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Monday, November 2, 2009

No Luck Resolving a Windows Mobile Sync Issue

I had installed Microsoft Office 2010 Technical Preview prior to my upgrade from Vista x64 to Windows 7 x64.

I have an HTC Touch Diamond running Windows Mobile 6 that I have set up to sync with Exchange.  The sync continued to work after the upgrade to Windows 7.

Yesterday when I stopped by the office for a few minutes I installed the new version of Windows Live Messenger, which now comes packed with the rest of the Live applications.  Not thinking twice about it, I went ahead and let it all install, including Windows Live Mail.

Now, when I try to sync, I am getting this error message:

Either there is no default mail client or the current mail client cannot fulfill the messaging request. Please run Microsoft Office Outlook and set it as the default mail client.


It occurs whenever I connect the phone to the computer.

It doesn’t bother me terribly; I have tried a number of things (adding/removing contacts, pushing files, taking pictures to a sync’d folder, etc) and it all seems to function correctly.  I am, however, nagged by this dialogue every time I connect my Windows Mobile device.

Is Windows Confused?

I think it might be that there are some funky associations going, maybe that Outlook and Windows Live Mail are trying to fight for the real default for mail?  Dunno…

I went into both applications and tried setting them as the default. I went into the default programs from the Control Panel and also tried making Outlook the default from there.  The dialog persists.

Next, I found this blog post which seems to have 50/50 success from the comments.  It involves a registry edit and running Office Diagnostics (which unfortunately doesn’t appear to be in the Technical Preview for Office 2010).  This trick, it seems, actually made it worse for me as Outlook wasn’t able to rebuild it’s registry keys.  Luckily, I had made a backup of the keys prior to nuking them as suggested in the article.

Symantec offers a work-around that may work, but is really just a way to suppress the error message by renaming a different key in the registry.

Maybe it’s not Windows or Outlook

I do recall a warning about Windows Mobile Sync Center in the upgrade advice from Windows 7, perhaps this is one of the side effects of whatever that warning was about.  At any rate, I haven’t been able to nail down the culprit or find a suitable fix.

Ideas, anyone?


  1. Delete default mail PROFILE in Control Panel, and recreate it when starting only the 1 mail client you want to use.

  2. Thanks for this tip, Dawie. Just to be clear, there is only currently one profile configured, and only one mail account set up in that profile. Do you think the issue has presented itself because of the upgrade?