Troubleshooting Common Issues's BlackBerry 101 Lecture Series
By Adam Zeis on 15 Sep 2008 04:50 am EDT

Everyday BlackBerry users come across problems.  Most times they turn to Google (repeat troubleshooters head straight to!) to hunt down some quick answers.  In hopes of making BlackBerry users more independent, this lesson should help you diagnose your own problems, and take some steps in attempt to resurrect your issues on your own.  Problems ranges from the simple: not receiving email and a dead browser,  to the more complex issues of losing call logs and texts or dreaded error codes and a "nuked" Berry. This 101 will cover a good deal (but certainly not all) of the most common errors BlackBerry users encounter.  Let's get started.

The Battery Pull

The most common "cure all" to all devices is the battery pull.  Like chicken soup is to the soul, the battery pull can solve many of the problems users encounter, such as application errors, theme problems, data problems and more.  Before you do anything else - always do a battery pull.

  • With the device powered on, remove the battery
  • Leave the battery out for about 30 seconds
  • Replace the battery and let the device reboot

This will solve a great deal of problems - always do a battery pull before you seek help elsewhere. You can also perform a soft reset on your device by holding down the ALT+Right SHIFT+DEL keys for about 2 seconds.  There is also a double soft reset which some users believe is equivalent to a battery pull. To perform this, do the standard soft reset - the screen will go black. When the screen is no longer black, press the keys again (perform another soft reset). You should then see another blank screen followed by an hour glass.

Check out these BlackBerry Help articles for more:

Differences between Hard, Soft and Master resets
How to Peform a Hard Reset on a BlackBerry Smartphone
Reasons to Perform a Hard Reset

And more in the forums:

National Battery Pull Day

"Memory Leak" - Losing Call Logs and Messages

Some devices have what is known as a "memory leak".  This is what the BlackBerry community has dubbed the loss of memory from any BlackBerry Device.  The device will begin to "eat" call logs and messages and they will mysteriously disappear.  This is due to the memory of the device being low, causing it to automatically free up more space by deleting these items.  The first steps to identifying this issue is to check the File Free on your device.  You can do this one of two ways.  

  1. Options > Status
  2. Hold ALT+SHIFT+H

File Free

Here you will see your File Free displayed in Bytes.  Here I have 33087874 Bytes free (which is about 33mb) and is more than enough free memory.  Its a safe bet to say that about 12 or 14mb is enough free memory, however some users will tell you more and some will say less.  Older devices will have more of a problem being that they have less memory to being with.  If you find yourself with low memory, check out these guides to freeing up memory but deleting pre-installed images, changing save times for messages, removing Voice Activated Dialing and more.

BlackBerry 101 - How To Free Up Memory On Your Blackberry Smartphone
How To Increase BlackBerry's File Free Memory

Along with the memory loss issues, some users commonly refer to their memory cards.  Keep in mind the memory cards do not effect these issues.  No matter if you have a 1gb or 8gb memory card - it will not add to the installed memory on your device.  An external memory card may be used for storing photos, music, movies etc. but cannot help with these types of memory issues.

I'm Not Receiving Email

A very common issue.  The device is not receiving email at all.  You can verify this by checking the inbox for your email accounts.  If there are messages there that have not made it to the device, you may have an issue.  First off, try a battery pull as described above (if it solves the issue you will know as your email will come flying in as soon as the device reboots).  If that doesn't help, you may need to resend your service books. 

Login to your carriers BIS site (a list can be found here)
Click the Service Books link
Service Books
Click Send Service Books

    You should receive confirmation messages on your device if you were successful. 

    This is a common error as well for existing GSM BIS users who attempt to activate a new device. After putting in your SIM card, your browser icon shows immediately, however there is no email.  You need to login to your BIS as above and enter the Change Device menu and activate the new device PIN.  From here resend the service books and you're set.

    My Browser Is Missing
    A common issue that shows up more often than you would think.  Commonly after activating a new device or upgrading the OS.  There is a simple fix, but most users don't know where to start. 

