and ActiveSync) by using third-party programs such as SK Tools and PIM Backup. Click here for the article.

Partition an SD card

Some programs may have trouble accessing small files in a large storage card. It can help to partition the card into smaller chunks. "TheBlasphemer" at has written a how-to on partitioning an SD card. 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.

Avoid skyrocketing cell phone bills

John Frederick Moore at gives advice on how to keep cell phone bills at a manageable level. Click here for the article.

Cingular 3125 tips

Here are some key shortcuts and tips for Cingular 3125 users:

Types of infrared

Werner Ruotsalainen discusses the different types of infrared and what devices have the different types. Click here for the article.

“Toggling” in infrared explained

Werner Ruotsalainen explains the “toggling” functionality in infrared controllers, or emitting two different commands. Click here for the explanation.

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.

Installing the same application on several storage cards

Werner Ruotsalainen explains how you can rerun the installer on each storage card or use a card reader. Click here for the article.

Sharing an Internet connection through Bluetooth/Wi-Fi

Werner Ruotsalainen discusses how to use your device as an Internet access point through Bluetooth/Wi-Fi. Click here for the article.

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.

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).

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

Protect yourself from text spammers

To avoid receiving text message spam, call 888-382-1222 to register with the National Do Not Call List, which will block your number for five years. You must call from the number you wish to block. Or, you can register at

Stop the Internet disconnect when it’s not actively in use

Read Werner Ruotsalainen’s recommendation on how to disallow the automatic Internet disconnect using the third-party program vxUtil. Click here for the article.

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.

Different factors may affect mobile phone call quality

Here is a list of different factors that can affect calls on your mobile phone:
  • Built-in components: The receptivity of the phone’s antenna as well as the quality of the built-in microphone and speaker can affect call quality. Different phones are built with different components, and bad performance may not always be the carrier’s fault. That said, most phone-enabled Windows Mobile devices in the U.S. are sold by carriers, and they test them extensively before offering them.

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.

Smartphones: View menu options in full screen

When you are selecting options in certain programs on non-touch screen smartphones, there is often a text field that displays one option at a time, and you must scroll through the list by pressing left or right on the navigation pad. One example of this is the Reminder field in a New Appointment screen (below left).

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:

Motorola Q tips

Here are some keyboard shortcuts and tips for Motorola Q users.

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

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:

Listen to Internet radio on your device

Jaime Lendino provides advice and software and service recommendations for listening to Internet radio on your device. Click here for the article.

How to encrypt your Wi-Fi connection

Brad Isaac at explains a quick procedure to lock down your Wi-Fi router.

Click here for the article.

Flushing the registry

Read Werner Ruotsalainen’s discussion of flushing the registry/Windows CE database under Windows Mobile 5 here.

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 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.

How to set an arbitrary suspend timeout in Windows Mobile

Werner Ruotsalainen explains how to set an arbitrary suspend timeout in Windows Mobile by using a third-party registry editor to make registry changes.

Click here for the article.

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 “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.”

Set up a shared Internet connection

Internet Sharing enables USB or Bluetooth connectivity and connection sharing (both the PC and WM device share a connection).

  1. Go to Start >Programs >Internet Sharing (WM 6 Standard: Start >Internet Sharing).
  2. Then select the type of connection to a laptop PC (USB cable or Bluetooth PAN).

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.

Encrypt your storage card

Storage card encryption lets you protect files saved to a storage card on your device. Once encrypted, the card can only be accessed from the encrypting device or via ActiveSync Explorer when the encrypting device is connected to a desktop PC.

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.

T-Mobile Dash tips & tricks

  • Toggle Wi-Fi on and off: If you are in a public Wi-Fi hotspot, simply select Wi-Fi >Wi-Fi on the Dash’s Home screen to turn the radio on. When you leave, select it again to turn Wi-Fi off.
  • Quickly access push e-mail: The Dash features push e-mail capability, which can be used if you have an Exchange Server set up. Push e-mail allows mail to be sent directly to your device so you won’t have to repeatedly check for new messages, which adds convenience and saves battery life.

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.

How to avoid problems with ROM upgrades

Occasionally, device manufacturers and wireless carriers will offer major “ROM upgrades” for the Windows Mobile devices they market. When they do, they provide you with an installation file (on CD or downloadable) that walks you through the process, step by step. To avoid problems, follow these instructions to the letter.

Use your smartphone as a modem and connect your laptop to the Internet

You can use your phone-enabled Windows Mobile device to check your e-mail and browse the Web, but doing so on a small screen can be hard on the eyes. Fortunately, it may be possible to connect your laptop PC to the device (via cable or Bluetooth) and use the smartphone as a modem, which would allow you to browse the Web from your laptop.
Unfortunately, most wireless carriers don’t encourage this type of usage.

