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Total PDA

Pocket PC - Accessing Email and Web

This page provides details of how to get access to the Internet and email from your Pocket PC...

Pocket PC devices come with all the software you need to connect to the Internet. Once connected, you can browse the web, check your email and even use MSN Messenger.

Most Pocket PC devices don't come with a built-in phone, so you'll need a phone with a modem built-in, in order to make a connection.


Pocket PC web
Pocket PC Internet Explorer in action
Pocket PC email
Pocket Inbox in action

What you'll need

  • Pocket PC - All Pocket PCs come with the required software, so no problem there
  • A modem - On this page, we're assuming that you'll be connecting via your Pocket PC's infrared port to a mobile phone with a built-in modem (such as the Nokia Nokia 6600). Pocket PC devices such as the XDA have a built-in modem already. Some Pocket PCs can use Bluetooth for connectivity, but for simplicity's sake, we'll assume you're using IR to connect to a phone with a modem.
  • A data-enabled SIM card - Note that your mobile phone must be 'data-enabled'. This is a setting that your network operator has to enable for you.
  • An Internet account - See below

Getting an Internet account

To connect, you'll need to have an account with an Internet provider. You may wish to use your existing Internet account, or apply for a free account that can be used with your device.

For the purposes of this walkthrough, we're going to assume that you are in the UK and that you want to create a new dial-up account with an Internet Service Provider. Here, we're using a free dial-up BT Yahoo dial-up account . If you don't have an existing dialup account, then sign up for one from BT Yahoo free-of-charge and get a pay-as-you go account. There's no subscription fee, and you only pay standard call rates for the time you're online. We're rather keen on BT Yahoo for on-the-move access to email and web.

To get an account, first, go to from a PC, select "Pay as you Go" and create an account. You'll then get some details that you'll need to set up your account on the Pocket PC. Then, looking at the Pocket PC, follow these instructions:

Step-by-Step setup instructions

First, you need to set-up the dialer settings...

This page offers help with Pocket PC 2002 and Windows Mobile 2003 devices. As the process differs slightly between the two systems, we have two separate sets of instructions: Pocket PC 2002 and Windows Mobile 2003. To check which system you have, go to: Start > 'Settings' > 'System' tab > 'About'.

If you have a Windows Mobile 5.0 device, see the Windows Mobile Connection Page

Setting up the dialup connection (Pocket PC 2002)

The following applies to devices with the Pocket PC 2002 operating system - See below for Windows Mobile 2003 instructions

  1. Go to Start > Settings, move to the 'Connections' tab and select 'Connections'.
  2. From the "When needed, automatically connect to the Internet using:" pulldown, select "New...".
  3. Enter "BT Yahoo" as the Connection name, then select the 'Modem' tab.
  4. Press 'New...'. You will be presented with the "Make New Connection" screen. At this screen, you'll be asked for a connection name, how you're going to connect, and a connection speed. Complete the details as per the following screenshot - We're assuming that you're connecting between your Pocket PC and a modem over infrared (IrDa):
    Make new connection
  5. Press 'Next' and enter the BT Yahoo dialup number of 08457 560000 in the 'Phone number' field, as per the following screenshot:
    Phone number
  6. Press 'Next', then 'Finish'.
  7. Close the "My connection" settings dialog with the 'OK' button.
  8. You now need to double-check that your area code information is correctly set. Press the 'Dialing Locations' tab, change the location pull-down to your current location (e.g. "Work..."), then press the 'Dialing patterns...' button, and make sure that you're not dialling using a country code or an area code. The dialog should look as per the following screenshot:
    Dialing patterns
  9. Close the 'Dialing patterns' dialog with the 'OK' button.
  10. Close the 'Connections' dialog with the 'OK' button.

