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Windows Vista Mobile Device Center Step by Step Guide

Windows Mobile Device Center is the new name in Windows Vista replacing Microsoft ActiveSync®, and provides overall device management features for your Windows Mobile powered devices for Windows Vista. Previous versions of Microsoft ActiveSync will not install or run on Windows Vista. All of the features previously available in Microsoft ActiveSync are available in Windows Mobile Device Center, including setting up your desktop partnership and synchronization with the desktop. Most of the UI has been rewritten, however, in an effort to enhance the user’s ability to easily and intuitively find device-related tasks and improve the overall usability of those tasks.

Some of the features of Windows Mobile Device Center include:

  • Streamlined setupA simplified new partnership wizard and improved partnership management
  • Robust synchronizationSynchronization of business-critical data such as e-mail, calendars, contacts, tasks, favorites, and files
  • Photo managementPicture management helps you detect new photos on your Windows Mobile powered device, tag and import them to the Windows Vista Photo Gallery
  • Media synchronizationUse Microsoft Windows Media Player to synchronize and shuffle music files on your device
  • File browsingA new device browsing experience enables you to quickly browse files and folders and open documents on your device directly from your computer
  • Enhanced user interfaceA simple and compelling user interface helps you to quickly access critical tasks and configure your device

In this guide

Supported Devices

The following mobile device operating systems are supported by Windows Mobile Device Center:

  • Microsoft® Windows Mobile® 5.0
  • Messaging and Security Feature Pack for Microsoft® Windows Mobile® 5.0
  • Microsoft® Windows Mobile® 2003 Second Edition
  • Microsoft® Windows Mobile® 2003

Compatibility

Windows Mobile Device Center is compatible with the following Microsoft Windows Vista SKUs and applications:

  • Windows Vista™ Ultimate
  • Windows Vista™ Enterprise
  • Windows Vista™ Business
  • Windows Vista™ Home Premium
  • Windows Vista™ Home Basic

Microsoft® Outlook® 2000, Microsoft® Outlook® XP, or Microsoft® Outlook® 2003 messaging and collaboration clients is required for synchronization with the computer of e-mail, calendar, contacts, tasks, and notes. (Microsoft® Outlook® 2003 is recommended).

Getting Windows Mobile Device Center from Windows Update

The Windows Mobile Device Center driver update package is available for download from Windows Update. Windows Mobile Device Center is also available to download from the Windows Mobile Web site.

Scenarios for using Windows Mobile Device Center

The following scenarios describe ways the Windows Mobile Device Center can help you use your mobile device with Windows Vista.

Scenario 1: Connecting your Windows Mobile-based Device using a USB cable

Use the USB cable or cradle provided by your device manufacturer to connect your Windows Mobile-based device to a computer running Windows Vista.

To connect your Windows Mobile-based Device using a USB cable
  1. Connect one end of the cable to an available USB port on your computer.

  2. Connect the other end of the cable to the device.

  3. Notification dialogs will be displayed in the notification area, indicating the current status of the driver installation.

  4. Once the driver installation has completed, Windows Update will automatically check for the latest updates to install. You can also go to Windows Update to download the Windows Mobile Device Center driver update package manually.

Scenario 2: Download and install Windows Mobile Device Center

The Windows Mobile Device Center driver update package is available on Windows Update. Upon connecting your Windows Mobile powered device to the computer for the first time, Windows Update will automatically check for the latest updates to install. You can always go to Windows Update to install the updates manually. You can also set up Automatic Update to schedule updates to be downloaded and installed automatically.

noteNote
Your Windows Mobile device must be connected to the computer for Windows Update to be able to detect the driver update and install the update.
To access Windows Update
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Security, and then click Check for updates. Your device must be connected to the computer for Windows Update to detect the required driver and install the update.

  2. Windows Update should detect the Windows Mobile Device Center driver update package as a recommended update.

  3. Click Install updates to install the Windows Mobile Device Center driver update package. This may take a few minutes for the package to download and install.

