When searching for the apps for these outdated systems, one can often find the apps available for both Pocket PC and Windows Mobile, with minimal or no changes between platforms. Sometimes there is a version for WinCE, but often there isn't.

All three of the platforms share the same standard distribution format, which is .CABs packaged in a strange way. And indeed when attempting to install a PPC / WinMobile app onto a WinCE machine, the app often installs and works successfully. But sometimes, it refuses to get installed whatsoever. And what's worse, the installer may corrupt the .CAB file

How can one force-install a Pocket PC (PPC) and Windows Mobile (WM, WinMobile) .CAB apps onto Windows CE (WinCE)?

1 Answer 1


Indeed, often apps made for PPC and WinMobile work frawlessly on WinCE. But sometimes they simply don't work, or don't install. There is a way to force install PPC/WM apps onto WinCE, yet there is no guarrantee the apps would work afterwards. In fact, the weird thing about WinCE is that sometimes apps designed for WinCE do not work on the platform

I personally got many apps to install and work using this trick. Nonetheless, one can never know before you try.

Windows XP (VM) highly recommended. There is a chance the trick may work on Windows 7, or possibly even anything newer, yet no concrete evidence so far

  1. Download and install the app called Windows CE Cab Manager
  2. Open the CAB file within. Right-click on "CAB Information" -> Properties
    • Cabinet -> Untick "Compress the CAB file"
    • Cabinet -> Processor -> Select "All"
    • (Almost never required) For "Platform" and "Operating system", ensure your OS and CPU type are supported

  1. File -> Save as -> (save as a new .cab file). The file size should increase dramatically (x5-10 times)

Now the app should be install-able on your device. But to emphasise, even though it is now install-able, there is no guarantee it will run.

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