iSync 2: How to sync a Palm OS device over Bluetooth

If you're using iSync 2 (part of Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5), this article shows how to set up and synchronize iSync with a Palm OS device wirelessly over Bluetooth.

Note: Using Mac OS X 10.3.9 or earlier? See this article instead.

To use iSync 2 with a Palm OS device over Bluetooth, you need the following:

  • A Mac with built-in Bluetooth or a third-party USB Bluetooth adapter.
  • A Palm OS device with built-in Bluetooth or a Bluetooth expansion card.
  • Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5.
  • Palm HotSync 3.0 or later (included with Palm Desktop software version 4.2.1 or later).

Tip: Want to sync your Palm OS device over USB instead? See this article.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Before you begin...

Make sure that you've installed Palm Desktop and HotSync. It's also a good idea to use Software Update to make sure that your Mac OS X, iSync, and Bluetooth software are up to date.

Activate Bluetooth on your Mac

  1. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  2. Click Bluetooth to display its preference pane.
  3. Click the Settings tab.
  4. If Bluetooth Power is "Off," click the "Turn Bluetooth On" button.
  5. Select the Discoverable checkbox.
  6. Quit System Preferences.

Configure your Palm OS device

This is a 4-step process. First, configure the Communication preferences:

  1. On your Palm OS device, tap the Home button until you see the Prefs application.
  2. Tap the Prefs application to open it.
  3. Tap either Communication or Bluetooth, depending on your version of Palm OS.
  4. If you tapped Communication in the previous step, tap Bluetooth in the Communication listing.
  5. From the pop-up menu next to Bluetooth, choose on.

Next, configure the device for syncing:

  1. Tap the Home button until you see HotSync, then tap it to open it; or tap your device's HotSync icon button if it has one.
  2. Tap the Menu button.
  3. Choose Connection Setup from the menu that appears.
  4. Tap the New button.
  5. For the connection name, enter "Bluetooth."
  6. From the Connect To pop-up menu, choose PC.
  7. From the Via pop-up menu, choose Bluetooth.
  8. From the Device pop-up menu, choose the Tap to find button.

The device will begin searching for Bluetooth devices in range. When finished, your computer should appear in the listing on your Palm device.

Troubleshooting tip
If your computer doesn't appear in your Palm's Bluetooth list, make sure that you've completed all the "Activate Bluetooth on your Mac" steps. Also,make sure that your Palm device is not too far from your Mac.

Then pair your computer with your Palm OS device:

  1. On your Palm, select your computer from the list of found devices,then tap OK.
  2. You should see a prompt that says, "Do you want to add to your trusted device list?" Tap Yes to confirm the pairing.
  3. You'll be prompted to enter a passkey on your Palm. Enter your 3- to 7-digit passkey (all numbers), then tap OK.
  4. Enter the same passkey on your Mac.
  5. Click Pair on the Mac.
  6. After the pairing is complete, click OK on your Palm to exit the Edit Connection screen.
  7. Tap Done to exit the Available Connections screen.
  8. From the Palm's HotSync screen, tap the Local button.
  9. From the pop-up menu below the HotSync logo, choose Bluetooth.

Troubleshooting tip
If you're using a third-party USB-to-Bluetooth adapter and are having difficulty pairing, plug the adapter directly into a USB port on your computer instead of connecting it to your keyboard, display, or other USB device port. Contact the manufacturer of the adapter if the issue persists.

Lastly, it's a good idea to use your Palm HotSync software to sync at least once before adding your Palm OS device to iSync. Why? Palm HotSync may install important updates and other items on your Palm OS device. You may also be asked to establish a user account to use with your Palm device the first time you sync. To do this:

  1. Open HotSync on your Palm device (not your computer), using either the HotSync application or HotSync button (if your device has one).
  2. Initiate a wireless sync by tapping the HotSync icon on the device screen.
  3. Any necessary updates included with the Palm software should install. When finished, click the Log button to confirm successful installation and syncing.

Important: Do not proceed with the iSync setup if you cannot complete a HotSync sync at least once. Instead, review the steps above or contact your device manufacturer for additional assistance.

Add the Palm device to iSync

Note: If you have any issues with installation, you may need to download the latest version of Palm Desktop.

  1. Enable the iSync Conduit for Palm HotSync.

    1. Open iSync 2, included with Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5.
    2. From the Devices menu, choose Enable Palm OS Syncing. You must log in as a user with administrator privileges. The conduit will be installed if it needs to be.

      Tip: iSync 2 will prompt you to install Palm HotSync software if it doesn't find it.

      Tip: Don't use previous Palm Conduit software with iSync version 2. Only use iSync Palm Conduit installed by iSync version 2.

  2. Open the HotSync Manager application on your Mac (it's probably in /Applications/Palm/HotSync Manager).
  3. From the HotSync menu, choose Conduit Settings.
  4. In the Conduit Settings window, double-click iSync Conduit, then select the "Enable iSync for this Palm device" checkbox.
  5. If you're using a Palm device that's localized for Japanese, select the "This is a Japanese Device" checkbox.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Close the Conduit Settings window.
  8. Click the Connection Settings tab.
  9. Select the "Bluetooth-pda-sync-port" option.
  10. Close the HotSync Manager window.


In order for iSync to include your Palm device in the sync, you must initiate the sync from your Palm device. To do this, start the sync using the HotSync application on your Palm, or tap the HotSync icon button (if your device has one).

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