You should now be ready to connect to the Internet.
Make sure your modem is available and turned on (if using IR, turn the phone's IR on and align the windows. If using Bluetooth, make sure Bluetooth on phone and PDA are turned on, and you have 'paired').
From the Pocket PC, go to Internet Explorer and in the address bar, type "" then press Return

When you first try to connect to BT Yahoo, you will be prompted to enter the username and password that you entered when you created your BT Yahoo account. Enter these and tick the "Save password" box, as per the following screenshot:


You should now be connecting to the Internet, and hopefully see our homepage in your Internet Explorer browser. See below for help setting up email


Setting up the dialup connection (Windows Mobile 2003)

The following applies to devices with the Windows Mobile 2003 operating system. See above for Pocket PC 2002 instructions

  1. Go to Start > Settings, go to the 'Connections' tab, and select 'Connections'
  2. Under "My ISP", select "Add a new modem connection"
  3. Enter "BT Yahoo" and select the modem connection you want to use ("Generic IrDA" or Bluetooth), then press 'Next'
  4. Enter the BT Yahoo dialup number, which is 08457 560000 in the 'Phone number' field, and then press 'Next'
  5. Enter your username and password that were supplied when you created your BT Yahoo account, then press 'Finish'
  6. Close the 'Connections' dialog with the 'OK' button
Phone number
Username / Password
Windows Mobile 2003 - Internet connection setup wizard

You should now be ready to connect to the Internet.
Make sure your modem is available and turned on (if using IR, turn the phone's IR on and align the windows. If using Bluetooth, make sure Bluetooth on phone and PDA are turned on, and you have 'paired').

From the Pocket PC, go to Internet Explorer and in the address bar, type "" then press Return
You should now be connecting to the Internet, and hopefully see our homepage in your Internet Explorer browser.

See below for help setting up email

Set up your email settings

  1. Go to Inbox / Messaging, and select the option to create a new account.
    • On Pocket PC 2002, this is done via the Services menu, by selecting 'New service...'
    • On Windows Mobile 2003, this is done via the Accounts menu, by selecting 'New Account...'
  2. Enter your email address, and press 'Next'
  3. If you're not connected, skip the auto-detect step
  4. Enter your name, username and password. (With BT Yahoo, your username is your email address). Tick 'Save password' if you don't want to enter your password each time you check your email. Press 'Next'
  5. At the next screen, select the 'Account type' (or 'Service type'). Most common type is POP3. Name the account with a friendly name, like 'BT Yahoo', for your reference. Press 'Next'
  6. Enter the 'Incoming mail' server address (POP3 or IMAP). For BT Yahoo, this is
  7. Enter the 'Outgoing mail' server address (SMTP). For BT Yahoo, this is
  8. Press Finish

Email setup

This should be enough information to allow you to connect and collect your email. When you press the send/receive button, your Pocket PC will attempt to connect with the modem and dial the Internet.

Using GPRS

If you prefer, you can connect with your mobile phone over GPRS if supported by your mobile phone network operator. For details of GPRS and GPRS settings, see our GPRS page. This section explains how to connect via the o2 GPRS gateway. To set up a Pocket PC for access via o2's GPRS "Mobile Web" service, follow the instructions above, but you'll need to make two changes, as follows:

  • Phone number: When entering the phone number, enter *99#
  • Before pressing Finish: You need to press on the 'Advanced' button to change some settings - When you've opened the Advanced dialog, untick "Wait for dial tone", and add the following string to the extra dial-string commands:
    In this case, we've used "MOBILE.O2.CO.UK" ,which is one of the o2 GPRS access point names... you should check the APN listings on our GPRS page to make sure you use the correct one for your network.
GPRS - Phone Number
GPRS - Modem Strings

If using email, you'll need to use the SMTP address of your mobile phone network, and not your ISP, as it is your mobile network that will be used when sending emails. In our example, at step 7 of email settings above, replace the SMTP address with your ISP's SMTP address (e.g. "" for o2 customers)

Problem solving

Having problems connecting? Try the following...

