How to sync your Windows Mobile device with your Mac

This tutorial will walk you every step of the way through installing, setting up and using SyncMate to sync your Windows Mobile device with your Mac.

Though SyncMate isn’t new, they’ve just released a version with a long awaited feature – the ability to sync using a locked Windows Mobile/Pocket PC device. The free version of SyncMate is limited to only syncing your Contacts and iCal calendar (and Google Contacts and/or Google Calendar) – but that’s more than enough for me. It’s also worth mentioning that you can also use SyncMate to mount your Windows Mobile device as a drive in OS X – and browse/transfer files to and from your Mac/device. Keep reading for the full walk-through.

  1. Head over to the SyncMate download page and grab a copy.
  2. Open the SyncMate .dmg file and double-click Eltima SyncMate.pkg to begin the installation.

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  4. You’ll be prompted to confirm that it’s OK to include software that determines if it’s possible to install software. Yep. Click Continue.
  5. There isn’t much to see on the Introduction screen, so click Continue.

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  7. Review the info in the Important Information screen, and click Continue.

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  9. Review the info in the Software License Agreement (yawn) and yet again, click Continue.

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  11. Since it wasn’t enough to get you to click Continue on the previous screen, now click Agree.

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  13. Unless you want to change the installation location (probably not a great idea), click the Install button.

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  15. When prompted to enter your password, do so, and click OK.

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  17. Once the installation has completed, you’ll need to restart. Save any open work, exit out of any open programs, and click the Restart button. Your Mac will reboot now.

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  19. Once your Mac starts again, navigate to the Applications folder and double-click SyncMate to launch it.

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  21. Place a check in the Don’t show this warning again box, and then click OK.
  22. Plug your Windows Mobile device into the USB cable, and plug the cable into your Mac. A semi-transparent CONNECTING… window will appear.
  23. In SyncMate, click the Connect button. A message will appear on your mobile device saying that USB drivers are being installed, and once the installation is complete, click Done (on your device). If the Connect button doesn’t trigger the software to install on your mobile device, click it again. For me, it didn’t work until after the 3rd time I clicked Connect.

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  25. Once your mobile device is connected to SyncMate, select Contacts from the Plugins menu on the left side of the window. From here you’ll set how you want to synchronize your contacts. The choices are Mac <-> Mobile device (two-way syncing), Mac -> Mobile device (contacts will be updated on your mobile device from your Mac, but contacts on your mobile device will not update on your Mac) and Mobile device -> Mac (contacts will be updated on your Mac from your mobile device, but contacts on your Mac will not update on your mobile device).

    If a conflict occurs, you’ll probably want to leave the default (Ask Me) – but you can also set SyncMate to always use your Mac as the “source of truth”, or always use your mobile device as the source.

    If you have multiple groups of contacts, you can opt to only sync one group. To do so, place a check in the box labeled Synchronize only this group of contacts. Select that group by clicking the button.

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  27. Choose the group you want to sync, and then click OK.
  28. If you’d like to sync your Google contacts, place a check in the box labeled Sync with Google contacts. Click the Google login info button. Enter your Google user name and password in the spaces provided, and place a check in the box labeled Save password (unless you want to enter your password each time you sync your Google contacts). Click OK.
  29. Now that you’ve setup your contacts syncing preferences, select iCal from the Plugins menu on the left side of the the SyncMate window. Similar to how the contacts sync works, select how you want your Synchronization direction to work (two-way, update from Mac only or update from mobile device only). Again decide how you want to resolve conflicts (Ask me is probably ideal).

    If you have more than one calendar, click the button.

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  31. Select the calendar you want to sync with your mobile device, and click OK.
  32. If you’d like to sync your Google calendar, place a check in the box labeled Sync with Google calendar. Click the Google login info button. Enter your Google user name and password in the spaces provided, and place a check in the box labeled Save password (unless you want to enter your password each time you sync your Google calendar). Click OK.
  33. You’re finally ready to perform your first sync. Click the Sync now button in the upper-right corner of SyncMate.

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  35. The first sync can take a while, depending on how many contacts and calendar events you have on your mobile device and/or Mac. You’ll know it’s actually working by the “spinning circles” next to Contacts and iCal.

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  37. If more than 5% of the info on your computer or mobile device is changing, SyncMate will “warn” you. If you’d like to see the details of the changes, click the Show Details button. Otherwise, just click Sync.

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  39. Your contacts and calendars on your Mac and mobile device will now be in sync. One other feature of SyncMate is Mount disk. This allows you to browse, upload and download files on your mobile device from your Mac. To do so, click the Mount disk button.

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  41. You’ll get a warning message saying that this feature is in beta and may have glitches/bugs. Place a check in the Don’t show me this warning again box and then click OK.

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  43. You can now view and transfer files on your mobile device, from Finder.

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  45. Once you’re done, click the Unmount button and the Disconnect button before you unplug your mobile device.

