Customize Sound Profiles on the BlackBerry Tour

By Adam Zeis on 13 Jul 2009 01:57 pm EDT

How to customize the sound profile settings on your BlackBerry Tour (and Storm) on OS 4.7

Sound Settings

So you've given up on your old BlackBerry 83xx or 88xx series device and moved on to something better like a Bold, Curve 8900 or maybe the BlackBerry Tour. The old 4.5 OS (or even 4.3 or gasp.. 4.2.2) has been kicked to the curb, and now you have a bigger, more refined OS at your disposal in the form of version OS 4.6 (Bold / Curve 8900 / Pearl Flip / Curve 8350i) or 4.7 (Tour / Storm). You will notice some obvious changes in the look and feel. BlackBerry Messenger has been overhauled and the media is layed out a bit different (even more changes are slated for version 5.0 device software). It's all pretty straight forward in terms of use, but one area where the move up to 4.7 on your new Tour will require some adjustment is to the new Profile settings - or should I say Sounds.

I was a "Profile Power User" of sorts on my Curve 8330. I had maximized my profiles, having each tweaked to my liking. I loved that I could have my Quiet profile with no sounds for emails while at work, Loud with obnoxious alerts for a night at the bar and Vibrate - where I knew 3 vibrations meant SMS message and 1 was an email. Now I have to say, when I first jumped to OS 4.7, I was completely thrown off by the changes in the Sounds settings. No longer was I able to change each profile individually, but I had to set my tones once and each profile would be based off of that. This can be seen as both good and bad, and mildy confusing. Now there is only one set of alerts to edit - no more changing the tone on four or more profiles to achieve the same effect. Learning to maximize these new Sound settings was a bit of a challenge for me at first, but once I figured out what I was doing, It made a bit more sense. Keep in mind that there are also Custom Profiles which let you take back your profiles and we'll get into after we check out the basics of Sounds. * Note: It sounds like in OS 5.0 the Custom Profiles menu item will be renamed to Edit Profiles, and in addition to adding Custom Profiles you will once again be able to edit the default ones individually. Thanks RIM! *

Prior to OS 4.6, this is what the profile screen looked like. You had the ability to choose a profile, or go to Advanced where you could edit each profile.

Profile Screen

In newer versions of OS 4.6 and in 4.7, the Profiles setting has been replaced by Sounds (you may still show Advanced at the bottom depending on your specific OS version). There are still multiple "profiles", but you only have one place to change the alerts as opposed to changing them separately for each profile.

Sounds Screen

Essentially the Advanced of the older OS has been replaced with the Set Ring Tones/Alerts. Here you have all of your alerts located in once place. You can no longer edit the default profiles and change each individually. Instead, you set the alerts once, and changing profiles adjusts the volume of those tones.

The layout looks similar - you have options for Ring Tone, Volume, Sound in Holster, LED, Vibration and Notify Me During Calls. Previously you would get to these settings by going to Advanced and editing each profile, now they all fall under Set Ring Tones/Alerts.



Using the old Profiles, you were able to set different tones, volume and vibration for each of the profiles (Loud, Quiet and Normal). So you were able to have different tones, vibration and LED alerts for each of these profiles. The main difference now in Sounds is that you will have one "set" of alerts for all of your profiles, meaning the alert tones will stay the same (you won't be able to choose different sound alerts for each profile) but the volume will change. For example, my Normal profile has no alert tone for emails, only an LED. Changing this to Loud or Medium, I now receive an audible alert as well as LED for emails. Likewise, there is no option to edit the Vibrate Only or Phone Only profiles. Previously, you could edit these and make changes. If you wanted a different number of vibrations for phone calls than SMS, you could set it up that way. In the Phone Only profile, you could set SMS alerts to have a tone as well. Now you are stuck with the default profiles and cannot edit them. At first glance the vibrate options for each notification would seem to edit their action on the Vibrate Only profile, but unfortunately this isn't the case.

The Silent setting does just that - all of you audible tones will be muted.

Vibrate Only will cause the device to vibrate for alerts. You cannot change the vibrations for each alert for this setting.

