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10 BlackBerry Browser tips that will help you surf the mobile web like a pro

By DJ Reyes on 2 May 2014 02:53 pm EDT
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Anyone who has used a BlackBerry 10 smartphone knows how fast and awesome the browser is.  Even before BlackBerry 10 devices were launched, there were plenty of tests that showed just how fast it was compared to other mobile web browsers around. More recently we saw a test carried out that saw the BlackBerry browser is faster than some desktop browsers.

Armed with an awesome browser we bring you 10 BlackBerry Browser Tips to help you surf the web like a pro. There have been a few small additions since BlackBerry 10 first launched, making the experience very better. Without further ado, here are your 10 BlackBerry 10 browser tips.

 

1. Desktop Mode

Desktop Mode

With a powerful and fast browser you can make use of Desktop Mode to experience a website as you would on a desktop browser. While mobile versions of websites are great for quick viewing sometimes you just need the full desktop experience.

To turn on Desktop Mode, in the browser tap the overflow menu icon (three dots on bottom right)>Settings>Developer Tools. Then toggle Desktop Mode to On.

 

2. Set browser to Open Last Tabs

Open Last Tabs

You can view your history with a BlackBerry 10 browser, no problem but it may be better to set your browser to open your last tabs every time you launch it. I tend to keep a handful of tabs open sometimes, especially when I have been sent a few articles to read. If I forget to save them for later reading and accidentally close the browser, it is sometimes a hassle to go through my history. So, to be able to just re-open the browser and have all my last tabs opened up makes for a better experience and may well be the case for you too. Tabs from a previous session will be marked with a BlackBerry Spark.

To set this option, in the browser tap the overflow menu icon (three dots on the bottom right)>Display and Actions. Then from the On Startup Show dropdown menu select My Tabs From Last Time.

 

3. Quick Access to History

Quick Access to History

When BlackBerry OS 10.2 became available, there was one nifty little feature that made its to the BlackBerry 10 browser. That was the ability to bring up your history just be tapping and holding the back icon. Note though, this will only show the history with that particular tab. You don't get the back icon if there is no where to go back to anyway. When you perform this action, there is also an option to view your Full History.

Just tap the back icon to bring up your tab history.

 

4. Utilise Reader Mode

Reader Mode

One of my BlackBerry 10 browser features is Reader Mode. I use it often, especially when reading longer articles. You can read articles without the clutter of ads and you can also adjust the font size to better suit you. 

To go into Reader Mode, tap the overflow menu icon>Reader. QWERTY-keyboard users can just hit 'R' on the keyboard. 

Note that not all sites support Reader Mode.

 

5. Add shortcuts to the Homescreen

Add shortcut to Homescreen

If you have sites you visit a lot, you may want to just save a shortcut to those websites to your Homescreen. It's quick and easy to do. Occassionally, though, it doesn't save a nice icon, so you may want to try out those icon making apps to create nicer icons for those web shortcuts.

To save a website to your Homescreen, tap the overflow menu icon>Add to Home Screen.

 

6. Make use of Bookmarks

Add sites to Bookmarks

If you don't want to save websites to your Homescreen, you can just save them to your Bookmarks for quick access to your favorite sites. You can then access your Bookmarks list from the main browser menu. QWERTY-keyboard users can just hit 'K' on their keyboard to access the Bookmarks list.

 

7. Save sites for offine reading

Save page for offline reading

One of most latest additions to the BlackBerry 10 browser is the Save Page feature. This came about with OS 10.2.1. It basically allows you to save a website as a file and you can read it offline or at another time.

While I personally use a third party app for this purpose, it nice a to see such a feature available. 

To save a site, tap the overflow menu icon>Save Page.

 

8. Make use of Private Browsing

Private Browsing

If you want to search the web without leaving a trail, you can use the private browsing feature. When you turn it on, all your existing open tabs will be closed. They will become available again once you turn off Private Browsing.

