BlackBerry 101 - Adding and customizing contacts on OS6

BlackBerry 101
By Alicia Erlich on 7 Jan 2011 01:29 pm EST

Let's be honest, who remembers phone numbers anymore. When was the last time you dialed an actual number for a friend or family member? In this day and age it's all about speed dials, address books, and contact lists. So whether you've just picked up a new BlackBerry or upgraded your device's operating system here's how to add and personalize contacts on OS 6.

Add a Contact

In the All screen, click on the Contacts application icon by tapping or using the trackpad and select New Contact.

BB101 Contacts and New

From this screen you can enter in all of your contact's information: First and Last Name, Company (if applicable), address, email addresse(s), contact number(s), and BlackBerry Pin number. Easily move through the fields by scrolling with the trackpad or use your finger to move down the list. If you want to add a nickname or job title simply click or press on Add Field. 
Contacts - Add new contact

When inputting a phone number, it will automatically be in number mode without needing to press the ALT key. In addition, next to each field there is a drop down menu that allows you to change the type to match the number being entered (i.e. Fax, Pager, Mobile, etc.).
Contacts - edit details

In the address field, users can add up to two addresses for each contact and designate whether they are Home or Work.

BB101 Contacts

Contacts - Birthdays & AnniversariesNeed to remember a birthday or anniversary? Quickly enter dates and they will be added to your calendar so you'll never forget.

Finally, the last section of the new contact screen lets you insert your own custom fields, a web page, and notes (i.e. Spouse's name, children's name, etc.)

Contacts - add custom field

Four Ways to Save 

Now all that needs to be done is save your changes. You can always go back and change the details at a later date by clicking on Contacts > Scroll to and highlight the contact name > Menu > Edit. As a shortcut for Torch devices, scroll to the name you want and touch the A|cd icon at the bottom.

Press the menu key and click save

Press the Menu key and click on Save. 

Scroll up and click on the save in the upper right hand corner.

Click Save in the upper right hand corner

Press the back key

Press the escape key and touch or click on save. 

Touch the screen and tap save on the popup menu (Torch 9800 only)


Touch screen

Add a Contact through a Message, Call Log or Web Page

To add a contact you don't always need to use the Contacts application. The wonderful thing about a BlackBerry is that you can pull information from messages (text, BBM, email), call logs, and web pages. All you need to do is click on or touch the name, number or email address while in any of these screens, press the menu key, select Add to contacts, and follow the procedure above. Just make sure that the number is underlined or appears as a blue hyperlink, and includes the area code and/or prefix.

Add a Picture

Want to add your own personal avatar for your contact? Click on the box in the upper left or click on menu and select Add Picture when you are adding or editing a contact to load your picture library. OS 6 comes with preinstalled avatars or you can use a photo from your picture library. Scroll through your library and select the picture you want and zoom in and crop and save to fit the box. When complete, you will be redirected back to the contact screen where your new picture is now visible.

Contacts - add a picture 1

Contacts - add a picture2

Contacts - editing a picture for contact

Pictures can be added or removed at any time. Simply go back into contacts, highlight the contact, click edit, and repeat the process above. You can also click on Delete picture or Replace picture from the menu.

Add a Custom Ringtone 

I like to give all my friends and family different ringtones, that way I know exactly who is calling. Admit it, you know you want to add the Ping Me Baby song as a ringtone. To do this, you'll need to scroll down to Custom Ring Tones/Alerts in the contact screen when adding or editing.

Creating a custom ringtone will not impact other notifications already set but will create an exception for that person. This means that even if you have your device on silent or vibrate, it will override those settings and use the custom alerts. Not only can you can assign different tones for phone calls and messages, but you can change the tone volume, turn the LED alert on or off, and customize the vibration alert.

Users can choose from a list of preinstalled tones or assign a song located on their device or SD card. Select the category you want to update (phone/messages) and in the next screen under Sound alerts, click or tap the drop down next to ring tone or notifier tone. You can either select a tone in this menu or go to All Music to choose a song from your music library. Tap or use the touchpad to select the one you want and click on save. Save your changes again when you're back in the contact screen and you're all set.