  4. When the installation is complete, the Windows Mobile Device Center application will launch.

Windows Mobile Device Center setup software is also available for download from the Windows Mobile Web site. The web site also provides other information related to Windows Mobile Device Center, including release notes and troubleshooting assistance.

Scenario 3: Accessing Windows Mobile Device Center

Windows Mobile Device Center has various entry points, including the following:

To access Windows Mobile Device Center from the control panel
  1. Open Control Panel, click Network and Internet, and then click Windows Mobile Device Center, or

  2. Open Control Panel, click Classic View, and then click Windows Mobile Device Center.

To access Windows Mobile Device Center from the Windows® Sync Center notification area icon
  1. If you have already created a Windows Mobile partnership with your device, click the Windows Sync Center icon in the notification area (green circle with arrows) to open Windows Sync Center.

  2. Double-click the Windows Mobile powered device icon in Windows Sync Center.

To access Windows Mobile Device Center from the Start Menu
  1. Click Start.

  2. Click All Programs.

  3. Click Windows Mobile Device Center.

Scenario 4: Connecting to the computer

Once Windows Mobile Device Center has been installed, all that is required to start using it is to connect your device to the computer (if it’s not already connected).

Connect your device using a cable or a cradle

Use the USB cable or cradle provided by your device manufacturer to connect your device to your computer.

To connect using a cable or a cradle
  1. Connect one end of the cable to an available USB port on your computer.

  2. Connect the other end of the cable to the device, or the cradle for your device.

  3. Windows Mobile Device Center should connect automatically to your device.

Connect your device using Bluetooth

Use a Bluetooth connection to create a direct connection between your device and computer quickly. This method can be an advantage when switching between multiple devices, because there are no cables or adapters to change. Before you begin, ensure that both your computer and your device are Bluetooth-enabled and that you have logged on to the computer using an administrator account.

The following steps describe how to connect and synchronize a device to the computer using Bluetooth. Instructions to tap UI elements are intended for users of touch-screen-enabled devices only.

Connecting your device to your computer using Bluetooth
  1. On the computer:

  2. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Hardware and Sound, and click Bluetooth Devices. If your computer does not have built-in Bluetooth, make sure your USB Bluetooth adapter is attached.

  3. Click the Options tab.

  4. Select the Allow Bluetooth devices to find this computer check box.

  5. Click OK.

On the mobile device:

  1. If you have never attached your device to the computer using a USB cable, do so. After Windows Mobile Device Center starts, disconnect the device.
  2. In ActiveSync, click or tap Menu, then click or tap Connect via Bluetooth.
  3. When asked if you would like to set up a partnership, click or tap Yes.
noteNote
On some devices, you may have to click or tap Add new device.
  1. When the name of the computer appears in the list, select it and click Next.
  2. Enter a passcode when prompted, and then click Next.

On the computer:

  1. When prompted that a Bluetooth device is attempting to connect with the computer, click To allow this connection, click this message.
  2. In the Add Bluetooth Device wizard, enter the same passcode that you entered on your device, and then click Next.

On the mobile device:

  1. Ensure that the check box for the ActiveSync service appears and is checked.
  2. Complete the Bluetooth Wizard.

On the computer:

  1. Complete the Add Bluetooth Device Wizard.

On the mobile device:

  1. In ActiveSync, click or tap Menu, and then click or tap Connect via Bluetooth.
  2. To disconnect at any point after this, click or tap Menu, then click or tap Disconnect.

Changing the connection settings

When connected to Windows Mobile Device Center, your device can use the network connection on your computer. This setting can be changed from the Connection Settings dialog box.

To connect to a network or the Internet
  1. Connect your device to the computer. Windows Mobile Device Center starts automatically.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • If you have not already set up a Windows Mobile partnership between this device and the computer, click Connect without setting up.
    • If you have already set up a Windows Mobile partnership, click Mobile Device Settings.
  3. Click Change Connection Settings.

  4. In the This computer is connected to list, select Automatic to use the most common settings, or select which specific device connection should use the network connection on the computer to "pass through" Windows Mobile Device Center.

