My Digital Story

Just to make live easier…

Sync Windows Mobile Contacts to Thunderbird Address Book

I am still recovering from fever today, but my passion with Windows Mobile seemed to defeat my fever.

I just completed another important trick for Windows Mobile. To sync Windows Mobile (WinMo) contacts to Thunderbird Address Book.

My Windows Mobile is synced to my corporate Exchange Server. So all my emails, contacts, calendar, tasks are synced perfectly with my Microsoft Outlook in my office PC. There is no issue at all since Windows Mobile is Microsoft and Exchange Server is also Microsoft.

It is a different story when I want to sync my contacts in the Windows Mobile to my personal notebook which is using Thunderbird as the  mail client. I just can not afford to buy a Microsoft Outlook. To have an original copy of Microsoft Office Student & Home edition is good enough for me. In fact I managed to buy the copy at a promotional price of RM199 only during last Ramadhan (September 2008).

There is a freeware for you to accomplish this task. It is called finchsync.

The good feature about this application is you can sync wirelessly or using USB cable from your WinMo to the notebook (the notebook must be switch on though). For wireless, you need to use Wifi from your wireless router where the WinMO and your notebook can reach each other using the Private Address Range (IP address that start usually 192.168.XXx.XXx).

If you want to sync using the USB, the IP address could be something different ( on for your PC while the WinMo will have the IP of

It works by setting-up a server in your host pc/notebook and your Windows Mobile will act as the client to access the finchsync server.

The finchserver will connect to your Thunderbird Address Book (the address book with *.mab extension resides in C:\Documents and Settings\XXX\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\uwlfu7s8.default\abook.mab) while thee finchsync client on the Windows Mobile will get your information from the device PIM database. Then the application will sync to one another.

First you need to download the PC server application HERE. Notice that the file is *.jar mean it is a java application. So make sure you have Java Runtime Environment installed in your PC.

Next you need to download and install the client application. You can directly download the CAB version directly to your Pocket PC from HERE.


It takes just three steps to install the server on your PC:

  1. Create a directory ‘FinchSync’ (or what name you like) on your hard drive.
  2. Download the jar-archive ‘FinchSync.jar’ from the download area.
  3. Store the file in the created directory.

That’s all. No registry entries, no DLLs spread over your system.

Now browse to the directory where you keep the finchsync and open it.

Notice the IP address correctly. To get the IP address, connect your pocket pc to the usb and let the activesync to run. then only you click the finchsync to run and get the IP address

Notice the IP address correctly because that is the IP address that you'll need when configuring on the client side

If you sync using the wireless method, make sure you configure your firewall (Kaspersky, Windows standard firewall, or any other firewalls) to accept incoming/outgoing signal from your Windows Mobile device.

Now, let configure the PC server.

Server Setting

Click File and go to Server Configuration

Enter the port number (can be from 0 to 65535 and only one application at a time may register for a single port.) To be safe, just use 8080

Enter the port number (can be from 0 to 65535 and only one application at a time may register for a single port.) To be safe, just use 8080

A good choice for alternative port numbers is the range from 8080 to 8087. Try any of these numbers until FinchSync starts without an error message. Remember, you must restart FinchSync to use the new settings.

If you are using a Firewall on your system, you must open the specified port. If you get a message from the firewall, that ‘java’ or ‘FinchSync’ is trying to open a port, you MUST allow this action, or a client will not be able to connect to the server.

Setup the administrator account

The server FinchSync has a (very small) web-interface. If you have trouble connecting your PocketPC with the server, you might first try to access the web-interface with PocketOutlook.

Further you can shutdown the server from the web-interface, if you enter your admin login. If the server is running, you can access the web-interface using the url:


just to test that the server is running in the background. Finchsync.jar must be running for this to work

just to test that the server is running in the background. Finchsync.jar must be running for this to work

Sync sources provide contacts, tasks or appointments, which can be synchronized with external clients. A sync source can provide single types of items or a combination of multiple types of items. Typically an address book source provides contacts, and a calendar source provides tasks and appointments.

Before you can synchronize information with your Pocket PC, you must specify what information you’d like to synchronize. The Mozilla address book, for example, is able to manage multiple different address books. Each of those address books may be a single sync source for FinchSync.

To manage sync sources, select the ‘Sync Sources’ tab from the main-window:

The auto scan does not work for me, so I jsut browse the *mab Address Book manual to the directory that I stated  earlier

The auto scan does not work for me, so I jsut browse the *mab Address Book manual to the directory that I stated earlier

Click Add

Next you will need to link the server to the right Thunderbird Address Book database which
has the *.mab extension. The directory is somewhere here: C:\Documents and Settings\XXX\Application Data

It is faster to access manually. In my case, the scan give nothing of the mab file.

Add a Client

Client is your Windows Mobile.

make sure the password have both alpha and numeric at least 6 characters

make sure the password have both alpha and numeric at least 6 characters. Do not click readonly if you want both side to write to each other

  • Enter a new, unique name, using only characters and numbers. (The name can’t be changed, once the account is created.)
  • Enter a password with at least 6 characters.
  • Enter a description (optional).
  • Press ‘Add’ to add sync sources to the client account. Only these sources can be accessed by the client.

ON THE CLIENT (Window Mobile)

Once you have install the application in your device, launch it and start to configure the server setting

The first screen once you launch the finch on your pocket pc

The first screen once you launch the finch on your pocket pc

Click Config to configure the server

Here you need to enter the IP address and the port number that your server has.

Also enter the login and password that you have specify in the finchsync application on your PC.

To validate the setting, press “Test”

If everything is OK, you will get connected to the server.


The synchronization is initiated from the main window.

  • Select a server from the drop-down list.
  • Press ‘Sync it!’

First all running Pocket Outlook applications are closed (PocketOutlook is just one application running on your PocketPC, but it is shown to the user as four different applications: Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Email windows).

This is necessary, because Pocket Outlook will not reflect changes made in the database while it is running. You should finish work with these applications, before you start the synchronization. This may fail in some cases. See FAQ topic nr. 5 for more details.

Then all items are read from Pocket Outlook database (PIM) and checked for changes. This may take some time, especially if there are many items in the database.

Then the selected server is contacted and the synchronization is performed. At the end a success-message is displayed or errors are reported.

For details, choose ‘Config/View log’ to open the synchronization log:

Good Luck!


10/10/2008 - Posted by | Windows Mobile | , ,


  1. Since you also sync with your corporate Exchange server, I am curious about the calendar and task syncing. Outlook/Pocket Outlook have always frustrated me with their “one datastore” approach. I like to separate my personal stuff from my work stuff. I do not need to sync my personal email, I just set up a separate email account to access that from my WinMo device. I can work around the contacts limitation because the Exchange sync’ing is with my personal address book- that let’s me keep it separate from the corporate address book. But the calendar and tasks I think would get all jumbled together and I do not like that (actually, my personal calendar is actually about 6 calendars- even better!). Do you know of anyway to have a different calendar/task list?

    Comment by Tim | 08/03/2009

  2. This worked like a charm and it only took me like 15 minutes! Especially great considering that this task is usually an incredible chore with a very high failure rate. Thanks a lot!

    Comment by Ennio Wolsink | 18/04/2011

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