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Motorola Q9h customizations

Posted: Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 by marcus

Last week, my beloved Samsung Blackjack bit the dust. Rather than getting a new Blackjack II, which looks like it has lots of problems compared to the original Blackjack, I decided to get the new Moto Q9h. Besides the sleek look, and small form factor, the keyboard appeared to be the best I had ever used, which was the only real reason that I decided on it.

Upon getting the Q out of the store, I noticed that there was tons of crap installed on the device by default. As if it wasn’t bad enough that we have to deal with tons of crapware/bloatware installed by default on new PC’s, now we have the same problem on mobile devices.

Below I have created a list of the modifications and customizations that I did on the phone immediately. Some of the items are simply icons or shortcuts that I removed, and some are registry modifications that were made to change the default behavior. When I was done, clicking on Start took me to a nice, clean UI that contained only 8 icons (two rows of 4, if using icon view) — Messaging, Calendar, Contacts, ActiveSync, Call History, My Stuff, Applications and System Tools. I know that I could have take things even further, but I was content with this setup.

File System modifications:
(Note: You will need to use the EnableRAPI tool to get the necessary permissions to remove files from the device. You can find instructions for this, and a link to download the tool here.)

Changes to \Windows\Start Menu\

  • Moved Windows Media Center.lnk from ATT Music to Applications
  • Deleted ATT Music folder
  • Deleted ATT Mall folder
  • Deleted Cellular Video
  • Deleted IM & Email folder
  • Deleted Media Net

Changes made to \Windows\Start Menu\Applications

  • Deleted Get MobiTV
  • Deleted Get MySpace Mobile
  • Deleted Get TeleNav

Changes made to \Windows\Start Menu\Games

  • Deleted Get Games folder

Changes made to \Windows\Start Menu\Office Tools

  • Deleted McAfee Virus Scan
  • Moved all remaining shortcuts to \Windows\Start Menu\Applications
  • Deleted the Office Tools folder from \Windows\Start Menu

Registry Modifications:
(Note: In order to make the registry changes, you will need to install a registry editor on your device. I used PHM Registry Editor, and because it hasn’t been updated for Windows Mobile 6, followed a nicely documented workaround in order to get it installed.)

Change the web browser button on the top left of the phone to launch Internet Explorer instead of Opera.

  1. Launch the registry application on your mobile device
  2. Go to HKEY_Current_User/Control Panel/Keybd
  3. Find the value APP3_Path
  4. Change the data from OperaLaunch.exe to iexplore.exe

Change the default homepage of Internet Explorer from AT&T’s Mobile Net to Google.

  1. Launch the registry application on your mobile device
  2. Go to HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\AboutURLs\
  3. Find the value home_0405
  4. Change the data from http://device.home to http://www.google.com
  5. Find the value home_0407
  6. Change the data from http://device.home to http://www.google.com
  7. Find the value home_0409
  8. Change the data from http://device.home to http://www.google.com

37 Responses to “Motorola Q9h customizations”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well I was following your directions and didn’t do it quite right! I deleted my Windows Media Center.Ink file before moving it first! Any ideas on how to re-create? Damn novices.. 🙂


  2. Anonymous says:

    Doing a reset is the quickest way, but not the most appealing. I dont know of a way to re-create the default shortcuts aside from this. Perhaps someone else will post a solution….

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Tom, thought of that too.. But then I realised I have a dedicated button to the Media Player! Who needs a soft link now! 🙂

    Thanks for a great posting now have both my Telstra and my AT&T Q9 up to snuff..

  4. Anonymous says:

    Any Idea why the master reset isn’t resetting anything? I was having problems with some shortcuts, so i did a ‘master reset’. They are working fine now, however everything isnt back to what it was out of the box. Anything that i have downloaded is still on my phone. The apps that i deleted are still missing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Any idea on how to get rid of the ‘Get Xpress Mail’ line on the home screen?

