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Fix the Windows Phone Sync Error 86000108

written by: •edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/30/2011

If you're receiving sync errors between Windows Live or Microsoft Exchange and your WP7 device, the phone might display an error code. Read on for information on how to resolve error 86000108 on Windows Phone 7.

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    Over the Air Sync with Windows Phone 7

    Windows Phone 7 Unlike previous Microsoft mobile platforms, Windows Phone 7 doesn’t allow you to sync your contacts and emails with Outlook on your PC. Instead, all synchronization is done over the air, either to a Windows Live account or with an Exchange server.

    If you have ever encountered an error syncing your contacts between your phone and Windows Live, you’ve probably seen an error message displayed. While, by and large, there are few Windows Phone 7 issues that can ruin the user experience, this particular problem can prove frustrating.

    Fortunately this is a problem that can be easily resolved, thanks to a bit of persistence and a couple of useful workarounds.

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    How the 86000108 Error Appears

    If you are experiencing the 86000108 error on Windows Phone 7, the problem will manifest as below:

    Windows Live error

    Not updated

    We're having a problem synchronizing with m.hotmail.com

    Last tried 7 seconds ago

    Error code: 86000108

    This message indicates that the problem is one of connectivity. Perhaps your mobile Internet connection has dropped, or your Wi-Fi disconnected? To check this, go to Start > Settings > Airplane Mode and disable all connection options on your phone. Wait a few minutes and then switch back to On.

    If this doesn’t work, the error might be caused by an issue with the Windows Live Hotmail server. This syncs the emails, calendar and contacts information with your phone and on the few occasions when they are not online this error will display.

    However, there is another possible reason for this problem, relating to attachments and folder synchronization.

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    Troubleshooting Email, Calendar and Contact Syncing Errors

    Windows Live requires you to have your Hotmail email account synced with your phone in order to enjoy contacts and calendar syncing. If there are problems with your email account, the sync will fail. The best way of dealing with this problem is to disable sync on your Windows Live account, which you can do from the Start screen via Settings > Email & accounts > Windows Live and clearing the Content to synchronise checkbox.

    However, while resolving the issue with the error message appearing, this fix won’t clear up the underlying cause. To do this, first of all reverse the steps above to re-enable syncing with your Windows Live account. Next, go to Start and swipe to the Apps list, and open the Hotmail account concerned (you can also open this from your Start screen if you have a shortcut placed there).

    What you need to do next is check each of your folders for problems. Do this by viewing each of the folders in turn via the Folders button on the menu at the foot of the screen in your Hotmail account view. Select Show all folders to display a list of all subfolders in this account, and tap each of the folders in turn to view their contents. In each folder where the emails are synced, drag up the menu via the ellipses […] and select Don’t synchronize this folder.

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    Synchronize and Delete!

    After doing this on all folders, return to the inbox and tap Synchronize; the error message should no longer appear. If this fails, however, the email causing the problem is in (or attempting to download to) your inbox, so access Windows Live through your browser to look for the message (more than likely one with a large attachment) and either delete it (saving any important attachments to your computer) or move it to a folder that is not being synced.

    These steps should resolve the 86000108 error on Windows Phone 7; feel free to post any questions below!