Turn turn on Private Browsing, tap the overflow menu>Settings>Privacy and Security. Toggle Private Browsing to On.

 

9. Set your default Search Engine

Select Default Search Engine

Setting the default Search Engine on BlackBerry 10 isn't very obvious and this hasn't changed ever since. It is not something found in the settings. By default, Bing is the selected search engine. For those who want to change it, here's how.

Start typing a search term in the address bar, you'll then see a dropdown menu appear in the top left corner, tap it and then choose your preferred search engine.

 

10. Clean up often

Clean browser history

Web history can take up unnecessary space. You can set your browser up to automatically remove history items after a certain period of time or you can manually clean it up. Either way, I find it good practice to clean up regularly.

To manually clean up your history, tap the left browser menu>History. Then tap the trash icon on the bottom bar.

To set your browser to automatically clean up your browser history, tap the overflow menu icon>Privacy and Security. Then from the Remove History Items dropdown menu, select delete period.

 

That's your lot. Are you making use of these already? Do you have other browser tips we may have missed? Share them in the comments.

For other BlackBerry 10 tips, tricks and how-to articles visit out BlackBerry 10 Help section.

157 comments

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10 BlackBerry Browser tips that will help you surf the mobile web like a pro

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Desktop mode. Not recommended. It runs on hot spot data, a least for U.S users

Posted With My ZL1 OS:Unknown Via CB10

Yeah, I noticed that too. It's because the BlackBerry "tells" the site it's chrome on windows 7.

But I do love Desktop mode.

You had that happen to you too?

Powered by my BlackBerry (Z10). Join my #BBM Channels C001227CF, C00476C37, C003829C9, C002454C9,C002190AC, C00120CE3

Not the fault of web designers who only have PC based screens defined;
without 'reader mode' it would be impossible to view their sites.
This mode is ++++ for me.

Hands down the best informative post I've seen in the past 6 months. Liked the off line reading feature. Great job DJ!

Yes I've been SQUIRCLFIED!™

Yeah!!! Suck it Raziel Dark!! (jubei)Hahahaha! I jus keed!

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing)  ‎BlackBerry Q10...oh wait a sec....its my new Z30, son! The holy grail of phones!

Yes! See above in the comments about mycroftproject! I've been looking for similar until I read the comments in this article.

Changed mine to google.co.uk's SSL search in about 1 minute.

I think an article should be written on mycroftproject-- this is the best tip I've had so far and returns my browser search bar to use.

Posted via CB10

Thanks DJ..great tips.. I wasn't aware of few of them.. ever since I shifted to Z30, with the screen size have got know, I browse a lot on my phone itself.. all these will be handy..

Posted via CB10

I miss the ability that OS7 had to add any search engine to my liking. The way bb10 almost allows this is very limited.

Other than that, the bb10 browser is awesome.

Wouldn't be any more problematic than other cascade style apps so I would definitely love to see that

Posted via CB10

Go to mycroftproject.com in your BB10 browser. Search for any search engine and click on the link and add. I used this site for Firefox to get non standard search engines and just tested that it works.

Thank you so much for this tip. I have been infuriated by BB10 browser from day one. I'm from the UK and found the browser's bias towards searching USA sites and addresses when Google was selected as it was ".com" not ".co.uk".

Fantastic, thanks again!! My Q10 experience is nearing perfection.

Next you'll be telling me the browser can handle phpBB website big text boxes!

Posted via CB10

Holy Crap! This is awesome. Thank you!!!

How does it do it and why doesn't BB10 do it on its own like BBOS7 did?

Anyway. Love it. This should be a front-page post.

I agree.

Surely a feature on how to make the search bar useful to you if you don't live in the USA would be a decent article. I've been frustrated by this from day one with my Q10.

Even the Canadians must be getting USA/.com skewed results from the search bar.

It would beat some of the state-the-obvious, slow-news-day articles I've waded through on here! ;-)

Posted via CB10

One of favourites: when viewing a website, swipe down from the top bezel and then tap the title bar that appears - it will take you to the top of the page.