Using a PIN to help secure your device

If you use a PIN to lock your device, you will need to enter that PIN when you first open Windows Mobile Device Center. If you choose, you can save the PIN on your computer so that you don’t have to enter the PIN the next time you connect your device with your computer.

For security reasons, if you have a device that contains a security setting from a corporate deployment of Microsoft Exchange Server, your company may require that you enter the PIN each time you connect your device with your computer. If you have any questions about this setting, contact the system administrator for your company.

Scenario 5: Using Windows Mobile Device Center

When starting Windows Mobile Device Center for the first time, you will be able to either connect and use your device without setting up a partnership or to create a Windows Mobile partnership with your Windows Mobile powered device to synchronize information.

Connecting your device without setting up a partnership

When you don’t plan on connecting your device to the computer on a regular basis or don’t plan on synchronizing with the computer, you can connect your device without setting up a partnership. You will be able to browse and open files on the device, import pictures from the device, and other tasks that does not require having a partnership with the computer.

To connect without setting up a partnership
  1. Connect your device to the computer. Windows Mobile Device Center starts automatically.

  2. Click Connect without setting up.

Browsing the contents of your device

In cases where you want to store data files on your mobile device, or find specific files by browsing, use the following procedure.

To browse contents on the device
  1. Connect your device to the computer. Windows Mobile Device Center starts automatically.

  2. Click File Management. This opens the Mobile Device folder for your device.

  3. Browse the files on your device as you would any files on the computer.

noteNote
When you double-click a folder in the Mobile Device folder, it may take a few seconds for the folder to open because it is being read from the device.

You can copy information from the computer to the device and vice versa. Copying a file creates separate versions of the file on your device and computer. Because the files are not synchronized, any changes made to the file will not affect the copied file.

To copy contents on the device to the computer
  1. Connect your device to the computer. Windows Mobile Device Center starts automatically.

  2. Click File Management. This opens the Mobile Device folder for your device.

  3. In the Mobile Device folder, go to the file that you want to copy on your device or computer.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • To copy the file to your device, right-click the file, and click Copy. Right-click the desired folder on your device, and click Paste.
    • To copy the file to your computer, right-click the file and click Copy. Right-click the desired folder on your computer, and click Paste.
    • Drag and Drop operations are also supported and function in the same way as copy operations.

The list of commands that are available when browsing the contents of your device are:

  • Openopens the file
  • Copycopies the file from device to computer or vice versa
  • Deleteprompts confirmation dialog to permanently delete the file or folder
  • Renamerenames the file
  • Propertiesopens the file properties dialog box

Synchronizing music, video, and pictures through Windows Media Player

If you want to take your music or other digital media with you, Windows Mobile Device Center connects you to Windows Media Player to synchronize music, video, and pictures with your device.

All media synchronization settings must be set in Windows Media Player. Before media can be synchronized, you must do the following:

To connect to Windows Media Player
  1. Connect your device to the computer. Windows Mobile Device Center starts automatically.

  2. Click Pictures, Music, and Video. This opens the Windows Media Player.

  3. Click Add media to your device from Windows Media Player.

Importing pictures and videos from your device

If your Windows Mobile powered device has a camera, you can import still pictures and video clips from the device to your computer.

To import pictures and videos
  1. Connect your device to the computer. Windows Mobile Device Center starts automatically.

  2. When the device is not synchronizing, click Pictures, Music, and Video.

  3. Click Import pictures/video from your device.

  4. Pictures and video are imported automatically according to your import settings.

Using the computer’s network connection to sync with Exchange

When connected to the computer, you will be able to sync directly with the Exchange Server through desktop pass-through, provided that your device has been preconfigured to synchronize with your Exchange Server.

To sync with Exchange via desktop passthrough
  1. Connect your device to the computer. Windows Mobile Device Center starts automatically.

