How To Disable an ActiveSync Connection

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The following was recently posted in the Brighthand forums:

    Is there a way to stop ActiveSync from automatically turning itself on whenever I put my Pocket PC into its cradle?

I think there are enough people who might have the same question that it would be useful to share my answer with the public.

The whole idea of ActiveSyncing is that it will run whenever you have your Windows Mobile device connected, whether it’s a Pocket PC or a Smartphone.  There’s a way to do what you want, but keep in mind you’re going to have to manually turn ActiveSyncing on and off every time, as it goes against what the developers of this application want.

Still, there are good reasons to put up with the mild inconvenience of the solution I’m about the describe.

Over the years, I’ve used several computers well beyond their intended limits. I’ve run Windows XP on a PC that originally came with Windows 98, for example.

Or I’ve often run too many applications at the same time on computers without enough RAM (like Microsoft Word, Adobe PageMaker, and Windows Media Player simultaneously).

Perhaps you might find either of these scenarios familiar.

Adding another process I didn’t absolutely need wasn’t a good idea, but I still had to recharge my trusty Pocket PC. Plugging and un-plugging the USB cable every day wasn’t a good option so I can up with another.

It’s probably not the best solution for this problem, but it was quick, easy, and free, so it worked for me.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Open the ActiveSync application, and choose the File drop-down box. Then choose “Connection Settings…”

On the resulting dialog box you’ll see a checkbox labeled “Allow USB connections”. Remove this check-mark.

The next time you connect your Windows Mobile device, an ActiveSync connection won’t be made.

Your handheld or smartphone will still be charging, though — whether through the USB trickle charge or the power cable into its cradle.

To start an ActiveSync session in the future, just go back in and turn the “Allow USB connections” checkbox back on. You can even do this with the device already plugged in without problems.

Before anyone asks, the “Open ActiveSync when my device connects” option doesn’t do the same thing. All this does is prevent an ActiveSync window from appearing on your desktop. The process is still running in the background. The method I described earlier really stops the connection process.

The Caveats

Obviously this assumes you connect your handheld or smartphone via USB, but I think that covers about 99.9% of people.

And, as I said, this isn’t an ideal solution. Still, it’s the best I’ve come up with. If there’s a third-party application out there that makes this process easier for old and new models alike I’d be happy to hear it.



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