In all Microsoft operating systems, there is a registry which loads as your computer starts up. The registry lets the operating system know what settings to to start your computer up with. Most settings on our computers are stored in the registry somewhere, we just need to know what to change to achieve what we want.
Windows Mobile devices also have a registry. We can customise many of the defaults on our devices to suit our needs. The structure is very similar to the Windows Registry structure, so if you are familiar with it, you will find this just as easy. If you have not yet delved into a registry, you will find this quite tricky.
This article will cover some of the changes we are able to make to our devices, through our devices registry. I hope to update this article as time goes on so please use the comments to report your own changes. These hacks are for Windows Mobile 5 devices, though some may work with other versions of Windows Mobile.
Find a Registry Editor:
There are a number of free register editors available for Windows Mobile Devices. We have the option of editing the registry from either a desktop computer or the device itself. I have not tested out any of the programs below extensively but I can confirm they will perform any of the changes listed on this page.
Opening up a registry and making changes is slightly risky. If we change the wrong key, it is possible that our device will no longer work. Backup your devices data before continuing. You should be prepared to reinstall the operating system on your device if something bad does happen. I give you this information for educational use only. If you decide to tinker this way, you are doing so at your own risk.
Mobile Registry Editor: runs on your desktop and connects to your device using ActiveSync. Once you have this installed, connect your device via ActiveSync and click on one of the folder to the left. If the right side refreshes, you have a connection.
Being a desktop application, it is easy to navigate and make changes using your keyboard and mouse. As I don’t make many registry changes away from my desktop computer, I would generally use this.
Available from Inspect My Gadget.
PHM Registry Editor: runs on your device so you have free reign over where and when you make changes to the registry.
It has a nice interface and is quite easy to use on our little Windows Mobile screens. PHM Registry Editor works a little faster for me than Mobile Registry Editor did.
Available from FreewarePPC.
Both of these editors are suitable for the changes listed below so choose what you think will work best, or try them both out, they are both free.
I have tested all of the hacks below and they have all worked on my Ipaq rw6828. You may experience that some do not work on your device. If you have no luck, I recommend changing the keys back to what they were originally so you do not experience problems down the track.
On with the hacks:
Remove “Message Sent” Notification when sending text messages.
Create a key called “Settings”
Create a String Value called “SMSNoSendMsg”
Set the value to “1”
Now when you send a text message, you will feel a little naked.
Change contents of New menu on the “Today Screen”
The “New” button allows you to create various file types directly from the today screen. Adding new items in is tricky but it is easy to remove them.
Look in the keys and remove the items you no longer want. Adding them back will be a pain so take caution doing this.
Change which items load at startup.
Add or Remove keys according to what you want to run. Not all programs are listed here as some programs are configured in their own settings.
Change the amount of suggested words when inputting data.
Change value to between 0 and 6(4 is the default)
I have been using my device with one word showing since I got my device. This is also configurable through the Settings/Input applet but it did not work for me until I made the registry changes.
Change the location of My Documents to the SD Card.
This one is complicated but possible. I had to play around with this one for a while trying and failing with several methods, succeeding with this one. The order in which you do this is essential.
Please ensure that your SD card and My Documents are backed up. It is recommended that you do this on a fresh install of your ROM. This cleared out my “My Documents” folder but I was able to restore it.
1. Reset your device
2. Synchronise your device with your PC
3. Navigate to
4. Change the “Folder” key to “My Documents”
5. Rename your original “My Documents” folder to “My Docs”. This is a crucial step, but it does not matter what you name it.
6. Power off and reset your device.
7. Sync your Device
You should see in “File Explorer that your “My Documents” folder has an SD card icon next to it.
Copy your files back into your My Documents.
I hope these have worked for you. Please put more in the comments as you come across them. There are bound to be hundreds of these tweaks. If tweaking is not for you, check out the rest of Inspect My Gadget for other types of workarounds.