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.

Keyboard-related enhancements

Windows Mobile 6 has been improved to make better use of the built-in 30-key QWERTY keyboards or 12-key keypads found on most of these devices. For example, common Messaging functions have been mapped to number keys. To display a list of the keyboard or keypad shortcuts, press “0” in Messaging.

Press “0” in Messaging to display a list of keyboard or keypad shortcuts.

Backing up Windows Mobile 5 devices

Read Werner Ruotsalainen’s complete overview and test of WM 5 backup solutions here.

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.

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.

Turn your device into a remote control

Using third-party software, you can use your Windows Mobile device's IR (infrared) port as a remote for almost any electronic device, including TVs, VCRs, and DVD players. To find software that supports remote control capabilities, visit our Software Store ( and type “remote control” into the search field.

Updating Daylight Savings Time settings

Starting in 2007, a new schedule for Daylight Savings Time (DST) was introduced. Because of this, the automatic settings set up for DST in Windows computers before this year are no longer correct.

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.

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.

Access eBay, Wikipedia, and other mobile sites

Anyone who has tried using eBay on a mobile device knows that it doesn’t work very well due to seemingly endless scroll bars. Instead, use this mobile eBay site ( that is conveniently optimized for mobile devices. Note that you can view and bid on items but cannot make payments over the site. In addition, the widely popular encyclopedia site Wikipedia also has a mobile site ( For listings of other mobile sites, go to the following links:

Seamless playback of songs

There are a number of third-party MP3 players for Windows Mobile devices that offer seamless playback (without noiseless gaps between songs). These include iPlay ( and Pocket Music (

Use screensavers on your device

Just as with desktop PCs, you can install third-party screen savers on Windows Mobile devices. For some quick results, visit our Software Store ( and do a search on “screen savers.” Note that some Today screen plug-ins such as Spb Time ( have a screen saver function included as a feature.

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.

General tips on saving memory

Here are some memory-saving tips from some of our experts’ posts in the Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine blogs from 5/1-5/2/07 (

Don’t worry about airport x-rays

When you are going through security screening at airports, don’t worry about your device going through the x-ray scanners. Neither the device nor any storage cards will be affected by the x-rays.

Tips for taking good pictures

Even though the built-in cameras on touch screen and non-touch screen smartphones aren’t of the same quality as most standalone cameras, you can still take pictures that are worth saving if you keep in mind a few simple pointers:
  • Make use of the entire frame. Most people have the tendency to only focus on the center of the view.

Battery life expectancy

The normal life expectancy of a lithium-ion battery in a Windows Mobile device is between two to three years, or 300 to 500 discharge/charge cycles. After that, the battery will start to degrade (regardless of usage intensity) and will hold less power after a charge. Here are a few tips about using lithium-ion batteries:

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.

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

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.

Watch out when using soft-sided luggage

If you're packing a Pocket PC or Smartphone in a knapsack or fabric luggage, keep the device away from the thin fabric sides of the bag and put it in a carrying case or surround it with bubble wrap or something else that will absorb shock and impacts.

Hard objects scratch the screen

Don’t carry your Windows Mobile device in a pocket, briefcase, or handbag along with hard objects that can scratch the screen. If you carry your device in a coat pocket, keep change and keys in one pocket and the device in the other, and keep the screen facing your body.

Protect your device: Get a case

Although designed for the rigors of every-day use, Windows Mobile devices are electronic gadgets with breakable displays. Some attention needs to be paid toward protecting them from damage, and the best way to do that is by carrying the device in a case. Most ship with a leather or vinyl slip-cover.

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.

Samsung BlackJack tips & tricks

  • To save battery life by up to 40%, you can switch from 3G to GPRS/EDGE service. First, dial *#1546792*#. In the following menu, choose “Network & Call Settings.” then “Network Mode.” Now, highlight “GSM” and then select “Done.” You can also change the settings so that the phone will always check for the GSM service before switching to 3G if GSM is not available.

Copy, don't sync files on storage cards

ActiveSync has a feature that lets you sync documents and files placed in the device's My Documents folder with those in a similar folder on your PC. However, this only works with the My Documents folder in internal memory. If you have a My Documents folder on your storage card, its content cannot be synchronized using ActiveSync. You must use File Explorer to copy it to your PC.

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.

Get a storage card and a backup utility

Some Windows Mobile devices come with a built-in backup utility, which allows you to back up all or part of your data as well as any of the programs you have installed on a storage card.

