One of the great benefits of owning a Windows Mobile Smartphone is the ability to easily add software to perform a wide array of tasks. While the operating system itself has games, utilities, PIM applications and more, there are hundreds of software titles from which to choose which add to the usefulness and value of your smartphone. In this tutorial, we'll take you though the basic steps of installing software on your Windows Mobile Smartphone.
NOTE: The smartphone screenshots in this tutorial were taken from a Motorola device. Your screen may have a different shape, but the installation method shown is the same regardless of what Windows Mobile smartphone you're using.
Before we begin, it's important to understand that there are two types of
Windows Mobile Smartphone 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 smartphone 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 smartphone through
ActiveSync (or Windows Mobile Device Center in Windows Vista), the synchronization utility installed on your Windows PC. Using your computer, download the
software you wish to install to your smartphone. We recommend downloading to your Windows Desktop so you'll be able to find the file later:
Run the installation file on your PC by double-clicking
it on your Windows Desktop. This should be done while your smartphone is
The installation program will install files to your
computer's hard drive, then establish a link with
your smartphone, copying the needed files to your handheld's onboard memory:
If you have a flash memory card inserted in your Windows Mobile 5 or Windows Mobile 6 smartphone, a pop-up will ask you to select an installation destination. Choose "Device" to install to your smartphone's internal memory or "Storage Card" to install to the flash memory card. Choose the installation destination and 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 Start Menu by selecting Start and scrolling down or soft-keying More until you find its icon:
Windows Mobile software must be installed directly from the
smartphone itself. These software setup titles are usually distributed as .CAB files.
The first step is to move
the .CAB installation file you downloaded to
your smartphone. First, sync the smartphone with your
Windows PC. After synchronization, select
the Explore feature from ActiveSync's
The Explore feature allows you to browse
your smartphone's internal storage like you would browse your
computer's hard drive(s) in My Computer or Windows Explorer. Once the Mobile Device explorer window is open (see below), go to your Windows Desktop,
or wherever the .CAB file 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:
The .CAB file will be copied to the smartphone. Allow this process to complete. Disconnect
your smartphone's sync cable. On your smartphone, open File
Manager in the Start
Find the .CAB file you copied to your device in File Manager. If you followed the instructions above, the file will be located in your \My Documents folder. When you
find it, select it:
The .CAB file will unpack and install itself on
your smartphone and add an icon to the Start Menu:
Once the software has been installed, feel free to delete the .CAB file from your smartphone's memory if you wish.
Installing Software to a Touchscreen Windows Mobile Smartphone or Pocket PC?
This tutorial applies to non-touchscreen Windows Mobile Smartphones. For instructions on installing Windows Mobile Software to a touchscreen Smartphone or Pocket PC, click here.
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