BlackBerry First Steps: Mass Storage Mode - Using your BlackBerry as a portable flash drive

BlackBerry mass storage mode
By Alicia Erlich on 26 Mar 2011 11:17 am EDT
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Every day, thousands will pick up a new BlackBerry. For a good many of them, this will be their first BlackBerry; maybe even their first smartphone. We've all had that first day; poking and prodding a new BlackBerry, trying to figure out how it works. This series aims to make that process a bit easier. 

As BlackBerry users we're constantly on the go. Chances are you've probably used a flash drive to carry files for school, work, or play. Why not use your BlackBerry? Media cards have become a must-have accessory for mobile devices and offer more than just space for music and pictures. Transform your device into a USB drive and quickly drag and drop files directly to and from your microSD/microSDHD card using Windows Explorer.

It's all very quick and automated with help and reminder messages along the way.  With our own helpful messages, CrackBerry presents our guide to the mass storage mode on your BlackBerry. 

Turning on Mass Storage Mode 

First, connect your BlackBerry to your PC with the USB Cable. You'll be greeted with a popup box to enable mass storage mode; this box differs according to your operating system. If your BlackBerry is password protected you'll be prompted to enter it again.

USB Storage on BlackBerry OSFive
OS 5 - At the prompt, click yes to enable mass storage mode. 
BlackBerry 6 USB connection
OS6 - When connected, the screen displays a choice between three options: USB Drive, Sync Media, or Charge only. Simply select USB drive to enable mass storage mode. 

Connecting and Transferring Data 

Congratulations, your BlackBerry is now your own personal memory card reader. At the AutoPlay prompt on your PC, click on open folder to view the files on your BlackBerry. Don't be shocked if it doesn't run. It's perfectly normal depending on your computers' Auto Run settings. So before you sit there plugging and unplugging your BlackBerry, remember there is another way. Go to My Computer and look for removable drives. Internal device memory shows up as BLACKBERRY1 while the media card appears as BLACKBERRY.

Removable drive

Autoplay on a PC

From here you can copy, delete, transfer, and browse files located on your SD card. No matter what the file type, simply copy and paste them into their respective folders in the BlackBerry directory. That's all there is to it. Best part is, add music, videos, and pictures without Desktop Manager.

Files on the media card

Directory

Unplugging your device 

Before you remove the USB cable your device should be properly disconnected from your system to prevent data corruption. PC users can right mouse click on the safely remove hardware icon in the system tray while Mac users can drag the icon into the trash.

Troubleshooting 

If you're experiencing problems, a quick fix might be to see if mass storage mode and media card support is turned on. All you need to do is follow these directions.

OS 5 

From the home screen, click on Options and scroll down to Memory. Using the drop down list, make sure Mass Storage Mode Support and Media Card Support is On. To eliminate the prompts each time you plug in your device, just turn on Auto Enable.

Memory options

OS 6

OS 6 options

Search for Storage from the home screen using Universal Search. By selecting Options > Storage you can modify the media card settings and make sure Media Card Support is selected.

When turned on, your BlackBerry and PC can recognize and access the media card.


Mass storage mode is a fast and convenient way to transfer files to and from your device. No matter where you are or where you go, you're never more than a click away from your files. So whether you're editing a PowerPoint presentation or writing an article on the train home, this is just another way to feed your BlackBerry addiction. Plus, depending on your device and operating system, a BlackBerry can hold a microSD/microSDHD card up to 32GB.  

Reader comments

BlackBerry First Steps: Mass Storage Mode - Using your BlackBerry as a portable flash drive

20 Comments

Can this work like this on a Mac. I plugged my Mac in and all that happened was the Desktop Manager popped up.

This was a good refresher for me because I have been having trouble accessing the data on my SD card when the device is plugged in. This was a helpful little checklist, but I still cannot access the files on my SD card (with the computer) when plugged in. Does anyone have any workarounds?

I like to keep my berry password protected, but hate it when I am constantly asked to re-enter my password every time I connect it to the computer. Is there a way to disable this feature so that if you are already "logged in" to your blackberry, you aren't asked again for the password?

On my Mac, I discovered that I can just drag my document(s) into the blackberry folder that appears on the desktop.
I can also just transfer them via bluetooth, which makes it really handy.
I doubt whether I'll be carrying around a flash drive from now on. I'm seriously thinking of a 32gb media card, and I'll be able to put lot's of stuff on it. Combining this with Dropbox and SugarSync, I'll be able to store thousands of files on the media card and in the cloud.

I'd like to buy a larger card. Anyone know if I can transfer the pics,music & video from the little storage card to a much larger one? There's not much room left on laptop so can't email it all and of course music files too big. Help appreciated.

Yes, you can. The best way is to use your pc. I create a folder on the desktop/laptop and transfer everything to it then transfer it back to the larger card. You may have to format the card first. I've found it better to use the BB to format the card.

Another way is to transfer the data through multiple USB ports on your pc if you have them. You'll need an SD Card USB adapter. This might be your best option if you don't have room on your pc. Good luck!

Is there an easy way to transfer what I have from one card to another? Say from a 4gig to a 16?

Copy the data off the 4 gig card to your computer. Delete of the 4 gig card. Insert your 16 gig card into your phone. Copy the data from your computer to your 16 gig card.

All well and good, a standard tool for dealing with YOUR BB and YOUR computers. However, DO NOT load stuff you do not want seen and please, DO NOT plug your BB into any other computers - let the owners of such computers deal with their problems by themselves!!! Doctor Neutron

I've got BLACKBERRY 9330 CURVE DUMB PH. NOT SMART Ph. HOW can I get a flash drive on this thing so I can Web cam with my family? I just got this ph 2 months ago so I can't take it back. PLEASE, there has too B a way???

Awesome! I had over 500 songs on my blackberry, just got a new laptop and couldn't figure out how to get all those songs on it. I can now enjoy all that great music on my BB or my laptop. So happy. Thanks.

Hi, Is it possible eliminate the prompts and skip directly to mass storage mode connection if you have OS6? I can't see the way...

Hi guys, please help! On the OS5 prompt, I accidentally clicked "Dont ask this again" and because of this I can no longer transfer files between my BB and my laptop. When I connect my BB to my laptop it only charges the battery :( So how do I turn on the prompt again???