Posted via CB10

Hah, I did not know either of these tips. I was just thinking to myself earlier that I would like a quicker way to go back to the top of a webpage. Thanks! +1

Also, type R to quickly change from Desktop mode to Reader mode. To go back, tap the lower left arrow. In Reader mode, tap S will bring up the search bar on top.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

Ability to flick forward and backwards to go forward and backwards might be useful.. but then again it might be problematic with accidental swipes

Zee coolest flicking smartphone evah

Is there a way to watch the wwe network inside the browser? It's always link to the app download.
It has nothing to do with the user agent, other browsers with ua options have the same problem.
It's really bad

Wenn du mir sagst, was dort draußen richtig ist, werde ich nicht mehr versuchen dich zu küssen... (Sayumi Whisp) www.sayumi.de

Desktop Mode isn't working.
It brings me always to the "get the app" page but the BlackBerry wwe app isn't working with the network and the android starts, but often crash when running streams. The crash are not BlackBerry only same issue on android phones, but I hate it, that I can't use my normal browser for that :(

Wenn du mir sagst, was dort draußen richtig ist, werde ich nicht mehr versuchen dich zu küssen... (Sayumi Whisp) www.sayumi.de

Nice!!

But re point 6... the bookmarks in BB10 Browser are awful... no sort options... no icon setting...

And still, astonishing browser, actually the browser speed was the reason why I chose a mix of BlackBerry and Ferrari as my CB name... =)

Ferrari ZetaTrenta 10.2.1.2102 - STA100-2

Yup - you have the impression one requirement was bookmarks. Tick, done... but without any thoughts how to make it useful.

Absolutely awful, really.

I've often wondered if Blackberry couldn't just mock up a browser api & make it available to devs. The core functions of the browser are great, but it needs work.

I'm z10ing. Yes, I invented a verb.

Thanks;) nice tips... I was actually missing the reader option from my iOS ;) never thought to look for it in the overflow menu... as on the iOS it activates automagically when the website supports it

Posted via CB10

Thanks for the info about the ios "automagic" invoking of reader mode... I prefer to decide when I want to use reader mode.

Posted via CB10

And re the search engine search:

Why not adding to the choice startpage.com ??? THE Google search for security affine people...

Ferrari ZetaTrenta 10.2.1.2102 - STA100-2

To add any search engine you like to the BB10 browser, go to mycroftproject.com
Works for Firefox and apparently BB10.

If you are having problems with payment on some sites use desktop mode, mastercard secure code and verified by visa works on desktop mode but I've had problems on mobile mode

Posted via CB10

What's the third party app you use for #7?

Also, for #2, are the open tabs remembered even after a reboot?

Posted via CB10

yeah I was gonna say even on touch screen phones the keyboard has shortcuts for the browser. Definitely looking forward to knowing all of them.

Posted via CB10

The "add to home screen" is excellent for Websites that work as apps like User and United Airlines. Go to their site, login and save to home screen. It will prompt you about privacy, and if you agree, then it saves your info so you don't have to login.

Works great with User, as their Android app doesn't work on BB10 10.2.1.

Posted via CB10

What about ALL the keyboard shortcuts for Q10/Q5?
Many of them ( as for moving around in the page, t, b, shift+space, k, h) do also work on the Z30 but you can't zoom in or out for instance.

Baiting much? Catching any?

Can "we" politely ask you to stop this, you're not adding anything of value or fun.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

"Very better"? Must be new english like "very fun" or like, like making a statement that sounds like a question. :-)

Don Diego endorses the Zed.

Great tips. Thanks!!

Hay for add searches. I added qrob.it, bing, duckduckgo, wiki, blekko, and worlfram. Anyone else have added searches?

