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wmUpHeadSo with the impending release of Windows Mobile 7, a lot of people are interested in upgrading. And I have been receiving a lot of questions from people still running variations of Windows Mobile 5 who want to upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.

The first thing to do is to check for real upgrades from your service provider. For instance I have a T-Mobile Dash that I used to use on AT&T. It is running Windows Mobile 5 but T-Mobile has released a upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.

I could not find it on their site. I assume it is no longer available from them or without contacting customer support. But I found it with a little Google-Fu:

upgrade to windows mobile 6 1

That first site has a copy of the upgrade files I need to upgrade to Windows Mobile 6.1. The files can be downloaded from here. Maybe you don’t trust the site or you were unable to locate an upgrade file for your device.  Remember – these are for the DASH only and you will need to find your ROM for your device. ROM upgrades are device-specific. If you do not understand this statement DO NOT UPGRADE!


If you cannot find what you need from a reputable source, like your ISP, what you need to do is go to the XDA-Developers Forum and locate your device like so (they only have HTC devices and 9 out of 10 Windows Mobile devices are HTC):

upgrade to windows mobile 6 1

Click on your device. You can locate it using the Control-F feature on your browser.  Once you are in the forums you will need to locate a ROM – you can use Control-F or their search feature to find a ROM. The ROM below is actually Windows Mobile 6.5 FTW! You can see this enclosed in brackets in the title. Open the post.

upgrade to windows mobile 6 1

This is a custom WM 6.5 ROM just for this device. The author includes instructions and what to do in case something goes wrong. Let’s take a look at it:

Flashing instructions:

** note ** : your phone must be application unlocked. If it is not, please run SDA Application Unlock.exe via Activesync.

  1. Download and run SDA Application Unlock with the phone connected.
  2. Remove your SD card.
  3. Download and unzip the file.
  4. Run Auto.bat.
  5. Follow the prompts in the DOS window.
  6. Hit “continue” on your phone, screen will turn white.
  7. Run RomUpdateUtility.exe (if it doesn’t run via the script).
  8. The flash will take about 8-10 minutes.
  9. Upon first boot, it will seem frozen for a few minutes, maybe even go black. This is NORMAL!
  10. Test! Enjoy!

In case something goes wrong:

  1. Remove the battery and the SD card–> Put ONLY the battery back in.
  2. While holding the camera button, press the power button.
  3. The multicolor boot screen will pop up.
  4. Plug in the USB cable and flash back your shipped (HTC) ROM.
  5. Find out what went wrong and reflash this ROM properly.

See my full “unbricking” guide here.

These directions will be different for each device but the bulk of it will be the same. Download your ROM, USB connect your device and run their applications. For normal updates you do the same thing but connect the device via Activesync and then run the update.

But all in all nowadays you really cannot brick your device as there are methods for undoing almost anything you can do! When you are finished you will have a brand new device!

Check out these shots of a Dash running Windows Mobile 6.5!

how to upgrade to win mobile 6

If you need device-specific advice, hit me with an email or leave a comment!

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  1. Todd McNickle
    March 11, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I happen to come across this post by accident. I truly love my activesync. But, I wish the iPhone had more feature support like the WM. Task and Multiple exchange accounts are missing. Without tasks, I'm at a loss!!!!

    I am not sure how many of you with WM had headaches setting up the sync portion of exchange, but I spent many weeks with my tech guy ---(and many sleepless nights!!). He kept on wanting me to upgrade my server to 2008. Yet, we just purchased this system. Finally came across these flat rate guys. Boy, worth every penny. I think from start to payment it was only about 20 minutes. Check them out. By the way we tried the godaddy cert. not much help either. I suspect they can assist you with your setup as well.

  2. Kannan
    March 11, 2010 at 1:30 am

    I upgraded my ROM..Its fantastic!!

    • Karl Gechlik |
      March 11, 2010 at 4:08 am

      What rom on what device?

  3. Robert M
    February 21, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I actually wanted that phone badly until Android came out.

  4. Yehoshua
    February 21, 2010 at 6:23 am

    I upgraded to the pictured ROM on my HTC s620 (TMO Dash) just a couple weeks ago, and it's great. A few small bugs, but battery life and memory usage are both better than WinMo 6.1 I had installed before.

  5. windows mobile games
    February 20, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    great stuff.. thanks for sharing