WMDC will not fully install, connect, or uninstall
10 Mar 2021
This article explains what to do if Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Center (WMDC) will not fully install or uninstall.
It is common for WMDC to fail to install completely even if it looks like it has been installed. This means only one of the two parts of the install was completed.
The partial installation can cause the following issues when connecting to our rugged handheld computer products:
- Unable to connect when "Enable Advanced Network Functionality" is checked on the handheld.
- To verify, go to Start > Settings > Connections.
- Click on the USB to PC icon.
- The handheld only appears in Sync Center but not in WMDC.
- In Device Manager, the device name never appears under Portable Devices.
If WMDC was only partially installed, it may cause complications when trying to uninstall it. If it is not successfully uninstalled, it will also cause issues after re-install.
If WMDC was not successfully uninstalled,
- "Windows Mobile Device Center" and/or "Windows Mobile Device Center Driver Update" cannot be removed from the Programs and Features (uninstall or change a program) list or from "Add or remove programs."
- You can still find services such as "Windows Mobile-2003-based device connectivity" and "Windows Mobile-based device connectivity" running in Task Manager and listed in System Configuration (MSConfig).
- The C:\Windows\WindowsMobile\ folder still exists. These services must be manually stopped and deleted.
To successfully uninstall WMDC,
- Uninstall WMDC (both the driver update and main app) if already installed.
- Use msconfig (System Configuration) to stop the two WMDC services.
- Use Task Manager to end task on the two WMDC processes.
- Manually delete the entire C:\Windows\WindowsMobile folder.
If the above steps do not work, you may need to uninstall WMDC using the following Microsoft Troubleshooter.
To install WMDC successfully, make sure your WMDC installer file download is not corrupt or partial. Good copies of the installer are available under the 64-bit and 32-bit links on Windows Mobile Device Center (ActiveSync).
See WMDC in Windows 10 for more information.
It is also possible a firewall or other system security is enabled preventing WMDC from successfully installing and connecting. If you disable the security, when the install is complete and the connection is tested you should be able to re-enable the security. If you are having connection issues with the security enabled, you can find suggestions in our article Corporate Security (Firewall or Virus Scan) Conflict.
Original article written December 9, 2016.