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Add/Remove Programs always appears when you connect your H/PC to ActiveSync


Applies To

  • Windows CE 2.0, SP1
  • Handheld PC Professional, SP1
  • Handheld PC 2000
  • Windows CE 4.0, 4.1, 4.2 .net


When you cradle your Handheld PC through USB, Infrared or Serial the ActiveSync Add/Remove Programs (CEAppMgr) application launches automatically.
Once the application scan has completed. Installing an application, removing an application or cancelling the dialogue has no affect on preventing the application manager from appearing at the next sync.

More Info

The Windows CE Application Manager will be forced to load by ActiveSync when an application bundled into a Host installer is installed onto your PC. (see CESDS0046 for more information)

Windows CE App Manager

The application manager settings which encore the loading of a software program onto the Windows CE device can become locked under an unusual set of circumstances through which the Host installer initialises the CEAppMgr program, but fails to register itself with a device because it is not present.

If the Host installation files are removed from the PC using the Windows Add/Remove Programs (Add or Remove Programs under Windows XP) before the CEAppMgr is able to register either a successful installation or an unsuccessful installation onto the Windows CE device. Then the registry settings used by ActiveSync to offer any partnered device access to the software library will not be removed.
This results in the Add/Remove Programs dialogue being presented on every new synchronisation session.


To resolve the problem you must remove the auto-launch entries from the ActiveSync configuration in the Windows registry.

The following information outlines editing the Windows Registry. If performed incorrectly you can cause serious damage to your PC. Ensure that you have full, recent backups of both your PC data and Handheld PC before continuing.

  1. Disconnect your Handheld PC from the host and close the ActiveSync program
  2. Launch the registry editor by clicking Start
  3. Select Run
  4. Type regedit into the Run box and Click OK
  5. In the hierarchical list in the left pane navigate to the registry Key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows CE Services\AutoStartOnConnect
  6. Locate and delete the String value CEAppMgr from the right hand pane
  7. Exit regedit
  8. Log-off and back on to your Windows session or restart your computer for the changes to take effect

When you next connect your Handheld PC to the host, Add/Remove Programs should not be displayed.