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How to Sync Files With Windows Mobile 6 and Windows XP

written by: Brian Nelson•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 12/13/2008

That powerful Windows Mobile cell phone can do plenty of useful things. From editing or reviewing documents, to email, to making phone calls, Windows Mobile provides plenty of options for extending productivity. But, that isn’t going to help much if important files can’t get on and off the mobile

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    Windows Mobile comes with a utility called ActiveSync which is used to keep a cell phone or other device synchronized with a Windows XP computer. This utility has various means of linking up things like contact lists, notes, and so on. It also provides synchronization of files with your Windows Mobile operating system.

    Automatic Syncing

    active-sync When ActiveSync is first installed on a new PC, it creates a new folder to be used to help synchonize files with the mobile device. This folder is in My Documents and named with WM_XXXX by default, where XXXX is the name on your device. When the Windows Mobile phone or other device is connected to the PC, ActiveSync will automatically take any files in the WM folder and synchronize them with the mobile device’s My Documents directory. This is the syncing that is taking place when the "Files" icon is active in the ActiveSync window during the automatic syncing process.

    Manual File Syncing

    active-sync-explore ActiveSync also provides for a method to copy files manually to a Windows Mobile device. The ActiveSync program has an Explore button. Clicking this button brings up the familiar Windows Explorer interface. This window provides direct access to the Windows Mobile file system. The default directory is My Documents, but navigating to other areas of the mobile file system is a simple as double clicking. Exploring into the file system of the device even provides access to any storage card installed. This provides a useful way to move pictures or movies taken with the camera phone to the desktop PC.

    It is important to note that the Explore window that opens for the mobile device does not always work perfectly with alternative file explorers such as Xplorer2 or File Commander.

    Add-On Tools

    See this month’s Best Freeware article for additional utilities that provide an even better file copying and syncing process.