Synching Thunderbird/Lightning or Windows Calendar with Nokia PC Suite in Windows 7

Guest blog post from my buddy Frank Smyth

Nokia only plays nice with Microsoft products.

That didn’t bother me for years because I used Outlook for email and calendar and Nokia PC Suite got along fine. Then one day I decided to migrate my email to IMAP and the problems began. The first problem was that Outlook handles IMAP very poorly. You can’t get rid of your “personal folder” that you don’t use, and everything that you delete has to go into your local deleted items rather than your IMAP one (I could go on). So I moved to Thunderbird which is much more friendly towards IMAP and installed its Lighning calendar plugin. So far so good.

Then I discovered that Nokia PC Suite doesn’t play ball with Thunderbird/Lightning. I was running Vista at the time and found a surprisingly elegant solution to this problem…..Windows calendar. PC Suite recognises and plays nicely with it and because both lightning and windows calendar use the .ics format you can tell lightning to use your Windows Calendar file (stored under Users->AppData->Local->Windows Calendar I think). So Windows Calendar acts as an unwitting middle man between PC Suite and Lightning and you never have to think about it. It works a treat.

So you will understand my dismay when I discovered that Windows Calendar has been removed from Windows 7. This is all part of the shift towards “the cloud”. Microsoft now offers the calendar within their Live suite and everything is stored online. (Incidently, Nokia are also trialling a similar idea with Ovi Calendar which is in Beta at the moment.) So I was back to square one, with no way to sync my Nokia to my Thunderbird calendar.

The solution is a bit of a hack to make PC Suite think it is working with Vista (and hence Windows Calendar) when actually it is working with Lightning and Windows 7.

These are the steps I took. It’s likely that not all steps are required.

1.     Get Windows Calendar working on Windows 7.

This is very straightforward. Follow the link below. Run it once to generate the .ics file (

2.     Tell Lightning to use Windows Calendar’s .ics file

In Thunderbird, go to calendar view, right click on calendar listed on the left hand side and select properties….change its default file to point to your Windows Calendar File (C:\Users\name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Calendar\Calendars\Your Calendar.ics)

3.     Uninstall software that may complicate things

If they are installed, uninstall Nokia PC Suite, Nokia Ovi Suite and Microsoft Outlook.

4.     Make the following registry changes (messing with the registry can wreck your operating system. Don’t do it unless you know what you’re doing. I take no responsibility etc etc etc)

Thanks to “Classic” on this german forum (and Google Translate) for this bit

Open regedit.exe, navigate to Hkey Local Machine -> Software and add a new key called Windows Calendar. In that key add the following string values:


5.     Install PC Suite (compatibility mode may help, I tried it a few different ways but in the end I don’t think it matters)

6.     Tell PCSuite that its running on Vista

 Go back into the registry

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Nokia.PCSync.Windows7PIM.ISynchAppU

Create an exact replica of this key (including its contents) but call it HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Nokia.PCSync.VISTAPIM.ISynchAppU

(It’s likely that you could just rename Windows7PIM to VISTAPIM but I created the replica key)

That’s it. You should now be able to sync your Nokia phone calendar with Thunderbird/Lightning (or Windows Calendar if you prefer) within Windows 7.

11 years Nokia and you nearly lost me…shape up.