Sync with a device

The most common way to sync a mobile phone, portable music player, or other mobile device with your computer is to install and use the sync software that many manufacturers include with their device.

You can also sync files using Sync Center if you have a mobile device that supports this feature of Windows. However, Sync Center is designed primarily to sync files with a server on your network rather than with a device.

To find out if your device supports Sync Center, try the steps below to see if they work with your device, or check with the manufacturer.

To sync with a device using Sync Center

This method only works with a mobile device that supports Sync Center. If you're not sure if the device supports Sync Center, try the steps below to see if they work with your device or check with the manufacturer.

  1. Turn on the device and connect it to your computer. If it's a wireless device, make sure that a wireless connection is established between the device and your computer or connect it by using a universal serial bus (USB) cable.

  2. Open Sync Center by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Sync Center.

  3. In the left pane of Sync Center, click Set up new sync partnerships. If your device doesn't appear in this list, then it doesn't support Sync Center.

  4. Click the name of the device in the list of available sync partnerships.

  5. On the toolbar, click Set Up.

  6. Select the settings and schedule to determine how and when you want to sync your device with your computer.

  7. To start syncing immediately, click View sync partnerships, click your device in the list of sync partnerships, and then, on the toolbar, click Sync.

If you don't see your device in the list of available sync partnerships

If your device doesn't appear in the list of available sync partnerships and you've already tried connecting it to your computer again and turning it off and on, Windows might not detect the device or, more likely, it doesn't work with Sync Center.

Before you ask the manufacturer if the device supports Sync Center, try installing any software that came with your device. This often includes a driver that allows Windows to recognize your device. This software might also include sync capabilities. Try opening this program and checking if it includes sync capabilities.

If no software came with the device, you might be able to download a compatible sync program from the manufacturer's website.

For more information, see Adding a portable device.

Note

  • To sync a Windows Mobile device with a computer running Windows Vista, you must use Windows Mobile Device Center software. The first time you plug a Windows Mobile device into a computer that's connected to the Internet and running Windows Vista, Windows Mobile Device Center will automatically download and install. After you set up your device to sync in Windows Mobile Device Center, the sync results will appear in Sync Center.