WMDC in Windows 10

April 2017

Microsoft officially ended support for Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC, formerly ActiveSync) in Windows Vista. For newer operating system versions, if possible it is highly recommended to use an alternative. Some alternatives are described in the following article.

 

Alternatives to Windows Mobile Device Center

 

WMDC may not work in newer Windows versions, particularly Windows 10 version 1703 (Creators Update) OS Build 15063. If you absolutely need to use WMDC in a newer version of Windows, some possible methods to get it to work are as follows.

 

After installing WMDC, if you are having difficulties running or connecting, download and run the following utility on your PC as an administrator.

 

WMDC-Helper.exe

 

Sometimes before being successful at installing WMDC, you must first manually enable the required .NET Framework 3.5 under “Turn Windows features on or off” and/or by using the previous dotNetFx35setup.exe installer from Microsoft.

 

We highly recommend that you run the 64-bit drvupdate-amd64.exe or 32-bit drvupdate-x86.exe installer as an Admin and in "Compatibility Mode" for Windows Vista if WMDC and the required drivers do not successfully install automatically through the Windows Update service when you connect USB.

 

After install and once "Windows Mobile Device Center" appears in the list under the Start menu on the desktop PC, similar to as is automatically applied by our "WMDC-Helper.exe" utility referenced above, you may need to run Windows Powershell as an adminstrator to apply the following registry commands, and then perform a Restart.

 

REG ADD HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\RapiMgr /v SvcHostSplitDisable /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

REG ADD HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WcesComm /v SvcHostSplitDisable /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

 

This is less likely, but you may additionally need to open "Computer Management" as an Admin to view Services and Applications > Services to change the Properties of the “Windows Mobile-2003-based device connectivity” and “Windows mobile-based device connectivity” services to Log On using "Local System Account", and then Start each service. You may sometimes need to re-apply and Start these again when re-connecting device or after performing a Restart on the PC.

 

Even if you are not able to get WMDC to show it is connected, you may still be able to browse the contents of the device through File Explorer (which will appear as a drive under "This PC") or synchronize anyway.

 

There are many other historic causes of issues with installing, running, and connecting to WMDC which could still be encountered, such as are described at the following web pages.

 

 

July 2015

 

The desktop installer for Microsoft Windows 10 may suggest that Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC, formerly ActiveSync) is not compatible and must be uninstalled. This is as shown below.

 

WMDC in Win10

 

Though the Microsoft Windows Compatibility web page states otherwise, as shown below.

 

WMDC Win10 Compability

 

Installing Microsoft Windows 10 using an ISO image instead does not seem to require the re-installation of WMDC after OS upgrade as does the desktop installer. Also, tests so far have shown that WMDC seems to work as well in Windows 10 as it did in Windows 8, 7, and Vista. Some known issues may still apply.

 

If you have been forced to download and re-install WMDC in Windows 10, it is recommended to use the 32-bit or 64-bit links at the following web page.

 

Windows Mobile Device Center (ActiveSync) downloads

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