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Tips & Tricks: Back Up Your BlackBerry Smartphone

It's easy with the new BlackBerry Desktop Software 6. Plus: Updating BlackBerry® Messenger the right way.

It is an unfortunate fact of mobile living that you may misplace your BlackBerry® smartphone. While the smartphone itself is easily replaced, your contacts, appointments, messages, and the like are not—unless you back them up to your computer. And with the new BlackBerry® Desktop Software 6 for PC backing up and restoring the data on your BlackBerry smartphone is easier that ever.˙

Tips & Tricks: Back Up Your BlackBerry Smartphone

Bonus tip: While upgrading to a newer version of BBM™ a small number of BlackBerry smartphone users have had their BBM icons disappear from the home screen. If you are experiencing this problem while upgrading to a newer BBM version, follow the steps in Tip 2 below.

Tip 1: Back up your BlackBerry smartphone

BlackBerry Desktop Software 6 links the content and applications on your BlackBerry smartphone with your PC. In addition to backing up your data, you can use the BlackBerry Desktop Software to:

  • Synchronize your organizer data (calendar entries, contacts, tasks, and memos) and media files (music, pictures, and videos)
  • Manage and update your device applications
  • Transfer your device settings and data to a new BlackBerry smartphone
  • Use your smartphone as a modem to connect to the Internet from your computer (depending upon your carrier)
  • Manage multiple devices
  • Charge your device

Download BlackBerry Desktop Software 6 »

Steps to back up your BlackBerry smartphone data

Note: To back up data that is in your built-in media storage, mass storage mode must be turned on.

Steps to back up your BlackBerry smartphone data
  1. Connect your BlackBerry smartphone to your computer.
  2. In the BlackBerry Desktop Software, click Device > Back up.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • To back up all your device data, click Full (all device data and settings)..
    • To back up all your device data except for email messages, click Quick (exclude email).
    • To select which types of device data to back up, click Custom (selected data only). Select the checkbox next to the data you want to back up.
  4. If your device includes built-in media storage and you want to back up data that is stored there, select the Files saved on my built-in media storage checkbox.
  5. Do any of the following:
    • To change the default name for the backup file, in the File name field, type a new name.
    • To encrypt your data, select the Encrypt backup file checkbox. Type a password.
    • To save your settings so that you are not prompted to set these options again when you back up your device, select the Don't ask for these settings again checkbox.
  6. Click Back up.

How to restore data

If you do lose the data on your BlackBerry smartphone, restoring it is easy. Follow these steps.

Note: To restore data that is in your built-in media storage, mass storage mode must be turned on.

How to restore data
  1. Connect your BlackBerry smartphone to your computer.
  2. In the BlackBerry Desktop Software, click Device > Restore.
  3. Select a backup file that contains the data you want to restore.
  4. Do one of the following:
    • To restore all your device data, click All device data and settings.
    • To select which data you want to restore, click Select device data and settings. Select the checkbox beside the data type that you want to restore.
    • If your device includes built-in media storage, and you want restore it, select the Files saved on my built-in media storage checkbox.
  5. If the backup file is encrypted, type the password that you set to encrypt.
  6. Click Restore.

A word of caution: When you restore data to your BlackBerry smartphone, all files that are stored on your device will be deleted before the backup file is restored.

View the BlackBerry Desktop Software v6.0 User Guide »

Ask backup/restore questions at the BlackBerry® Community Support Forums »


Tip 2: Update BlackBerry Messenger the Right Way

Notice: While upgrading to a newer version of BBM a small number of BlackBerry smartphone users have had their BBM icons disappear from the home screen. This can be traced to users using an unauthorized or unreleased version of BlackBerry® Device Software. If you are experiencing this problem while upgrading to a newer BBM version, follow these steps.

  1. Before downloading the new version of BBM, back up your contact list:
    1. Open BBM.
    2. Press the Menu key.
    3. Select Options.
    4. Select Back Up. (Available for BBM 5.0 and 5.0.1 users.)
    5. Choose one of the following two options:
      1. Back up files remotely will back up wirelessly (requires a registered email address).
      2. Back up files locally will back up to your BlackBerry smartphone's device memory or media card.
  2. To avoid any compatibility issues, verify that you are using RIM- or carrier-approved BlackBerry Device Software. For more information, read: BlackBerry Messenger icon has disappeared from the BlackBerry Home screen.
  3. After you install the new version of BBM, please restart your device.

For more information on BBM v5.0, please see the BBM User Guide.

Perform a Web-Based BlackBerry Device Software Update »

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Support Forums

The BlackBerry® Support Community Forums are a great place for your BlackBerry device users to get help—and a place for you to connect with other IT administrators. Do you have questions about BlackBerry Enterprise Solutions? Are you looking for support on devices or accessories? Visit the BlackBerry Support Community Forums.