  • When communicating with an infrared mobile phone, ensure that the phone's Infrared is switched on, and ensure distance of between 5 - 15cm (too close may swamp the IR eye).
  • Ensure that your Network operator (e.g. o2, Orange, Vodafone) has 'data-enabled' your SIM card. If not, call their Customer Service people.
  • If you can connect, but can't browse content, it could be that your SIM is not data-enabled, or that you're trying to browse content that your tariff/connection doesn't allow - such as browsing web pages via a WAP dial-up, or using an MMS APN (GPRS) to view WAP content. Check that you have the right settings for the service you're trying to access, and that your Network Operator has enabled the service you're trying to connect using.
  • Double-check that you're dialing the right number, and using the right location setting (e.g. "Work"). When you try to connect, you get a "dialing" box. Make sure that you're not dialling an unexpected prefix (i.e. missing the "0", or adding a country code). Check it looks like the following screenshot, and if it doesn't check the entry you have in dialling locations:

Still having problems? See our Connected? page, or try asking in our forum

Problems sending emails

If you can receive, but not send emails, it is likely to be one of two things:

  • If you get an error such as "Problem sending message", you may be trying to send a message to one ISP's mailbox while connected to a different ISP. To prevent spamming, most ISPs require you to connect to their service (not someone else's) in order to send an email via their SMTP server. For instance, don't be surprised if you find that can't send mail from your BT Yahoo account (using the server address if you've logged on to Virgin Media.
  • Your ISP is looking for CLI (Caller Line Identification), and it is not being sent - Some Internet Service Providers (such as Wanadoo) use CLI to identify users. If this is disabled, you can get around this by adding 1470, in front of the telephone number in Control panel | Internet | Edit | Service.

Frequently asked questions:

Broadband / ADSL / Cable email If you have a Broadband Advice or cable account (such as Virgin Media), you may think that you can't use your Pocket PC to collect email via POP or IMAP, however, there is a form of workaround.
Many broadband/cable suppliers offer dialup access too. Check with your supplier. Failing that, provided that the supplier uses POP3 email (as opposed to webmail), then you should be able to access your mail through another provider. Get yourself a free account with BT Yahoo and try to access your provider's POP server. Note that sending mail from via your supplier's SMTP server probably won't work, so you may need to use BT Yahoo's SMTP address.

Alternatively, if in range of your broadband modem, consider using Bluetooth or Wi-fi to share your Internet connection

Just got a Pocket PC? Worried about the threat of viruses? We're often asked if there's a need for a virus checker or firewall software on the Pocket PC.

At the time of writing (Jan 2005), a quick search reveals that there are around 69,000 Windows PC viruses out there. On the Pocket PC platform, there are just 2, and one of these is harmless. If you fancy paying around £30 to protect yourself from this one virus, there are packages out there. I'd say that the risk of Spyware and the need for a firewall on the Pocket PC is pretty minimal at the moment.

Wi-fi? If you're looking to use your Pocket PC for wireless Internet connectivity over a wi-fi network, we've got some information on how to get set up on our Wi-fi page
Remote control your PC!

Want to be able to access your desktop PC from your Windows Mobile device while you're out and about? You'll find that you can use your mobile device to access a larger PC, using the GoToMyPC. service.

Find out more about this service on our dedicated GoToMyPC page, or go to for a free trial.

Bluetooth? If you're looking for help on how to connect your Pocket PC to a mobile phone using Bluetooth, we've got some information on how to get set up on our Bluetooth page
Hotmail and AOL

Hotmail and AOL use proprietary email systems, as opposed to the more common POP email systems - this makes it tricky to access mail on a mobile device. For email on the move, consider using a standard POP3 provider such as BT Yahoo (see setup details) that offers free email accounts that can be configured on mobile phone email programs.

Hotmail on a Pocket PCThe standard Pocket Inbox supplied on the Pocket PC can't be used to get your Hotmail or AOL email, as these services use proprietary email systems, rather than the standard POP service used by most Internet Service Providers.

There is, however, an alternative. You can use the Pocket PC's Internet Explorer to access your emails over webmail - including Hotmail and AOL mail. The screenshot on the right demonstrates a Hotmail account accessed via a Pocket PC web browsing session using

Hotmail: The newer version of the Pocket PC Operating System, Windows Mobile 5, comes with Pocket MSN, that includes Hotmail.

AOL: We've also been directed to an AOL Mail FAQ that suggests that a suitable email program can be configured to get email access via IMAP (as opposed to POP3). Many smartphones and PDAs support IMAP (check in the email section). For devices that don't support IMAP, you can download one from Handango

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