  6. Anonymous says:

    The master reset option seems to be a bit misleading. If you want to do a restore back to the factory image, do the following…

    1) Turn the phone off
    2) Hold down the E and Z keys while powering the device on

    You should see a screen asking you to wait and that your device is powering on for the first time. This will then give you the same experience that you had out of the box.

  7. Anonymous says:

    To remove the “Get Xpress Mail” line on the home screen, you need to edit the XML file.

    Use ActiveSync or Mobile Device Center to browse the file system of your phone. Go to \Application Data\Home and copy the Cingular.home.xml file to your computer. Open the file in Notepad and remove the following line:

    Save the file and copy back to your device.

  8. Anonymous says:

    that doesnt seem to do the trick to remove it. Any other suggestions?

  9. Anonymous says:

    When i edit the file and remove the line, and restart my phone, it gives me an error message saying that it couldnt load the home screen i wanted, when i readded the line it worked again,

  10. Anonymous says:

    Here are further instructions:


    These are the same steps that I followed to remove it from my device.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hi! I do not have a cingular file. I have “full.home”, nomru.home, and simple.home. I do not see any plugin with “get mail” on there. Do you have any other tips I could use? Much appreciated!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I tried to modify the file the exact same way on the “smartphone” selection and it does not work??? any ideas?? I really like that screen but I hate the express mail icon!!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Roci, John,

    Here is a link that I used to get it working on my device:


  14. Anonymous says:

    Yeah it works on the “ATT Default” selection but when I do the same thing on the “smartphone” selection it does not work??

  15. Anonymous says:

    after 5 tries is worked?? I think I figured it out though. You MUST change the name of the file before you make the mods to the xml file for it to work.

    sorry I am a rookie….but its gone and I am happy

  16. Anonymous says:

    Due to restrictions at work, i am not allowed to have a camera on my phone. Can anyone suggest a method to remove the camera software/firmware from the motorola 9Qh. To this point, I have not been bringing my phone into work and it’s has been a real pain.


  17. Anonymous says:

    I like the MRU bar at the top – when I shuffle icons around, it leaves broken links there. Any ideas on how to clear them out or reset the MRU?

  18. Anonymous says:

    I finally figured it out – please post so anyone else who reads it can clear it… I opened HKCU\System\State\Shell and cleared the entry in “Start MRU”, then booted the phone. It starts with the default values in HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Shell\StartMRU.

    SO – if one were to rename the values in that key to “Order1” and “InitialOrder1”, clear the state “Start MRU”, boot the phone – it should be clean.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for posting this informations… I had no idea you could do all that. Now I have my phone just how I want it. Just wanted to say thanks!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hi Tom,

    I’m having problems with forcing my motorola Q 9h to use IE instead of Opera. I did change the APP3_Path as suggested, but even after restarting the phone, html files are still opened by opera. (BTW, I did test changing registry by changing owner name, the change done via registry was correctly picked up by the phone).

    I’d also like to have txt files automatically opened by WordPad instead of WordToGo, do you know how to change that?

    Thanks, I found your page very useful!


  21. Anonymous says:

    I’ve got good messaging, because that’s what my work requires. I hate the good messaging home screen as it doesn’t have the shortcuts like the others. I’m playing with it but I don’t know anything about XML. So far, I’ve got it to call the Good calendar from the ATT Default home screen but it’s not showing the upcoming appointments like it does when I have my home screen set to the Good Messaging home screen.