    • Insure you have a BlackBerry data plan
    • Make sure the icon is not hidden - press the Menu key and select Show All - see if the icon is on the screen at all
    • Go to Options > Advanced Options > Host Routing Table.  Press the Menu key and select Register Now.

    Wait about 30 seconds and the icon should appear. Sometimes it may take longer depending on your service etc. so be patient.  If it doesn't show up after a while (10 minutes or so) try a battery pull.  After the restart if it still doesn't appear, you may need to resend your service books as described above.  

    More in the forums:

    Interesting Browser Issue
    I lost my browser help!

    How To Separate SMS & Email Messages

    No so much an error as a common question, but some users prefer to have separate inboxes for SMS/MMS messages & emails, while some prefer to have them all in one place.  To change this option is simple - In your Message go to Options > General Options and change SMS and Email Inboxes to separate.  This will give you individual folders for your SMS/MMS and Email messages.  Keep in mind this setting can be affected by some custom themes. 

    Message OptionsInboxes

    I Use Gmail and Receive A Copy Of My Emails

    A common problem when using Gmail.  To resolve it you must login to your Carrier's BIS site and simply add a filter to your current Gmail address.  Take these steps: 

    • Login to BIS account
    • Next to your Gmail address, click Edit
    • Click Add Filter
    • For Filter Name type "Sent"
    • For Apply Filter When select "From"
    • For Contains enter your Gmail address ""

    For more information or help in the forums, check out this thread.

    Keeping Your Device Up To Date and the Handheld Wipe

    Another good tip to prevent errors is to keep your Operating System (OS) up to date.  This is especially good for users with older devices.  Many bugs can be found over time, so RIM issues updates to the operating system to make things more stable.  You should always have the latest official OS installed on your device.  You can find links to all the current OS versions here.

    Check out Al Sacco's 101 on How to Install or Upgrade your BlackBerry Operating System (OS) to get the job done!

    If your OS is up to date and you are still experiencing bugs or glitches and you can't figure out why, performing a Handheld Wipe will help reset your BlackBerry's operating system to the OS defaults (you have the option to leave 3rd party apps installed or remove them). 

    No software or connection to a computer is required to perform a HandHeld Wipe. On your BlackBerry, simply go to Options > Security Options > General Settings > hit the menu key > Wipe Handheld and follow the instructions on the display. It takes a few minutes, but the Handheld Wipe will conveniently take you back to the starting line and hopefully fix your problems. Keep in mind you'll have to re-add your PIM info and add back all your BlackBerry Messenger contacts and apps (if you chose to delete the apps). 


    Now keep in mind these are just some of the issues you may run into with your new device.  There are many more problems you may encounter, but you can always turn to the Community for help. Check out these 101 Lessons for some other common problems:

    How To Use Blackberry Messenger
    How To Reload the Operating System on a "Nuked" Berry
    The Basics of Blackberry Themes
    How To Download and Install Ringtones on your Blackberry

    Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

    Reader comments

    Troubleshooting Common Issues


    Can the registration page automagically redirect to this lecture after every successful registration? ;)

    Any solutions if my video don't replay or save? I have a 8300 but upgrade the os to 4.5 but when I record it won't replay or save my video? any answers?

    For those of you having Bluetooth problems, the "battery pull" cure seems to fix that. But, be sure to turn off Bluetooth BEFORE pulling the battery. Once the unit is rebooted, go ahead and re-enable Bluetooth.

    The Blackberry 101 series is a must read for any new BB user. Another good point is raised when mentioning that most problems with devices have answers on CB if time is taken to just search before posting.

    To check the file free memory for Pearl users you need to hit ALt,E,A,C,E. Or go to options status. Otherwise nice recap Adam.

    Even though I consider myself a pretty good BB user, this came in handy and I'm going to book mark it so I don't have to remember this stuff.

    One note: The Soft reboot and the ALT-SFT-H don't work on my BB. don't know why.