  2. On your device, go to ActiveSync, and click Sync.

  3. Your device will use the computer’s network connection to sync with your Exchange Server.

Scenario 6: Synchronizing Information

To synchronize information between your device and the computer, you will first need to establish a desktop partnership in Windows Mobile Device Center. When you set up this partnership, your selected synchronization settings are saved, and Windows Mobile Device Center will recognize your device when you re-connect and use your synchronization settings.

Please note, your computer can set up Windows Mobile partnerships with many different Windows Mobile powered devices, but a device can have synchronization relationships with at most two computers.

Establishing your device partnership

Only devices that have a Windows Mobile partnership with a computer can synchronize information with that computer. Before you can synchronize information with your Windows Mobile powered device, you must first select the corresponding content type for synchronization. After you have selected the content you want to synchronize when setting up your Windows Mobile partnership, you can change your selections at any time from Windows Mobile Device Center.

To setup the device for synchronization
  1. Connect your device to the computer. Windows Mobile Device Center starts automatically.

  2. Click Set up your device.

  3. Select the content type that you want to synchronize and click Next.

  4. Follow the instructions provided in the set up wizard and click Finish.

Setting up your device for certificate enrollment

In some cases, your system administrator may configure your Exchange Server to accept certificates. Certificates provide a way for users to more securely access their e-mail, contacts, calendar, and other data without the use of a password. Certificate enrollment is an automatic process, and doesn’t require you to go through any special steps.

To set up your device to use a certificate
  1. Ensure that your device is not already synchronizing e-mail with an Exchange Server.

  2. Connect your device to a computer on your network.

  3. In Windows Mobile Device Center, click Set up your device, then follow the instructions on the screen.

noteNote
If your Exchange Server is set up to authenticate with certificates, a certificate from your enterprise’s network is automatically installed on your device during setup.

Changing your content synchronization settings

Before you can synchronize information with your device, you must select the corresponding content type for synchronization. If you have already selected the content you want to synchronize when setting up your Windows Mobile partnership, you can change your selections in Windows Mobile Device Center.

To change the content to synchronize
  1. Connect your device to the computer. Windows Mobile Device Center starts automatically.

  2. Click Mobile Device Settings.

  3. Click Change content sync settings.

  4. Select the check box for the information type that you want to synchronize.

  5. If available, click Sync Settings for each content type whose settings you want to change, then select the options you want.

  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for each content type.

Synchronizing with Exchange Server

To synchronize with Exchange Server, you will need to know the Exchange Server name, the user name, the password, and the domain.

To set up synchronization with Exchange Server
  1. Connect your device to the computer. Windows Mobile Device Center starts automatically.

  2. When the device is not synchronizing, click Mobile Device Settings, and then click Change Exchange Server Settings.

  3. In the Server Address box, type the name of the server running Exchange Server.

  4. Enter your User Name and Password in the appropriate boxes.

  5. If you do not want to enter your password every time a scheduled synchronization occurs, select the Save password check box.

  6. Under Domain, enter your domain name.

  7. Choose your preferred conflict resolution, then click Save.

Ending a Windows Mobile partnership

Ending a Windows Mobile partnership removes all of the synchronization settings you have chosen for the Windows Mobile powered device.

To end a Windows Mobile partnership
  1. Disconnect your device from your computer.

  2. If necessary, open Windows Mobile Device Center, and then click Mobile Device Settings.

  3. Click End a partnership.

  4. Select the device whose Windows Mobile partnership you want to end, and then click End partnership.

Working with Windows Sync Center

Windows Sync Center provides a quick overview of all of the partnerships that have been created with the computer, including the partnership between your Windows Mobile powered device and your computer. You can use Windows Sync Center to get information about the partnership, including synchronization status and error information, and to perform simple tasks such as starting and stopping synchronization, browsing the files on your device, and navigating to Windows Mobile Device Center.

To open Windows Synch Center, do one of the following:

  • Double-click the Windows Sync Center icon in the notification area.
  • Click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, and then click Sync Center.
  • Open Windows Explorer, click Tools, and then click Open Sync Center.
  • Click Start, click Control Panel, click Network and Internet, and then click Sync Center.

Click Start, click Control Panel, click Classic View, and then Sync Center.