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{ 22 comments… add one }
  • PCLicious Video Tutorials September 1, 2008, 10:51 pm

    Windows & Mac working in harmony once again. Is the “expert” version of syncmate recommended?

  • Chris September 4, 2008, 7:28 pm

    thanks for the info. I was looking for a way to sync these two.

  • Jon B October 5, 2008, 11:57 am

    No luck getting connected via USB to Windows Mobile device and MacBook Pro 10.5.5. Any thoughts?

  • Ross McKillop October 5, 2008, 1:31 pm

    Jon B –

    Which phone/device do you have? And, which version of WM?

  • Jesse October 20, 2008, 5:40 pm

    I also can’t get connected. I have a Sumsung SCH-i760, running WM 6, and a 10.5.5 MacBook Pro. I connect the phone to the computer with the USB cable, and the “connect” button in Syncmate stays gray and can’t be pressed. IN Network Preferences, computer lists a “Windows Mobile Device,” but says I have a self-assigned IP address and thus might not be able to log in. Renewing the DHCP lease does nothing. They simply don’t seem to want to communicate with each other. Very frustrating.

  • Dwight November 26, 2008, 12:50 pm

    I too can’t get connected. I have a Motorola Q with windows mobile 5 and when i connect my device to my macbook. nothing happens in syncmate. the connect button in syncmate stays grayed out too.

  • alessandro November 29, 2008, 9:27 am

    mitico…fantastico…. spiegato benissimo, grazie. ora ho sincronizzato il cell con il imac. Aveo prpprio paura di pendere i miei dati…così son ok!!!

  • Andrew December 9, 2008, 11:37 am

    I was having trouble getting this to work until I found a tip to enable “Advanced Network Functionality” under “USB to PC” connections on the WinMo device. After that it works very well! No more need to boot Windows just to sync the device!

  • Maurizio Mancioli January 11, 2009, 5:05 am

    Hello, will this work synchronizing my Mac’s Entourage with my HTC Touch HD (WM 6.1)? I’ve just go my HTC HD and I’m going nuts trying to find a solution. Tks! M

  • doc April 24, 2009, 1:06 am

    i had trouble “CONNECTING” my WM6 tmobile wing to MAC osx10.5. this method works very well. the problem with most people not ‘connecting’ is to do with the phone settings. go to start, then settings, then connetions, then USB to PC, then click on Enable advanced network fucntionality. Presto, this will connect the phone to mac. thanks to ANDREW for this one.

  • paulo morais May 19, 2009, 12:30 pm

    Boa tarde

    não estou a conseguir instalar os drivers no pda.

    alguem me pode ajudar

  • jefreythecat July 20, 2009, 4:19 am

    just got a macbook. my mobile is hTC touch hd. Eltima SyncMate.pkg works perfectly. i had same problem with getting connected via USB to Windows Mobile . solved it by changing firewall to let all through

  • jefreythecat July 20, 2009, 4:27 am

    i fixed connection problem by turning off firewall

  • Chase August 30, 2009, 8:06 pm

    can connect and sync. but don’t see a disk mount option. Do I need expert edition for this. any other fix? thanks

  • John November 15, 2009, 9:06 pm

    I own an HTC TyTN II running WM 6.1. I am able to install and configure SyncMate 2.4 correctly. It even syncs my device – or so it seems. After a hard reset of my mobile device, the problems are as follows:

    1. Quite a few contacts are not copied to my device (yes, I did choose to sync all contacts)
    2. A lot of my calendar entries are messed up regarding recurring pattern.

    Both problems appear ONLY on my TyTN. when I check the iCal application all is fine. The same is the matter with the Address Book application.

    Thanks a lot for your kind help.

  • Alex Taylor November 18, 2009, 4:41 am

    Hi Everyone! Eltima is glad to announce, that we’ve recently released SyncMate 2.4! With this new version you can easily sync your Mac with Windows Mobile and Nokia S40 phones, other Mac or PC computers, Sony PSP, Google account, USB flash drives and even backup Mac data online!
    Detailed information about SyncMate 2.4 sync options can be found here

  • Alex Taylor November 18, 2009, 4:43 am

    BTW, if you have any support related questions, please, feel free to contact our Support Team at support_at_eltima_dot_com The will be happy to help you! :)

  • RUTH GARCIA December 2, 2009, 6:38 am


  • Matt June 14, 2010, 1:59 am

    Worked Great! My HTC HD2 synced the contacts off my Mac Book Pro with no problems. Sure beats re-typing all 200 contacts by hand. I switched from a Blackberry 8320 to the HTC.

  • Victor VA December 20, 2010, 6:54 pm

    I couldn’t mount it. It says you need to get the full version.

  • BOUTEFEU PHILIPPE October 4, 2014, 11:43 am

    does not work under mac 10.9 !!!

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