BlackBerry ID takes over backup/restore functions for BBM

By Adam Zeis on 14 Nov 2012 11:23 am EST

BBM has long been plagued with issues when swapping devices or installing a new OS. For years BlackBerry users have stuggled with keeping their contact list intact and not having to start from scratch after an update. In recent versions, the backup/restore feature has kept us sane (for the most part) giving the option to backup your contact list to an email address or SD card. The wasn't foolproof either unfortunately as many still have issues getting their full contact list back for any number of reasons. Thankfully with BBM version 7 (and going forward) you no longer have to worry as your BBM contact list and settings info is now all tied into your BlackBerry ID.

In BBM 7, your BBID grabs your contacts and settings list and holds onto them. No longer do you have to backup or restore you contacts manully either from your SD card or by email. All the info is stored in with your BBID, so as soon as you login on your BlackBerry, your BBM contacts are populated and you're good to go.

While it may have appeared that this was already the case, it certainly wasn't. If you had backed up your contacts to an email address tied to your BlackBerry, most times your contact list would restore on it's own after a device swap or OS update. Other times, not so much. I can't count how many times I've had to manually add back my contacts one by one after a botched BBM restore.

Hopefully this functionality will run down to other core and third-party apps for BlackBerry 10 as well. One of the longest running gripes of BlackBerry users is having to start fresh from most apps after an OS update. As we've seen on the PlayBook however, that should all be gone when we move to BlackBerry 10 -- so plenty of good things to come!

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

Reader comments

BlackBerry ID takes over backup/restore functions for BBM


I feel this will work better especially with bb10 phones.

Mobile nations needs to create a mobile nation app for all os's

Hope this means we can have more than 2000 Contacts :O) .. Perhaps we will be able to log into BBid online and send BBM messages there ^_^

** Wishful Thinking **

What I want to know is: Will BB10 have an upgrade path from OS5/6/7 for the data. eg: backup the old phone, restore the contacts/calendar/notes/etc to the BB10 phone.

That should be done seamlessly via BB Protect.. or even Backing up Via Desktop Manager..

Should. That is what we are assuming. But it is a different core OS. You can't go from BBOS6 to playbook, so why should you be able to go to BB10?

I'm just saying it would be nice to havfe confiratmio

I am always afraid when iget a new device/restore that it will re-add people i have deleted since the last time i did a contacts backup. Looks like this will solve that concern as it brings in the most recent contact list for that bbid.

So really you could pick up anyones phone, sign them out and sign into your bbid and your contacts will be on their phone??

Swapping bbid used to want to wipe your device in the past so it will depend if they have made it more friendly now that it is used for more thna just appworld.

This sounds great! I also hope this means you can use the same BBM account & all it's contacts (via BlackBerry ID) on more than one device.

Yep, this already works on the Dev Alpha! I had to restore the OS and my BBM contacts were back after I entered my BlackBerry ID!

This is just the beginning..

can't wait to take advantage of this when i switch from my 9900 to BB10 N-series in a few months

Bold 9900 - Playbook 32GB - Lumia 800

My 9900 was in the washer for 55 minutes and was announced dead two days ago. I still have hope so I buried it in a sack of rice. Will see what happen tomorrow (after three days). In the mean time I fall back to my 8900. I used my BlackBerryID to upgrade BlackBerry Protect and restore my contacts without any problem.
It's hard to use the trackball after using the trackpad for so long. Occasionally, I touched the screen but nothing happened. LOL.


I never had a prob with this, I always used device switch or blackberry protect and had my info transferred from bb to bb without a glitch. (i've passed through about 5 different bberrys so far)

I like that the apps start from scratch tho. I collect a load of apps over time and its nice to have a clean start now and again.
Certainly never noticed how much whatsapp drained my battery until i did a fresh wipe.

Next logical step to bringing BB10 to market and making it very easy to make the transition. RIM does more and more to impress that they really want to get this right!

Everything EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE TIED TO BBID. I'm not worried about my data going to  10. Its something RIM will have ready come launch.

An OS upgrade shouldn't touch apps or user data. I have always found that very frustrating about Blackberry and it keeps me from upgrading my OS - it's just too much of a hassle. The only time I have upgraded my OS in the past two years was when my device bricked and I was forced to start from scratch anyway. I hope this is not the case with BB10.

So if you exceed the number of pin changes and your contacts are backup via bbm will there still be a penalty for the pin changes. Because i am about to switch to anoda BB but im scared that it would say my account has exceeded pin changes again! so if i change and that happen i wouldn't be able to get my contacts?


I downloaded my bbm to bbm 7 and my contacts has been deleted. BB ID tried to restore my contacts, but i declined this options by accident!!! So, the old way to restore the contacts is gone. I have a backup on my desktop using Blackberry desk top client.

Plz HELP!!!

Please how often are the contacts backed up?? I just got a Q5 and the stupid thing is telling me my email (the one for BB I'd) is not even associated with any BBM account. This is sooooo annoying!! And the Goddamn BB Link won't download simply because I "live in Nigeria". Lame crap!