How to back up and restore your BBM contact list

By James Richardson on 14 Jul 2012 03:15 pm EDT

I am pretty certain that there is nothing worse than losing your BBM contact list. Us BlackBerry addicts rely on it so much. Backing up your BlackBerry Messenger contacts is not something new, however I often see on Twitter and other places the frustration that some people have who manage to lose all their contacts for one reason or another. Many people back up all their information using the BlackBerry Desktop Software but I also know a lot of people that don't. If you were to damage your BlackBerry beyond repair and were lucky enough to get a replacement or new one straight away you can restore you BBM contacts within seconds if you know how.

You will see that you have a couple of options for backing up. You can do it locally, which will be to your device/MicroSD card, or remotely to an email address. Backing up to the memory card works just fine but if you lose your BlackBerry you will have lost the memory card too. The remote option is probably the safest bet as this will allow you restore your BBM contact list on a new BlackBerry as soon as you have that particular email account configured.

The process is so quick and easy that if you have not done it before chances are you will after seeing the video.

If you have any other ‘How to videos' you would like us to cover please feel free to let us know in the comments section.

Reader comments

How to back up and restore your BBM contact list


When I upgraded to the 9900 from my 9700 I didn't have to add anyone or anyone to accept my new pin. The old pin got switched for them automaticallly.

if you do this too many times too quickly like say you're trying out various blackberries in the span of a month or so, you will eventually lose everything no matter which way u back it up. this happened to me twice so now everyone just texts me. it's much more reliable. and i find bbm completely irrelevant because of this and because of texting lol.

This simply isn't true. I switch BlackBerrys every week or so, sometimes twice a week. I'm probably on my 80th PIN right now, same contact list. I back it up using the back up utility, and restore it on another device using BBM's "restore contacts" feature. Never once lost my contact list.

well it is true for me because I've lost it every time. backed it up two different way and it didn't help and thats why I've abandoned bbm because for me it's unreliable.

Locally doesn't seem to do BBM Groups though, that only seems to come through via Remote Backup.

I am not even sure that backing up is even a necessity for me anymore. It is really easy to keep track of the 8 people that i have left as BBM contacts.


How does one acquire one of those buttons?

Last time I backed up my contacts and switched from my 9700 to 9900, It could never restore my BBM groups. Still says waiting to join but nothing on the other end. Can't even remove it.

I've been using Blackberry Protect for quite a while now, never really needed it until the other day. I was prompted to delete apps and/or languages I don't use (which seems to happen all the time, app storage gets eaten up until I reboot, but that's another thread). I don't know what I deleted that was attached to my contact list, but I almost passed out when I got a text after reboot and there was no name, just a number. Blackberry Protect saved the day!! Officially the most useful app I have!

You might not be able to backup and restore your BBM settings if your device uses BES unless you restore the BBM contact settings before you activate your device with the BES server again. BES normally locks your BBM settings by default so you can't restore them through desktop manager after you have activated your device.

Hi, I had a problem with my sons phone which was replaced and when I tried to restore to the new phone all his bbm contacts disappeared and I couldn't get them back. I did two backups of the old phone. Is there any way to recover the contacts?

What is this BBM you speak of?? :) I wish i had just one friend or family member that used a Blackberry so that i could BBM them... :( Perhaps BB10 will change all of that and people will come back to BB and BBM!