Setting to Phone Calls Only you will receive alerts only for phone calls- other alerts will be silent.

All Alerts Off will turn off all notifications on the device.

Some basic things to remember. All of your notifications now revolve around your Normal profile. So whatever you have set for ring tones and alerts (silent for emails, ring tone at volume 10 for calls, vibrate for BlackBerry Messenger) will all be the Normal profile. When you change to Loud or Medium, the notifications will use sounds (if selected) as well as increased volume.

The good thing is that all of these can be thrown aside for the Custom profiles. Here you have the options to tweak all of your profiles to your liking.

Custom Profiles

You could essentially create an entire new set of profiles, each totally customizable, that will let you achieve the same result as previous OS versions. You can set alerts containing different tones, as well as custom vibrate and phone only options. This may be the way to go for some users looking to better handle their notifications. You can jump right in to creating a custom alert and set each item to your personal taste.

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

Reader comments

Customize Sound Profiles on the BlackBerry Tour


My pearl flip running OS is not like this. It works like the older OS did. I can still change each individual profile's sounds.

So they may be talking about; which my 8230 flip is currently running (official VZW release is IIRC) - my Profiles are just like this, same as they were on my 9530 Storm running 4.7.0.x

i change ringtones for different contacts but when i go to a normal profile to have default settings like vibrate only...and for some reason the sound of a rigtone plays when i get called...any ideas?

i'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my tour and am soaking up as much info as I can about bberry but i have a simple and stupid question:

How do i setup unique ringtones for groups? (is there a way to do this as a batch, ie. my work contacts get ringtone A; my friends get ringtone b)

is there an app that will force the phone to ring or vibrate (for specific numbers) even if it is set to silent?

if you were wanting to set a group ringtone, in the menu, you have contact alerts, what you would do is setup the new alert for one of the contacts, and then you can just add on more names, so that for a group of people it will ring the same way

as far as the app for ring or vibrate for only ones, you would have to setup a custom profile specifically for that number

So... I own an 8830 as well... What I liked, and LIKE about the World Edition device--which I believe is the same for the earlier Pearl, Curve, and maybe even the that you could set-up different sounds and/or vibrations for your various notifications and messages. Then, when you wanted the device to "Silent", or "Vibrate", would do just that. With the Storm howeever, you are able to individualize the settings for each contact, as well as group multiple contacts under a particular message and/or phone call sound/notification/vibration. The thing is, if to set the device to "Silent", or "Vibrate", the individual contact/group settings made are not in accordance with the setting. Why...? Is this a "can't have my cake and eat it, too" situation? Or is there a way to achieve this? This: [being] having the individuatl sound settings for "Jane Doe" for her Phone, SMS, MMS, PIN, and E-mail all a the same sound, but different from general messages, and then still be "Silent" or "Vibrate" or "Loud" when I choose that overall Sound Profile...


I had that problem on my Storm as well, the new software fixed it. Have you updated from the .76 OS, etc? I stopped using custom tones before I updated my OS b/c when I had my phone on vibrate (say because I was in a work meeting), my phone would still ring or beep if a custom contact called/msg. Once I updated the OS this issue went away and I could finally reset all of my custom tones and alerts. Give that a try if you haven't, youre problem will be solved.

yeah the 8900 and the bold, keep the other one that's within 4.6 and below, then with 4.7 with the storm and tour its with setting ring alerts. I didn't like it at first on my storm because for callers you had to also set a ringtone for calls as well as text otherwise, the text message sound wouldn't even be the standard default you made but after a while I got used to it.

so how do you get third party apps to sound. I.e. Ss for twitter. I have alerts turned on, however there is nowhere to find the app in the sounds area, to change the sound or the volume!! Help! LOL

One thing I love about the older OS is the fact that as soon as I holster my Bold, the volume of my ringers and notifications automatically go to the "loud" setting because I wish them to. I can set them to automatically do whatever I want them to do upon holstering. Seems like they really screwed that up with OS 4.7 I had owned a Storm for about 24 hours, and this was one thing I really didn't like about the new OS. I would now have to go into my profiles and manually set it to loud before holstering the phone. If OS 5.0 is going to do the same thing as 4.7, I probably won't be bothering to upgrade.

