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Transferring Files to Your Pocket PC Using Infrared

by Wei-Meng Lee
10/25/2004

There are generally three ways to transfer files between your Pocket PC and your PC--ActiveSync, Bluetooth, and infrared (IrDA). ActiveSync is the fastest, so long as you have your ActiveSync cable with you. However, you may not have the cable with you when you are on the road. And so you are left with two options, Bluetooth and infrared. If you are one of those lucky chaps who own a Bluetooth-enabled Pocket PC, then you have one less cable to worry about, and Bluetooth really offers an efficient wireless solution. For the rest of us, we have to make do with what we have--our trusty old infrared port.

In this article, I will show you how to use infrared to perform ActiveSync with your Pocket PC. I will also demonstrate using infrared to quickly transfer files between your devices.

Using Infrared for ActiveSync

Most notebook computers come with a built-in infrared port located behind the screen. However, if yours did not come with one (or if you are using a desktop computer), you can purchase an USB infrared adapter for about $40. Figure 1 shows the U4-IRDA USB infrared adapter from USBGear. Two nice things about USB infrared adapters are that they are plug-and-play and require no external power.


Figure 1. The U4-IRDA USB infrared adapter from USBGear
Figure 1. The U4-IRDA USB infrared adapter from USBGear

To use infrared for ActiveSync, launch Microsoft ActiveSync and click on File -> Connection Settings … (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Changing the connection setting for infrared synchronization
Figure 2. Changing the connection setting for infrared synchronization

Check on the “Allow serial cable or infrared connection to this COM port” option and select infrared Port (IR). Click OK (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Selecting the infrared port for ActiveSync
Figure 3. Selecting the infrared port for ActiveSync

On your Pocket PC, launch ActiveSync from the Start menu (see Figure 4).

Figure 4. Launching ActiveSync on the Pocket PC
Figure 4. Launching ActiveSync on the Pocket PC

Align the infrared ports of both the Pocket PC and your PC. At the bottom of the ActiveSync application, click on Tools -> Connect via IR… (see Figure 5).

Figure 5. Connecting to the PC via infrared
Figure 5. Connecting to the PC via infrared

Your Pocket PC should now synchronize with your PC (see Figure 6).

Figure 6. Synchronizing with the PC via infrared
Figure 6. Synchronizing with the PC via infrared

To copy files directly onto your Pocket PC, you can click on the Explore button in ActiveSync (see Figure 7). A window will display the files currently on your Pocket PC. You can now drag and drop any files you want to copy onto the folder.

Figure 7. Copying files directly using ActiveSync
Figure 7. Copying files directly using ActiveSync

Sending Files Directly using Infrared

While ActiveSync makes it easy for you to transfer a large number of files directly onto your Pocket PC, you can also directly send files to your Pocket PC without using ActiveSync.

When the two infrared ports of your Pocket PC and PC are aligned, Windows will display an infrared icon in the tray (see Figure 8).

Figure 8. The infrared icon in the Tray
Figure 8. The infrared icon in the system tray

You can click on the icon to reveal the Wireless Link window, which allows you to select files to be sent to your Pocket PC (see Figure 9).

Figure 9. Sending files directly to the Pocket PC via infrared
Figure 9. Sending files directly to the Pocket PC via infrared

On the other hand, if you need to send files from your Pocket PC to your PC directly, you can use File Explorer (on the Pocket PC) and tap and hold onto the file you want to send. A context menu will then be shown. Tap Beam File… to send the file to your PC via infrared (see Figure 10).

Figure 10. Beaming a file using infrared from the Pocket PC
Figure 10. Beaming a file using infrared from the Pocket PC
Windows XP Unwired

Related Reading

Windows XP Unwired
A Guide for Home, Office, and the Road
By Wei-Meng Lee

Wei-Meng Lee (Microsoft MVP) http://weimenglee.blogspot.com is a technologist and founder of Developer Learning Solutions http://www.developerlearningsolutions.com, a technology company specializing in hands-on training on the latest Microsoft technologies.


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