Friday, August 28, 2009

Connecting Windows Mobile Device to Internet via USB to PC

If you are having difficulty connecting your windows mobile device to the internet, this should help.  This only applies to Windows Mobile devices and computers running Microsoft Windows.  If your mobile device uses applications that require internet access, like POP3 mail, Weather, Stocks, etc., then you can simply cradle your device (or connect direct via a USB cable) to use these apps, using your internet access from your computer.

If your device has Wi-Fi, then your better off connecting to a wireless router.  One of my devices does not have Wi-Fi support, so I thought I would share the “how to” with everyone.  This article was not intended to help fix any Active Sync or Mobile Device connection issues.  Assuming that you can connect your device to your computer and perform a sync, but are not able to connect to the internet, this should help.  To keep the connection alive, the mobile device must remain connected to your computer.

When performing these steps, make sure the status of your mobile device is “Connected”.  Using Windows Mobile Device Center, you can see the green check mark below the picture of the device.



  1. For older devices, or if the below steps do not work, make the following change on your device.  On your device, go to  Start > Settings > Connections (tab) and click on the “USB to PC” icon.  Make sure to uncheck the “Enable advanced network functionality” checkbox.  This may even help those that are having trouble connecting and syncing in general.
  2. On your device, go to Start > Settings > Connections (tab) and click the “Connections” icon.  Then click the Advanced (tab).  Then click “Select Networks” button.   


    Then change both options in the drop down lists to “My Work Network”.

    Then click Edit > Proxy Settings (tab), and check the “This network connects to the Internet” check box.  Do this for both of the options in the Advanced settings.
  3. Now, if depending on the service provider or device, this next step may vary.  For WM6 with AT&T, I found a “Proxy Manager” icon in my Programs folder on my device.  I opened this to uncheck the “Force AT&T Proxy” check box.  Look around on your device and make sure there is not some similar proxy setting.
  4. Connect the mobile device to your computer, via USB.
  5. Perform a sync.  Verify that the sync was successful. Also, if you notice a small icon in the bottom right corner of your Mobile Desktop screen, then you have are successfully connected to your PC via USB.
  6. In Windows Mobile Device Center (or Active Sync), go into your Connection Settings.  Where it says, “This computer is connected to:”, change the to “The Internet”.  Your current setting is probably “Automatic”.  Although it seems a fair assumption that “Automatic” should work, it doesn’t seem to.
  7. If you wish, choose all the settings as shown in the dialog above.  Theses settings are the same as those that have been tested and work.
  8. Perform another sync.  This is important!
  9. Verify that the sync was successful and that the device is still connected.
  10. On your mobile device, open IE, or use any of the applications that require internet access.  They should now work.

That’s all there is to it, its really just that “SIMPLE”.  If it’s not working for you, take your time and go  through the steps again.  Also, it may help to do a soft reset on your device, after you get everything set properly.

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