Make text entry easier: Get an external keyboard or a device with a QWERTY keyboard

The soft keyboard and other input panels found on touch screen devices can be a pain to work with, and it can take an inordinate amount of time to enter text. Additionally, the “T9” text entry method built into some non-touchscreen smartphones requires multiple presses of numbers to enter text. Fortunately, most of the newer phone-enabled devices come with QWERTY thumb keyboards, which make it easier to enter text.

Installing third-party software on locked Smartphones and Phone Edition devices

A few carriers "lock" their Smartphones and Phone Edition devices, preventing you from installing third-party software that they have not certified. If you want to install uncertified software, you will have to contact the carrier's tech support for instructions on how to unlock the phone. If they will not provide them, you may not be able to install uncertified software on your device.

Don’t copy EXE installer files to your device

Most of the Windows Mobile third-party software programs you download from the Web come in the form of an executable installer file. You download this file to your desktop PC, connect your Windows Mobile device to the PC via the sync cable, use the PC’s File Explorer to find the file, and double-click on the file with your mouse to start the installation process.
Warning: Do not download or copy the installer file to your Windows Mobile device. The installation (EXE) program will only work when you run it from your PC.

Avoid programs written for MIPS and SH3 processors

The original version of the Pocket PC OS (Pocket PC 2000) supported three processor types: ARM, MIPS, and SH3. With the release of Pocket PC 2002, Microsoft standardized on ARM processors and stopped supporting MIPS and SH3. When you are downloading third-party software—particularly shareware, freeware, and older programs—avoid programs written for MIPS and SH3 processors. Usually, these are clearly marked on the vendor's Web site.

If your device is running slowly, do a soft reset

If your device is running slowly or becomes inoperable, the first thing you should do to remedy the situation is do a soft reset. This clears your devices memory. It is non-destructive—you do not lose data or programs you’ve installed on your device.

The difference between program and storage memory

Your device has two kinds of main (internal) memory: program memory and storage memory.
Main Memory
Main memory is the internal memory of the device, and it is divided into two types: Program memory and Storage memory.
Program memory
Program memory is temporary memory that programs use when they are running.

Touch screen and non-touch screen devices run different software

Touch screen and non-touch screen devices have the same operating system, but the user interfaces on these devices are different. For example, you can tap on a touch screen to access menus and other features, but all this is controlled by buttons on non-touch screen devices. Because of this, third-party software designed for a touch screen device will not run on a non-touch screen device, and vice versa.

Phone Edition devices are Pocket PCs

Pocket PCs with integrated phone capability are referred to as "Phone Edition devices" in this publication. These devices have touch screens, the same user interface, and all of the built-in applications that are found on the Pocket PC. With almost no exceptions, programs that work on the Pocket PC also work on the Phone Edition device, and vice versa.

Owner's name needed to install software

Some software vendors require that you tell them the owners name exactly as you entered it in your Pocket PC or Smartphone. In order to find it, go to Start >Settings >Owner Information. The owner's name is listed under "Name."

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.

Using CAB files to install programs

Some online vendors offer third-party programs as “CAB files.” These can be downloaded directly to your Windows Mobile device via a direct Internet connection or copied over using an ActiveSync or Windows Mobile Device Center connection.

Unzip ZIP files before installing

Note that some of the third-party programs you download will be in a ZIP format. A ZIP file is a compressed file that contains one or more related files. It reduces the size of the program to make it quicker and easier to download.
After you download this file to your PC, use the PC's File Explorer to find it and then double-click on it.

Syncing with a Mac OS computer

ActiveSync doesn’t work with Mac OS computers, but alternatives are available. Check out Missing Sync ( and PocketMac Pro ( They’ll help your Windows Mobile device talk with your Macintosh computer.

Use Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine's online resources

Go to to discover the many resources that we offer. These include listings of the Best Software Awards, Product Reviews, a VIP section which includes an interactive version of this How-to Guide, discounts on software, contests, an Online store, the Best of Everything Software Package, and much more. Registration to the VIP site is free to subscribers or those who purchase the magazine from newsstands.

Save user's manuals in electronic format

A user's manual for your device is usually available in PDF format on the Companion CD that shipped with it, and it may also be available on the manufacturer's Web site. In addition, user's manuals for many other electronic devices and appliances may be available in PDF format on the manufacturer's Web sites.

Third-party programs may cause mysterious problems

If your Windows Mobile device starts exhibiting strange behavior—applications aren’t working right or the device soft resets itself periodically—the source of the problem might be a third-party program you installed recently. You can check this out by uninstalling your third-party applications one at a time, starting with the most recently installed ones.

Finding and reading eBooks

There are a lot of novels and short stories available in various eBook formats. A list of some of the best eBook sites can be found on our Best Sites Web page ( The Microsoft Reader Web site ( has a list of commercial sites that offer eBooks in MS Reader (.LIT) format.