ActiveSync QuickFAQ

ActiveSync QuickFAQs

I hate ActiveSync problems. I bet you do too. This QuickFAQs page is here to help you with your ActiveSync problems so I don’t have to hear about them. &B-) FYI: Windows Vista Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC) information coming soon…

What is the current version and where can I find it?

The current version is 3.7.1 It works with all versions of the Pocket PC, Pocket PC Phone Edition, and Smartphone. You can find it here:
ActiveSync 3.7.1 download page

I can’t sync my Pocket PC with Outlook 97. How do I fix it?

You cannot fix it. ActiveSync 3.7.1 is not compatible with Outlook 97. Check the bottom of the Microsoft ActiveSync page to verify this. If you have an older Palm-size PC or Pocket PC, you can use ActiveSync 3.5. Do not use older ActiveSync versions with current generation Pocket PC.

Where are the ActiveSync log files?

First, remember that these files get erased and rewritten everytime you perform a sync. So, you need to copy the files somewhere else as soon as you notice a problem.

Assuming your desktop is running Windows XP (or maybe Windows 2000), check in:

Documents and Settings[YOUR ACCOUNT NAME]Local SettingsTemp

Check the files with the filename pattern wces*.log

How can I restart ActiveSync when it seems stuck?

Download and try the ASReboot.EXE utility from Microsoft

This is a standalone executable file. It does not need to be installed. You can run it by double clicking it in File Explorer.

Another utility is from and named Kill ActiveSync (Freeware).

How can I sync with a My Documents folder on a storage card?

The short answer is: You can’t … using ActiveSync alone. There is, however, a third party application that provides this facility: MyDocsUnlimited MightySync

How can I use ActiveSync wirelessly?


Belkin has a how-to guide for their FT8003 V1/V2 USB Bluetooth adapter: Synchronizing your Pocket PC over Bluetooth Quick Setup Guide (14 page PDF file)

See MobileViews Bluetooth ActiveSync Tips for more information

Wireless LAN

Alan W. Jarvi (awarded the Windows Networking MVP status by Microsoft) has a great illustrated guide for configuring ActiveSync on a wireless network: Windows Mobile 2003 ActiveSync Configuration for 802.11b and Ethernet networks

Where can I find more helpful information about my ActiveSync problem?

Palm Customer Support ActiveSync Error Message Codes

Try this Microsoft support page. It has links to a number of ActiveSync troubleshooting pages:
Microsoft Windows CE ActiveSync Frequently Asked Questions

Solving ActiveSync Issues by fellow Microsoft Mobile Devices MVP Bev Howard is another excellent resource.

What do I do if I installed Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) released on August 6, 2004?

The following information was provided by Al Jarvi (MS-MVP Windows Networking) on the microsoft.public.pocketpc newsgroup:

With the imminent public release of the final version XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), users should be aware of the new Windows Firewall (the replacement for the old Internet Connection Firewall) that is enabled automatically during !installation and upon subsequent startups of the PC. The Windows Firewall WILL block ActiveSync and Connection Manager ports on the PC. If installed correctly, the firewall should prompt the user if both the Connection Manager and ActiveSync should be UNBLOCKED. Answer YES to both. If the Windows Firewall does not prompt the user, then the user !can manually add both Connection Manager and ActiveSync to the Windows Firewall Exceptions list. Use the following paths to configure the firewall…


C:\Program Files\Microsoft ActiveSync\WCESMgr.exe

Connection Manager…

C:\Program Files\Microsoft ActiveSync\wcescomm.exe

How can I move my PIM (calendar, contacts, tasks) from a Palm OS device to a Pocket PC or Smartphone?

Many Palm OS devices come bundled with Chapura Pocket Mirror that lets you synchronize a Palm OS device with Microsoft Outlook (which is bundled with Pocket PCs? and Smartphones). Note that you will lose synchronization capability with the Palm Desktop after installing PocketMirror. Here is the general sequence of events to migrate your PIM data from a Palm OS device to a Pocket PC or Smartphone

  1. Perform an appropriate backup procedure for your Palm device in case something goes wrong
  2. Install Chapura PocketMirror
  3. Sync the Palm OS device with Microsoft Outlook
  4. Partner the Pocket PC or Smartphone with the PC
  5. Synchronize the Pocket PC with the PC using ActiveSync

How do I sync with Lotus Notes?

ActiveSync does not work with Lotus Notes. Although IBM/Lotus sells its own synchronization software (IBM Lotus EasySync Pro), the consensus on the Microsoft Pocket PC newsgroup is that Commontime mNotes (formerly Cadenza) is the best-of-breed application for the job. I have not tried either product myself.

Can I sync with some other PIM application?

ActiveSync itself only syncs with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Works. However, there are other sync add-ons that allow you to sync with other PIM applications.

How can I sync my Pocket PC with an Apple Mac?

I have not tried syncing with a Mac yet. However, here are two applications that are supposed to allow one to sync a Pocket PC with a Mac.

How do I disconnect my Smartphone from an active ActiveSync session?

The Pocket PC has an ActiveSync disconnect option but he Smartphone does not. Fortunately, here is a 3rd party freeware application that says it can deal with this issue when using either a cable or Bluetooth connection to a PC.

RuttenSoft Activesync-Disconnecter for Smartphone 2003

Why doesn’t my Windows 2000/XP PC not recognize my Pocket PC if I toggle suspend mode while connected?

There are a number of possible reasons. However, if you are using a USB 2.0 hub, take a look at Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 838989: A USB device may not be redetected after a power cycle in Windows XP or in Windows 2000 … Separate patches are available for Windows 2000 and XP.

ActiveSync seems really messed up. What should I do now?

Couple of things you can try.

  • Try rebooting your PC
  • Perform a soft reset on your Pocket PC
  • Run regsvr32 msxml3.dll on your PC and then reboot your PC

OK, I give up! Short of formatting my hard drive, how can I uninstall ActiveSync completely and start over again?

Been there, done that. Here are some instructions and helpful information pointed out to me by my fellow Microsoft MVPs:

Microsoft: How to Manually Remove ActiveSync 3.x

Microsoft: USB Node Error Messages in Device Manager – Chris De Herrera: Removing ActiveSync 3.X

What About Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC) Problems?

MobileNomads Windows Mobile Device Center Troubleshooting