    As far as the rest of this stuff, thanks. I’ve cleaned a bunch of crap from the phone, and still customizing as I learn.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Hi, do you know how to enable the SPP bluetooth protocol so I can access the serial port on the Q9H? I need to do this to use my phone with a braille device. I found instructions on pairing the Q9H with GPS receivers, but those devices could apparently send data through the serial port, which would cause the phone to prompt you to accept the bluetooth serial connection. (Plus, I’m not sure this was for the Q 9H.) I need to select the serial port profile for my braille display before it will send any data to the device, so this will not work for me. I would appreciate any help you could give. I don’t want to have to return this phone for another model, since in all other respects it does what I need it to do. If I could enable SPP, it would be just about perfect. Thanks!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I did not like the XpressMail NAG YOU TILL YOU DOWNLOAD ME link on my phone…especially when Outook works just fine. The problem is this link and all of its software is permanently burned into the ROM. But for some reason I was able to rename the Cingular folder and that took care of the stupid home page link. If anyone has any better suggestions let me know.

  24. kezeli says:

    I must congratulate “Tom’s Blog” for the great AT&T Motorola
    Q9h Global customizaton tips & help!! Fantastic…I have
    owned mine since Jan10, 08 and I was absolutly amazed
    that how hard it was to learn how to do things on the phone,
    like send attachments, transfer files & photo’s..little or no
    help at all in literature in box etc..AT&T personnel either
    don’t know or guess at what you’re suppossed to do etc..
    I wish there was a website or something somewhere one
    could learn to do common things..I have owned desktop
    and laptop computer for 15 years and still have problems
    learning this smartphone stuff..Thanks for great blog
    and please keep up great work..BTW, I live in Rome,Ga

  25. Anonymous says:

    I used Mobile Registry Editor 1.1 to make the following changes without success. I performed the task via a PC. All other changes via this program were successful, but changing the top left bottom of the phone to launch explorer rather than opera somehow disabled the bottom to perform anything. Please help. Thanks – Robert

    Change the web browser button on the top left of the phone to launch Internet Explorer instead of Opera.

    Launch the registry application on your mobile device
    Go to HKEY_Current_User/Control Panel/Keybd
    Find the value APP3_Path
    Change the data from OperaLaunch.exe to iexplore.exe

  26. Anonymous says:

    It is quite a pain to use Windows Default home screen. I keep scrol up and down because I have 3 personal email setup besides outlook. Is there a way to put mail in one line missed call and voice mail in another line? That way everyting can fit on the screen.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Question about gmail client: the sign in is assigne to message button instead of the soft button. Any way of changing it? It is impossible to sign in as it opens messaging centre instead….

  28. Anonymous says:

    Using the Moto Q9H from ATT. Is there a program or hack to download the full email instead of getting “get the rest of this message”. Or a program that automatically downloads the attachment? Thanks.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Mike — If you are using Outlook on your phone, you can set this option in the settings of your email account. There is an option called Download Size Limit, which is set to 20kb by default, but can be changed to entire message.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Hi tom, I would like to know how i change the right soft key from contacts to task. (by default it cames with contact)

  31. Anonymous says:

    I just changed my default browser to Skyfire instead of the opera that came with the phone. Now, my question is how do I change it so when I click on a link in my email that it will go with IE or Skyfire and not Opera.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Thank you SO much for the information on accessing locked files and cleaning up the start menu. You ROCK!

  33. Anonymous says:

    need some help. lost internet connection on my motoq
    and it worked fine with AT&T just a day ago before I went to the AT&T store with a separate question.

    I believe there was a master reset performed by the technician and as such the settings were purged… he neglected to put them back ….

    but it takes so long that I cant waste it standing in an AT&T store 20 miles away

    please help


  34. Anonymous says:

    how do i use downloaded music as a ringtone??

  35. Anonymous says:

    The most useful change (aside from what’s in this great post!) that I’ve found have been to remove the at&t startup/shutdown animations and sounds.



    Change the values of “Image” and “Sound” in both of those folders to \Windows\*none* to remove the animations and sounds.

    I’ve found the phone shuts down nearly instantly, and boots about 20-30 seconds quicker.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Hey I was doing this and some how it glitched and deleted my whole start menu folder and i dont know how to replace it, please help.

  37. Anonymous says:

    for some reason my charger wont charge my moto , is there a way i could charge it with the usb cable? do i have to download anything?
    thanx :s

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