Installing Software on a Windows Mobile Touchscreen Smartphone or Pocket PC (Windows XP Tutorial)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 0 comments

The following tutorial is for touchscreen Windows Mobile devices only; click here for instructions for installing software on non-touchscreen Windows Mobile Smartphones.

Are you installing software to your Pocket PC or Smartphone with Windows Vista? Clickhere. Windows XP users, read on.

So, you want to install software on your Pocket PC or touchscreen Windows Mobile Smartphone? Thanks to ActiveSync, it's a snap (click here for Windows Mobile smartphone instructions).

Before we begin, it's important to understand that there are two types of Windows Mobile installation files: (1) those which must be run and installed from your Windows PC (usually .EXE files), and (2) those which must be transferred to your Windows Mobile device before they can be installed (usually .CAB files).

For installation instructions, select which type of file you have to install:

Most Windows Mobile software is installed to your Windows Mobile device through ActiveSync, the synchronization utility installed on your Windows XP PC. Using your computer, download the software you wish to install to your handheld. We recommend downloading to your Windows Desktop so you'll be able to find the file later:

Saving installation files to your Windows Desktop makes it easier to get to later...

Run the installation file on your PC by double-clicking it on your Windows Desktop. This should be done while your Windows Mobile device is synced.

Locate the installation file on your Windows Desktop or wherever else you saved it...

The installation program will install files to your computer's hard drive, then establish a link with your Windows Mobile device, copying the needed files to your handheld's onboard memory:

Allow the installation files to be copied to your Pocket PC...

Windows Mobile 2003, Pocket PC 2000 & 2002 users click here.

If you have a Windows Mobile 5 or 6/6.1 handheld, you'll see a pop-up on the screen to confirm the installation. Tap "Yes." If you have a flash memory card installed, a second screen will also appear allowing you to choose the installation destination, internal memory or flash card. Make your choice and tap Install. Allow the process to complete:


The program is now installed. A soft reset may be required for some software installations. To run the program, locate it in your Programs menu by tapping Start > Programs.

The newly-installed software now appears in your Programs menu...

Some Windows Mobile software requires that it be installed directly from the handheld. These software setup titles are usually distributed as .CAB files.

The first step is to move the .CAB installation file you downloaded to the Windows Mobile device. First, sync your handheld with your Windows PC. After synchronization, select the Explore feature from ActiveSync's main screen.

The Explore feature allows you to browse the contents of your Pocket PC from your Windows PC...

The Explore feature allows you to browse your device's internal storage like you would browse your computer's hard drive(s) in My Computer or Windows Explorer. Once theMobile Device explorer window is open, go to your Windows Desktop, or wherever the file you want to move to the Windows Mobile device is stored. Right-click it. When the menu drops down, select Copy. Return to the Mobile Device explorer window, right-click somewhere in the window, and select Paste:

Paste the .CAB file to your Pocket PC; this will copy the installation file to run later...

The .CAB file will be moved to the handheld. Allow this process to complete. Remove your device from its cradle or disconnect it from its sync cable. On your Windows Mobile handheld, go to File Explorer in the Program folder on the Start Menu.

Find the file you moved in File Explorer. When you find it, double-click it. It will install itself on your handheld and add itself to the Start Menu or the Programs folder.

You're done. The program will now appear in the Programs folder:

Once the software has been installed, feel free to delete the .CAB file from your handheld's memory if you wish.

NOTE: This tutorial applies to touchscreen versions of Windows Mobile only.

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