Well I've been meaning to complain about this in the forums but since you brought it up here....
I have a problem with the browser ever since the 2.1 update... for whatever reason now if i happen to be on facebook or any site that i navigate further into (i.e. checking people's profile, pics, comments,etc.) and close the browser, it now bumps down (off screen) any other page i had viewed previously that was not a part of facebook, not to mention that it puts the lock icon on them, (max 6) i don't even know how to lock a page to begin with so i don't what would make it do that!...anyhow, now i have to delete each one in the startup history just so i can get my previous pages to show up which becomes a chore if i navigate more than 2-3 pages within a site.

Now i have to resort to setting it to "open previous tabs" just so i won't have to spend minutes deleting a bunch of pages i don't want to see! Not to mention having it open previous tabs is annoying in and of itself so i find myself using the browser a lot less these days... again, everything was fine before the latest update...as it stands, the browser blows.

Posted via CB10

I forgot to mention "when you open the browser, and you have it set to New Tab Page as your startup...which is the default..." ...

then continue with my complaint that follows.

Posted via CB10

Good tips. I'd like to see Blackberry add swipe back on the browser. Just like how you can swipe back in sideloaded Android apps.

The keyboard shortcuts mentioned, like hitting "K" or "R" to access the bookmark list or reader mode respectively, can also work on the Z10 and other all-touch devices.

To do this, just use the two-fingers swipe up from the bottom bezel to get the keyboard to appear, hit the shortcut key of your choice, and you're all set.

Browser short cuts like t for top, b for bottom, p for previous page, and n for next page can save time, depending on how you use your device.

Sent from my BB Z10 running OS 10.3.0.140.

I wish the keyboard stuff would also work for universal search from the home screen on the Z series models.

Two-finger swipe up, then type, does nothing on my Z10 (10.2.1)

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Great browser - but I'm missing a tip how to open, close or switch tabs by a keyboard shortcut.
Hang on - that's not possible :(

Just like a lot of the other users I found these tips useful so thanks DJ! I didn't know a few of them!

Posted via CB10

The k letter trick works on touchscreens too, just two finger swipe up from the bottom bezel and the keyboard appears.

Posted via CB10

One more thing missing, use of javascript shortcuts (bookmarklets)!!

Simply find a bookmarklet you want (eg. Spreeder) clock and hold the link and add to bookmarks. When on a website and you want to activate Spreeder, open your bookmarks while on page and select the Spreeder bookmark. Boom. You're good to go!

Posted via CB10

A friendly comment to DJ, the history source option is in the top "right" corner. A small typo in a very good review. Thanks for the effort... I especially like the tip about automatic tab opening on browser startup. Hadn't noticed that one.

Posted via CB10

I really liked this article, thanks DJ! I thought I knew a fair bit, but I found there were things I didn't know that will make my use of the browser even better.

Posted via CB10

Wish switching between open tabs were done with a swipe gesture sideways...Currently when in the browser there's no functionality for neither left or right swipe! Inefficient and inconsistent with the spirit of the OS i'd say...

Posted via CB10

The only new tip here for me was open last tabs, will give it a try! Thanks!

One other little thing - when in a page swipe from the top to see the page's name

Posted via CB10

Why doesn't Blackberry release its browser for other platforms as well, just like BBM, of course it should also include desktop versions ? Get people exposed to Blackberry cool browser, may be some of them will come back to BB10.

Exactly. I tend to have many bookmarks. I also prefer to do OS updates via completely wiping the device. All bookmarks ar

Z10STL100-3/10.2.1.2947

Same grievance here.

Bookmarks addict, please make them im-/exportable, dare I ask, can we get a sync plug-in or BB cloud backup soon?

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

I hope that someone can answer my question. My only exposure to BB10 Browser was in a store demo and I could not read the font in desktop mode because it was too small.

When you are not in desktop mode what is the font size. Can you pick a font size and have it apply to all web sites?

I really like how the android phones display text on web sites but find the iphone font too small.

PS the reader mode ... no thanks .

In System Settings, under Display, you can adjust the font size up to 18 (large). This is a global setting which carries over onto the BB10 browser where you can double tap to zoom also.