    I have a problem with my BB 8120. I tried to get rid of some unwanted applications when my phone had to be reset for the actions to take place. But when my phone loads back up, i'm missing all my apps!!! I can still get to my messages and stuff, I just have to load up my call log and switch applications. I've tried taking the battery out but that won't work. What can I do?

    i purchased the alltel curve 8330 a couple of days ago and have been impresed with it. But within the last day my internet has stopped working. I had been able to connect to the internet without a problem at first but now it comes up with a message that says < unable to connect to the internet, please try again later, For some reason it wont connect in the exact same places it was in past days.
    what do i do??

    we have just had a blackberry technician in to sync our blackberry's to our new server and during this process they somehow managed to get my passwords wrong and it decided to shutdown and delete everything. Is there some magical way that these things can be recovered? Small things such as text messages and stuff saved in my memopad but the most important was my calender which has all my future appointments, now i dont know where i am supposed to be!
    Please help if possible, anything would be good!

    My 5 month old Blackberry won't turn on.. It switches between hour glass and black screen with the Red Power light. Worked fine on friday night and then Saturday morning.. Kaput!!

    I'm having the same issue.....any solution? Just cycles from white screen with red light and hour glass to black screen.

    Does Verizon have a different OS upgrade version than Telus or Bell? Is it worth looking into getting one of those upgrades if you have a phone from a different carrier? Or are they all the same? (newbie on the blackberry, sorry)

    Wow! I love this phone but it is DEFINITELY smarter than I am! Anyway, my question is this....while in the profile section playing with the settings (BIG mistake) I accidently check-marked the option of not disconnecting the call while in holster. Well, now I have to manually take it out of the holster and disconnect. I can't find where to fix it to where it will automatically disconnect when the call is finished. Can anyone help?? Thanks so much.

    My trackball will not allow me to move the cursor to the left.
    Have to shut down to reset to upper letf quadrant.

    My blackberry deletes all calls recorded in my call log once a week. How can I prevent this from happening?


    ok i have a BB my friend passed down to me because he got the Storm but the problem is that when i turn the BB that he gave me it starts up does the 3g thingy then it gets to the at&t screen it stops there and that is it . can this be fixed?

    jut got the bb 9530, unlocked it but it won't make nor receive calls. Has all my sim card info but when i try to make calls it says "Call Failed" Does anyone know if there's something that can be done??

    People don't understand that the purpose for this feature of the article is to leave comments about it!
    If you need help you are supposed to go to the Help&Discussion Forums section of this website.
    If they can't figure that one out... I wonder how they even attempt to use the DangBerry...

    I have a blackberry bold and my trackball started to double click automatically every time i click it only once. How do I get it set to click only once?

    I just purchased the BB storm in January and for the last couple of days, my screen is freezing up on me. The little clock displays after every 3 letters or so I am typing, both in email and text. If I am trying to scroll down on the screen, I get the clock as well. Pretty much anything I do, every couple of seconds, the clock shows up and I cannot do anything until it is gone.
    I havent tried the battery pull yet. However, I did get 2 error messages today back to back, one saying memory full and the other didnt make any sense to me. I am trying to avoid going to verizon (my carrier) because the lines for tech support are HUGE! Anyone else have this issue?

    my unlocked bb curve 8310 keeps restarting on its own and does this randomly and even when i am browsing or chatting. why is it doing that and how can i stop it?

    Hi there I am at the end of my rope with my black berry pearl. I have had 3 within the past year. The first 2 had problems with the track ball and the new one that is just 1 week old just turns off. The batery will be fully charged and I will have it beside my bed at night on Silent because I use it daily as my alarm. I will wake up in the morning on my own and go to check my phone. It will be off. I have to turn it back on and then I can see my emails and phone messages start to come through. I love the phone but it is driving me nuts.

