How to sync your Windows Mobile device to a Windows Vista PC

This article will take you through the steps to set up and sync your Windows Mobile device with a PC running Windows Vista.

Before you get too far into it, make sure that you meet the following requirements:

System Requirements

  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Server “Longhorn”
  • Microsoft Outlook 2003 or Microsoft Outlook 2007 are required for synchronization of e-mail, contacts, tasks and notes to your PC.

    Supported Devices

  • Windows Mobile 2003
  • Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition
  • Windows Mobile 5.0
  • Windows Mobile 5.0 with Messaging and Security Feature Pack
  • Windows Mobile 6
  • Windows Embedded CE 6.0
  • As long as you have one of the above mentioned versions of Vista, and a mobile device/PDA running one of the above listed operating systems, you should have no problem setting everything up.

    Setting Up the Windows Mobile Device Center in Vista

    1. When you plug your Windows Mobile device into a PC running Vista for the first time, you should be notified the device drivers are being installed, and eventually a window similar to the screenshot below will pop up. Just close this window if it appears.
    2. syncing a smartphone in windows vista
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    3. Navigate to your Control Panel and double-click the Windows Mobile Device Center icon. If it’s not there, don’t worry – just skip down to step 4.
    4. syncing a smartphone in windows vista
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    5. When opened, you can set a couple (not many) of the Windows Mobile device connection settings. Make sure at least one of the connection methods is enabled.

      If you’re not presented with the window below (Connection Settings), scroll down and see if the window similar to the one in step 6 is displayed. If it is, that means you have the full Windows Mobile Device Center already installed, and can continue on at step 6.

    6. syncing a smartphone in windows vista
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    7. In order to sync your email, notes and calendar from Outlook, you’ll want to download Windows Mobile Device Center 6.1 for Windows Vista. Save the file to your desktop (or any folder) and once the download has completed, run it.
    8. Follow the few installation steps (which mostly consist of clicking ‘Next’ a few times).
    9. Now go back to the Control Panel and double-click on the Windows Mobile Device Center. Make sure your Windows Mobile device is plugged in and the status is set to Connected. Click the Set up your device button.

      syncing a smartphone in windows vista
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    10. Select the elements you want to sync to your mobile device and then click Next.
    11. syncing a smartphone in windows vista
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    12. Give your device a name, and if you want to quickly access the Windows Mobile Device Center from your desktop, leave the Create a shortcut option selected. Click Set Up to continue.
    13. syncing a smartphone in windows vista
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    14. Your mobile device and PC will now start to synchronize.
    15. syncing a smartphone in windows vista
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    16. And once completed, you’ll be presented with the Device Center ‘home’ screen.
    17. syncing a smartphone in windows vista
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    18. You’ll know when your device is synchronizing by the small ‘green arrows’ system tray icon (very similar to the Active Sync icon you may have seen/used in previous versions of Windows).
    19. syncing a smartphone in windows vista

    20. From the Windows Mobile Device Center ‘home’ screen you can change your device settings, upload and download files to/from your device etc. Select the Change content sync settings in the Mobile Device Settings window.
    21. syncing a smartphone in windows vista
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    22. Below you’ll see the options for changing the sync settings. Select the Sync Settings link in the E-mail section.
    23. syncing a smartphone in windows vista
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    24. From here you can customize exactly how you want your email to be synchronized. Make any changes you wish, and then click the Save button.
    25. syncing a smartphone in windows vista
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    26. Repeat step 13 but choose the Calendar settings. Again, make any changes you deem appropriate.
    27. syncing a smartphone in windows vista
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    28. Clicking Save will make the changes immediately.
    29. syncing a smartphone in windows vista
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    15 thoughts on “How to sync your Windows Mobile device to a Windows Vista PC”

    1. wow ! finally a help guide which works to the T . great stuff and amazing clarity in explaining all the stuff. thanks a ton.

    2. When the error message appears on my system I hard reset my HTC TyTnII – seems to work!

    3. I have installed Windows Mobile 6.1 and my Vista 64bit PC recognizes the phone as an external drive that I can view through explorer, but will not sync to Outlook. When I clivk on Windows Mobile in the control panel, all I get is a Connection Settings winsow that says “Device connected” and has “All USA connections” and “Allow connections to Bluetooth” checked. When I click OK, the window closes and I don’t get any other options. On my phone it says “Attention required” and indicates that it can’t synchronize with the Outlook profile I am using because a different profile was previously set up or the profile is password protected. I had the phone set up to sync with a different computer, but that computer died. How do I get it to wipe out the old profile and sync with the new computer?

    4. Anyone know why I can’t click on Contact, Email, Calendar, Tasks in WMDC? They are all grayed out. I have vista and have Outlook 2003 and activesync on my Motorola Q. Ugh. Any ideas?

    5. When it worked, it was fine! I just need the calendar to sync appointments and such. It is a pain to put them in the phone and the computer—and remember which appointment is in which place!

    6. When you sync the contacts from your phone to the PC, (not exchange) but actually save your contacts to “Windows PC” where on the computer do they save… this is Driving me nuts!!!

    7. we’ve had new laptops since april and haven’t had time to figure this out until now. thanks for the helpful info, couldn’t find anything at microsoft!

    8. Muito , muito bom!! ; realmente ajudou me em quase todas as minhas duvidas, Obrigado

    9. Thanks for the great article! This is exactly what I needed to get my Dell Axim x50v syncing with Vista.

    10. Just had to join the fan club here and say thanks for posting this. I ran into an even more uncommon “feature”. The install of 6.1 never seemed to work. I had to run setup manually from C:WindowsWindowsMobile, then I was up an running.

      Thanks again,
      Ben

    11. Hello Ross,
      I agree with the readers, this post is indeed a great one.
      I got my PDA setup using your directions; which I couldn’t find in the OS help files.
      Thank you so much
      Valid

    12. This article is a Godsend. Maybe you can share it with Microsoft so they can publish it in their help system. I wouldn’t have been able to perform this task without it. Thank you!

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