[I]Posted via CB[/I]

Very nice article DJ. Why don't you update your article with some of the tips thrown in comments section as an add-on?
On adding custom search engines, I use duckduckgo instead of "the Big Brother". For that go to the webpage, hit overflow button. There "+ Add Search" action button will be there. Hit it, Boom, your default search is DuckDuckGo!

thanks. There will another post with tips coming, including the ones suggested in the comments

Posted via CB10

I find that all the QWERTY (i.e. Physical) keyboard shortcuts mentioned, also work on the virtual keyboard as well such as R, K, etc.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

Great article once again DJ! Thanks for the tips :D

Q10 SQN100-3 | Z30 STA100-2 |10.2.1.2141 iPhone 4s IOS 7.xx

Am I the only one that thinks there are almost too many little things that are built into the OS to explain to the casual user (keyboard shortcuts, etc)? That's why I love blackberry. It's for thinking people :)

Posted via CB10

They really Need to fix the flash player and the tabs situation in the Browser. It's was working like a charm before all thees up date... I can't even brag to my friends about my browser any more. lol

Posted via CB10

I knew some of the features but really appreciate all the other ones I didn't really pay attention too.

Thanks!

Posted using the best phone ever, the Z30!

Setting Google as default search engine is the must and BlackBerry should follow this path too. Yesterday, I used Bing by mistake and it took me several seconds to realize why search results are useless ;-).

And I really enjoy Reader mode, especially on Q10. It works pretty well thought not 100%.

Posted via CB10

No, sorry to disagree.

I personally don't want Google to be the default on every flippin' device I buy. Don't feed an already too ingrained monopoly. The more people search and use others, the better these get as well.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

How do you make Private Browsing permanent? This should be a standard feature like the setting for Desktop Mode or the default search engine.

Posted via CB10

Great article.

The BB10 browser is the best browser I've used. Only tiny thing I don't like about it is that when in private browser mode, the keyboard will still have the predictive text feature enabled. It would be nice if there is an option to disable it when going into private browser mode.

That way, I wouldn't have certain terms showing up in my keyboard in other applications or in the normal browser mode.

Posted via CB10

Excellent post, the browser was a weak link in BlackBerry...not anymore. Just need to tell everyone. I tweeted this article and posted on Facebook.

Don McAskin, I don't Type...I swipe.

Thanks DJ. This is the kind of article that keeps me coming to CB. I learned a tip & was reminded of one. Then the CB Nation started adding to the wisdom. CB makes my Berries "more."

Posted via CB from "Z" best

Thanks for the tips. I've been wanting to find a way to change the search engine. Appreciate that information.

00 - Posted from my z10

My biggest tip: if you're reading an article on a page not designed for mobile browsers, double tap on the text - it will automagically zoom to the perfect size for the text!

Posted via CB10

Sorry about the off topic post but I wanted to ask that so badly and I couldn't find a fitting post so : Can any1 post the amount of bb10 devices sold from their dawn till now and the latest market share of BlackBerry in the last term? Thanks I'm advance!!

Posted via CB10

Not really relevant but I don't see what the fuss is about the IPhone. My Z10 is a superior device. It's a real smart phone. The browser is very fast. Love how it knows what I'm going to say next when texting.

Posted via CB10

Desktop Mode is WONDERFUL!!! Especially for those friendly "Video is not available on this platform" messages.

I've lover Reader Mode ever since the Playbook. I wish this were available on my desktop... without searching for the printer-friendly link. ;)

Great post! Can we hope for a browser update to swipe left, right, up, down to simplify browsing fwd/back/top/down?

Z30)++

Private mode is not good enough, they should include a privacy extension which forces everything through SSL and blocks content based on curated lists, allowing us to add exceptions.
They should also provide an adblock app which filters out garbage which slow down our experience.

Reader mode is very useful though...

"Snap" is the best stop-gap solution for Android apps while we wait for BlackBerry to get its act together...