    The only other blackberry I would up grade to would be the storm but it is too costly for me. I am a real estate agent and live using my phone. Another Pearl is a drag as I am not sure wether I will have all the same propblems and I don't like any of the other models. Please help

    a simple thing as taking out the battery resolved so many issues i had with my new phone thanks a lot. my own cell phone provider verizon could not tell me that nor was is in the manual.

    how do i recieve files from another phone via bluetooth? i activate bluetooth but when i want to send the file from the other it says sending failed

    When I click down on the ball to get to my messages for instance, it wont work and I have to press down on the ball for a long period of time. What's wrong wih my phone!?

    i put a theme on my storm and then i deleted it on my said it needed to restart to delete the theme so i clicked yes.then it shutdown and can't start tries loading then says JUM IP.....then it shuts down and tries again and doesn't ever work.can someone help please?

    A couple few quirks had popped up over the last week, but the most annoying was the mute/standby button stopped operating. I would have thought something was physically wrong with the phone, but the battery pull actually fixed this, yay!

    went without my Curve most of the day until I went to this site. You recommended the battery pull and it solved my lockups. I have only had my phone for a week and already I am addicted to it. I used to have a T-mmobile Dash.Thanks for all your great info.

    i have a blackberry curve 8330. i have an icon that i cant get rid of. i cant click on it. it appears in my sms, mms, bb messenger and email. its a black circle with a gray arrow pointing diagonally. theres a 1 to the left of the circle and a red dot in the upper right corner. any help would be greatly appreciated. thank you!

    My phone went dead and when i plugged it in to charge it, all that came up on my screen was "JUM Error 102." below that, it has an option to reset it, and when i do...the same JUM Error keeps coming up. i've tried the battery pull and also the alt+shift+del and nothing's working...can someone help me?????

    ...I have a curve water damage...other day pulled from pocket and (w/keylock on) the screen was @ contacts and typing TgtgtgtgTgTgTgTgtg all by itself...what the hell and why??? What fix's it??? Please help. Can't turn off...can't answer calls...this is a major prob. to me as I depend on this thing for the life of me...(BUSINESS)

    i dont know what to do now with my bb since i wasnt able to send text messages.. i already did the battery pull and yet it's still giving me error message such as "protocol error". what does it mean by that?

    My curve does not turn on anymore. Battery is fully charged and it is also on the charger, tried the battery pull, nothing. the indicator is on red for 30 secs, than 1 flash and goes back on for 30 secs and so and so on...........
    It turn on once but was frozen, tried the pull again and now nothing again.
    I am getting the new Bold9700 and NEED to save all my contacts but how can I if my curve wont turn on ?


    i have the pearl 8120 and my addresses dont appear on my device, but i know they are there! what can i do to get them back on screen?


    So I have a blackberry curve, i believe it's a 8310...i've downloaded ringtones on this very site before, and they save nicely into the "ringtones" folder on my blackberry in the "media" section, no problem. however, recently i downloaded a few more, and they just don't appear in the "ringtones" section at all! what's weirded is if i go to my address book and give a contact a personal ringtone, there are all those missing ringtones i just downloaded! i can play them, but i can't set one to be my general ringtone, nor can i send them to other people. also, if i go to "ringtones" in the media section and try to delete a ringtone that i've downloaded, it will "Delete" it, but the name will still be in the list; if i click on it, nothing will happen, but the names are still there. help me, please!!!! why won't they save properly in the right place, and why can't i delete them "fully"??? HELP!!! :O

    my phone key board dosent work but my tracker ball does...but i can not select on any options on the screen text,email, etc.. ive done the batt pull out deal but canot perform the soft reset cuz my keys are not woking....any tricks.

    Last night before i went to bed i left my phone on my night stand when i woke up there was a bunch of my bbm contacts added to random chats at various times at night. Normally to add people to chat it would have to be initiated but I never touched my device for the whole night. Has anyone had this issue or something like this happen to them before??

    i have bb 8900 curve.. i had wipe handled it yesterday due to automatic restarting...
    and after wipe handle it had worked properly..
    But when i connect to the my charger suddently my phone switched off... now i am not able to turn it on.. i had removed and inserted my battery ,then also not getting started... before turned off my mobile had minimum 70% battery charge am sure..................

    PLEASE help To solve this issue... am waiting....


