How to Use the Windows Mobile 6.1 Device Emulator

Friday, February 26, 2010
The Windows Mobile 6.1 Emulator is a software version of a Windows Mobile phone that you can use to test Windows Mobile applications, such as Exchange ActiveSync.  This tool is enormously helpful for testing, troubleshooting, and creating documentation.

The WM emulator has been around since about 1998, but disappeared for a while, due to some legal issues.  I remember using this tool at TechEd a few years ago in a session that taught you how to create applications for Windows Mobile.  It's back now, with improved functionality and ease of use.

The emulator runs on top of Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (a free download).  Virtual PC 2007 provides the hooks to the host operating system to provide network access and resource sharing.  This makes the emulator much simpler to configure than in the past.

You will need to download the following two packages from Microsoft:
Install Virtual PC 2007 first, accepting all the defaults in the setup wizard.  No further configuration of Virtual PC 2007 is required.

Next, install Windows Mobile 6.1. Emulator Images, accepting all the defaults in the setup wizard.

To configure the emulator, run it from Start > All Programs > Windows Mobile 6 SDK > Standalone Emulator Images > US English > WM 6.1 Professional.  Click File > Configure.  On the General tab, browse to your Desktop as the Shared Folder.  This will make your Desktop the external storage card on the emulator.  Now check the Network tab and check Enable NE2000 PCMCIA network adapter and bind to checkbox and click OK.  By now the emulator should have finish starting up. 

Use your mouse to configure a network connection on the emulator, as follows:
  • Click Start > Settings on the emulator.
  • Click the Connections tab and Connections.
  • Click the Advanced tab and Select Networks.
  • Select My Work Network in the top dropdown box
  • If you use a proxy server to access the Internet click Edit.  Click the Proxy Settings tab, configure your proxy settings.  Use the Advanced button to configure the proxy port, user name, password, and domain.  Click OK to get back to Network Management.
  • Click OK to return to Settings.
  • Click Network Cards.
  • In the My network card connects to dropdown box select Work
  • Click NE2000 Compatible Ethernet Driver.  Check to see that the NE2000 Ethernet Driver has received an IP address from your DHCP server, or configure the IP address and name servers here.  Click OK twice to return to Settings.
  • Close Settings.
Now test your Internet connectivity by clicking Start > Internet Explorer.  Enter, which will redirect to, as shown.

You can now use the WM 6.1 emulator just like a real hardware mobile device!  Use it to test Exchange ActiveSync, your company's AutoDiscover record, or your custom applications.  The emulator runs the exact same code that Microsoft offers to device manufacturers.

There are several Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional (touchscreen PocketPC) emulator images:
  • WM 6.1 Classic
  • WM 6.1 Professional (used in the screenshots above)
  • WM 6.1 Professional 240x240
  • WM 6.1 Professional 480x480
  • WM 6.1 Professional Square
  • WM 6.1 Professional Square QVGA
  • WM 6.1 Professional Square VGA
  • WM 6.1 Professional VGA
The Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard (non-touchscreen SmartPhone) emulator images include:
  • WM 6.1 Standard (shown below)
  • WM 6.1 Standard 400x240
  • WM 6.1 Standard 440x240
  • WM 6.1 Standard Landscape
  • WM 6.1 Standard QVGA
  • WM 6.1 Standard Square