Threaded SMS – Making It More User-Friendly

Kudos to the forum at for providing these tricks (multiple forum posts).

The threaded SMS feature of Windows Mobile 6.1 seems to be one of those features you either love or hate. It makes an SMS conversation resemble an IM chat between two parties. This may or may not feel “right” for you. But even if you like the concept, it may not be as smooth as you like it. For instance you may find that there is not as many lines allocated to you answering an SMS as there are lines presenting the previous dialog. And maybe you think there’s not enough room for text in general. I decided to collect some “hacks” here 🙂

Inspired by Marco’s article ( they are also provided in a GPO-friendly manner 🙂

Disabling / Enabling threaded SMS:
This is controlled by the following registry key
DWORD SMSInboxThreadingDisabled
1 = Disabled, 0 = Enabled (default)

Specifying DPI for the current font (more equals less):
DWORD CurFont, Min value 600, Max value 1100
This setting is dependent on the resolution your device is running, and may not work on all devices. Most devices upgraded from WM 6.0 to WM 6.1 are running QVGA (320×240) whereas newer devices running WM 6.1 out-of-the-box run VGA (640×480). It will affect your entire inbox, meaning both SMS and mail. The text will become smaller so make sure it’s readable 🙂

And if you want it as an ADM-file:

CATEGORY “Windows Mobile Settings-Extended”

POLICY “Disable Threaded SMS”
KEYNAME “SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Mobile Settings\Registry\HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Inbox\Settings\OEM\”
EXPLAIN “Disable the Threaded SMS feature.”
VALUENAME “SMSInboxThreadingDisabled”

KEYNAME “SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows Mobile Settings\Registry\HKLM\ControlPanel\Stylus\192DPI”
EXPLAIN “Adjusts the DPI (size) of the font for the inbox (mail & SMS). Note: is dependent on the resolution the device is running.”
MIN 600
MAX 1100


Allocating lines pr reply (sorry, this one is file-based):
Locate the file \Windows\thread_sms.html, (from a Windows Mobile 61. device), and open it up in your preferred html editor. Notepad will probably suffice for this simple file.
Find the line “Inbox:content id=”COMPOSESUBJECT” width=”98%” height=35” and change the “height”-parameter to something else. 35 is the default value in my case, changing it to 75 gives you 6 lines.

If you want to get creative there’s also an thread_style.css file to change more of the appearance.

There are probably a number of other settings available as well, but I found these to address some of the more annoying aspects of threaded SMS 🙂

Dimmed Backlight on Login Screen

If you have a newer model of a Windows Mobile device you might have had problems with the backlight being dimmed when you’re typing in your password/PIN. (You do have Power-On-Password enabled don’t you?) As long as you’re indoors it’s not a problem, but try seeing anything at all on the screen when you are outdoors.

Sometimes I have no idea what they are thinking when they decide what to make a default setting. (Especially when they don’t provide with a way to change the setting through the GUI.)

If you are affected by this try changing the following registry key:
HKCU\ControlPanel\BackLight\Locklevel\ (DWORD) LockLevel
0 = disable dimmer, 1-10 enable dimmer (varying levels of brightness). Not all devices support all values.

On the HTC Touch Pro I spotted another setting (which is available through the GUI as well), possibly present on other newer HTC models as well. The setting dims the backlight, but turns the brightness up when you touch the screen (which has a nice feeling to it).
HKCU\ControlPanel\BackLight\ (DWORD) DimBKLinUnlockScreen
0 = disabled, 1 = enabled (As in “Disabled = good thing”)