Contacts - Adding a ringtone to a contact
Contacts - Adding a ringtone to a contact 
Contacts - Adding a ringtone to a contact

Congratulations, you now know everything there is to know about storing contact information on your BlackBerry Smartphone. Just remember to regularly backup your device to prevent losing your information.

Backup/Restore device data using DM 6 

Reader comments

BlackBerry 101 - Adding and customizing contacts on OS6


I love these step by step, pictorial tutorials. Keep them coming, they are definitely helpful to the Crackberry community (new and old).

Unfortunately I'm on Verizon with a Tour so this tutorial doesn't apply to me yet :)

I'll bookmark it for future possibilities.

After opening the contacts application you can also just type the new contacts name then click the new contact "button". Although it will put in what you type as the first name.

When adding a new contact, the first thing I see at the top of the page is "Contact List:" and a drop-down to the right of that. Mine defaults to Unknown and there is no other option to select from. What is this for and how do you change (or add) options to this list?

The reason I ask is that I purchased Vlingo but all my contacts are not visible within Vlingo and their support team is blaming this option as the reason why I don't see all my contacts. Any ideas? Thanks.

The sounds for contacts can overide the other profiles settings (silent, vibrate only) when they call or text. You can set it to "active profile" if you want the sounds for contacts to be silent when everything else is silent. Or, the contact can vibrate when you make the active profile "vibrate only"

Would be nice to be able to add a phone number to an existing contact. Why hasn't BB ever added this feature? It seems like a no-brainer and my Nokia's from years ago had it!

Come on Blackberry!

I hope both you and the person before you are kidding??? You guys really believe that you can not add phone numbers to an existing contact?? lol Wow! you guys are really dumb! This feature has been into every BB and you guys think that this is missing on OS6!! Maybe you guys dont deserve BB's! its extremely simple and adding an existing contact to BB can be done more than 1 way!
Wow I still cant believe their comment!

Whether a person is kidding or not, your message is insulting to both new and old users alike. The fact that someone doesn't know a feature exists doesn't make them dumb. The fact that they purchased a Blackberry means they have some level of intelligence. There is no one who knows everything about the Blackberry smartphones. All of us have our areas of expertise and areas of lack of knowledge. I would much rather communicate with someone who asks a serious question that a "know it all" who feels it necessary to insult the Blackberry users en mass. You owe these two users and the Crackberry community an apology, though it is my experience that someone that leaves comments such as this, no apology will be forth coming.

B_Eazy and the rest: the issue is to add information to an existing contact. Let's say you have 'Mike's phone #' in your address book. In case you receive an e-mail from 'Mike', how do you 'add to existing contact'? Copy-paste, right?
In case you already had the e-mail address but you lacked the phone # of the contact, I don't see an option to 'copy #' from a text message. Any solutions? I'm using OS 6. Thanks.

Very handy tutorial, but I have one problem. When you add a custom ringtone to a contact, OS6 forces you to also have a tone for messages (text and email) for that contact. Which is different then the other text/email tones already setup for those message (email/text) notifications. Is there any way around this? Anyone else having this issue?

Here is my understanding of this issue. The contact folder maintains all of the contact with the individual, whether it be by email, text, or voice. As such, the same ring tone is applied for that contact so that you know, without looking, that you have received some type of contact with the individual. It may be a phone call, a text message, or an email, but without looking, you know who the person is that is trying to contact you by whichever method they use. I really love this feature as I can tell immediately whether my wife or one of my two daughters are trying to reach me as they all have individual ring tones associated with their names.

I have a set ring tone for my phone. I have customized contact ringtones as per instructions, however when that contact calls me, the set original ring tone sounds. When I look in my contact list the customized tone is showing, but doesn't work. In each case I have several numbers for each contact like home, cell work. Why is this occurring