To open Windows Mobile Device Center from Windows Sync Center
  1. Make sure a Windows Mobile partnership has been established.

  2. In Windows® Sync Center, double-click the Windows Mobile powered device icon, or

  3. Right-click the Windows Mobile partnership to display the context menu, and click Open Windows Mobile Device Center.

Scenario 7: Device Management Features

Windows Mobile Device Center also provides device management features, including adding and removing programs, backup, and restore.

Adding a program to your device

Programs that are to be installed on a device usually must first be installed on your computer.

To add a program
  1. Determine the version of your device and the operating system on your computer. For more information, see your device's user manual and Help.

  2. Download the program to your computer (or insert the CD or disk that contains the program into your computer). You may see a single *.exe file, a *.zip file, a Setup.exe file, or several versions of files for different device types and processors. Select the program designed for your device and processor type.

  3. Read any installation instructions or documentation that came with the program. Many programs provide special installation instructions.

  4. Connect your device to your computer.

  5. Double-click the *.exe file.

    • If the executable file is an installation wizard, follow the instructions on the screen. Once the program has been installed on your computer, the wizard will automatically transfer the program to your device.
    • If you don't have an installation wizard, you will see an error message stating that the program is valid but designed for a different type of computer. You will need to copy this program to your device. If you cannot find any installation instructions for the program, use File Management in Windows Mobile Device Center to copy the program file to the Program Files folder on your device. Connect your device to the computer. Windows Mobile Device Center starts automatically.

Removing a program from your device

You can remove a program from your device only, or from both your device and your computer. If you remove a program from your device but not from your computer, it’s easy to add it back to your device later.

To remove a program
  1. Connect your device to the computer. Windows Mobile Device Center starts automatically.

  2. When the device is not synchronizing, click Programs and Services, and then click Add/remove programs.

  3. To remove a program from both your device and your computer, select it and click Remove.

noteNote
If the check box for the program is dimmed, you must use Remove and remove the program from both your device and your computer. If the program is not listed, but you know its file name, you can delete it from your device. For more information about deleting files from your device, see the documentation that came with your device.
To reinstall a program
  1. Connect your device to the computer. Windows Mobile Device Center starts automatically.

  2. When the device is not synchronizing, click Programs and Services, and then click Add/remove programs.

  3. To add a program back to your device, select it from the list and click OK.

Backing up and restoring information for Windows Mobile 2003 devices

Backing up and restoring information is available only for devices running Windows Mobile 2003 or Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition. If you have created files on your device since the last backup and don’t want them deleted during the restore process, move those files from your device to your computer before restoring information.

To back up information automatically
  1. Connect your device to the computer. Windows Mobile Device Center starts automatically.

  2. When the device is not synchronizing, click Mobile Device Settings, then click Backup and Restore.

  3. Click the Backup tab.

  4. Select Automatically back up each time the device connects. If you want to use a different backup file, click Change, then select the file to use.

  5. Automatic backup is available only on devices that have a Windows Mobile partnership with the computer. To back up information on a device that is set up as a guest, you must manually back up information.

To back up information manually
  1. Connect your device to the computer. Windows Mobile Device Center starts automatically.

  2. When the device is not synchronizing, click Mobile Device Settings, and then click Backup and Restore.

  3. Click the Backup tab.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • To back up all information, select Full backup.
    • To back up only new and changed information, select Incremental backup.
  5. Click Back Up Now.

To restore information to your device
  1. Connect your device to the computer. Windows Mobile Device Center starts automatically.

  2. Click Connect without setting up.

  3. If your device does not automatically exit programs as needed, exit any open programs on your device.

  4. Click Mobile Device Settings, and then click Backup and Restore.

  5. Click the Backup tab.

  6. Click Restore Now, and then select the name of the Windows Mobile partnership you want to restore. Do not use your device until the restore process is complete.

  7. Reset your device as specified in the device manufacturer's documentation.

Additional Resources

The release notes for Windows Mobile Device Center and other helpful information are available on the Windows Mobile Web site.

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