    I own a BB Curve 8520 which is about 3 weeks old. This morning my screen just turn blank (white). I can receive messages and calls but I can't view from whom it is from, have tried the battery pull but it didn't work. If I off the phone then after sometime I on, the screen is visible but after a few seconds the screen turns blank white again. Anyone can help??


    I own a BB Curve 8520 which is about 3 weeks old. This morning my screen just turn blank (white). It didn't fall. I can receive messages and calls but I can't view from whom it is from, have tried the battery pull but it didn't work. If I off the phone then after sometime I on, the screen is visible but after a few seconds the screen turns blank white again with a black line in the middle. Can anyone help???!! Urgent!!!!! Thanks.

    I have a blackberry 8100 pearl
    I can't send or receive picture texts. it tell me:

    Unable to connect to remote web server

    I don't know what that mean, please help

    I have a blackberry 8100 pearl
    I can't send or receive picture texts. it tell me:

    Unable to connect to remote web server

    I don't know what that mean, please help

    I have a problem that my curve 8520 won't accept my keyboard pasword. (set up with automatic keyboard lock on holstering the phone)

    I unlocked it once this morning with no problem but then went back to it 30 mins later but it didn't recognise the p/w any more and I haven't changed it.

    Any ideas why? Or more importantly how else can I get it unlocked and no desktop access from this PC.

    Thanks & regards,

    When I go into options and try to add a new email account I only get the Existing user page. Why can't I get to the New Account Page?

    Bill Perkins
    I have a BB Bold I did an update on my phone now when I receive a text message it shows the number of the person sending it to me not the name of the contact how do I fix this?

    hi there, i have got the blackberry bold 9900 and have set up my blackberry id, when i try to download apps it says unable to login to your blackberry id, i have changed the password and still it wont login,has anyone got a solution for this,


    I have a 9670
    recently i did an update in Black berry world and now my phone keeps rebooting itself ALL the time. The only time it doesn't is when I am doing nothing more than making phone calls. use any apps and within 2 mins--rebooting takes place

    i have a torch 9800 the trackpad dosent work when the phone is slid open and the touch screen stops working all the time. i cant update the device because the software updates part in options is missing i dont know whats happend can you help?

    I have Blackberry Strom9530 i cant switch it on it just shows a white screen with JVM error 102 and then when i try to reset it goes back to its white screen and then goes can i solve this JVM problem ? please help me!!!

    I have a 9360, I moved my wallpapers and pics into seperate folders, all was fine then i turned my phone on yesterday morning to find all my pics and folders were gone, I have done a battery pull but still cant find them anywhere, can you please help?


    Blackberry 9530 from Verizon,unlocked to use other GSM carriers,it cant receive service books not can it dial the normal USSD codes like *144#,*131#.The service providers here seem to have no clue about the problem,i have tried upgrading and even downgrading the O.S but the two problems still persists.Please help

    need help i connot connect to wifi..Everytime im login in to facebook or any browsers it said YOU ARE CURRENTLY ON A SERVICE PLAN DOES NOT SUPPORT THIS APPLiCATION,PLS CONNECT TO WIFI NETWORK OR CONTACT YOUR SERVICE PROVIDER..
    wich I've connected to wifi already data was phone was 8250 curve..

    My dad gave me his blackberry curve 8520 last year December which he purchased in 2009 and he's never experienced any problems with it. I also didn't have any problems with it until I experienced a few issues like there are certain apps that I cant download due to my software. 24 July I upgraded my blackberry software and all was okay but now for the past 4 weeks my blackberry freezes and now the screen goes white!!!! I reboot it and comes on then the screen fades and becomes white again, I plug in the charger & it works but now it seems that my fone is now always on the charger becoz once I unplug and do sumthing it turns white (screen) what should I do?????????? #stressed#

    I m having bb 9300 3G curve from last 1month at da time of attending calls my phone becomes off den to reopen it I need to pull out battery & reinsert den it starts again becomes off after attending 2 to 3 call, can anybody tell me da exact prblm my bbm is having.