I got the Tour for my wife yesterday and she wanted to change her ringtone so I told her to hit F for Profiles but it didn't do anything. After telling her she was nuts I confirmed for myself that "F" didn't work anymore. Eventually I found the Sounds icon and worked my way through setting up a new ringtone but I never figured out what the keyboard shortcut was. Am I blind?

What I want is the ability to tell my Blackberry that, when there's something in the headphone jack, send audible alerts there and, if not, just vibrate.

I was shocked to find out this is how profiles worked in OS 4.7+ when I started tinkering with my Tour. I was coming from an 8330 and I really am thrilled to find out OS 5.0 will be bringing back a similar ability to profile editing as in OS 4.5...I too am a power profile user. The way profiles are on my Tour, while decent, just lack what I desire..

I don't understand ANY of this. Lol, sorry, can anyone dumb-it-down. I have a curve 8900, running on O.S - I think, and now you're saying.. Instead of cutomizing each.. profile (be it, Loud, Silent, etc) that the 'Normal' Profile will be the sound default for each?? sorry for the confusion, i'm not easily informed, Lol. know how on the previous OS platforms you could customize each default profile (i.e. normal, vibrate, silent) to your liking? Well, with the new OS platform, the default profiles are what they are and you can only change your ring tones and alerts. Those tones and alerts will stay the same whether or not your profile is set to normal, vibrate, or silent unless you create your own custom profile in which case you can tweak your settings to your specific preferences. :-D

I have a storm and like the implemntation of the profiles for the most part. But I could see where being able to edit individual profiles would be advantageous for a lot of people.

I think it the two concepts were to merge, that would be ideal. for example, if there were an option in the menu to proliferate the "normal" settings into all other (or select) profiles, that'd be so much easier and quicker to tweak the different profile settings.

I was trying to help my dad put a new ringer on his phone and putting it on all sound-capable profiles felt like I was wasting time.

oh, I also think it could be improved if you were able to change the order the profiles were displayed. I pretty much only use normal, vibrate only, and one custom profile. I'd like to be able to put all three at the top of the list. i also think it would be nice to be able to choose from a set of icons which icon represents which custom profile.

I myself have created a profile for myself for my normal profile using my name and then have a work and sleep profile since I cannot answer phone at work but I can get a sound to let me know I missed a call. At night I silence emails and stuff like that but my phone will ring if I get a call for an alarm drop at work or any other emergency in the middle of the night. Had to have a different profile for sleep because the wife hated my email alerts in the middle of the night. So my point is why not have a profile for each situation rather than tweaking the defaults? Just a thought.

Because I would've been pretty upset when I went to setup the vibration settings on my Tour (whenever I finally get it...uggghhh) and I wouldn't have had the option. Although, I would have figured it out eventually.

Basically you have a list of preset profiles that CANNOT be truly customized and therefore become much less useful than they should. There are some very puzzling aspects about RIM's OS and I would LOVE to be in a position to offer feedback. I can be especially discerning and creative, but the phone does tend to limit me at times.

i don't like this. at all. i was so excited when i saw the "medium" sound option because i always created a custom to be able to have low medium high. ok fine, it takes what i set at normal and adjusts them but today i had set it to loud and i was confused why my phone kept sounding an alert that i did not recognize. well, it's because even though in normal i have all my email accounts set to silent apparently in loud it makes an audible alert! if i wanted it i would have set it! sure i can make custom but i shouldn't have to! i should be able to do what every other blackberry can do and just tweak the presets. not happy about this at all. don't get me wrong i love my tour but this just sucks!

I just spent a few hours trying to figure this out as well. I am my office's BES Admin and called Rim. Amazingly, they considered this to be a bug (modifying Normal profile modifies all profiles). They opened a case number for me. However, your explanation does make sense. My custom profile is behaving independently from Normal. What a disaster!

THANK YOU i had the 8830 and loved the set up for each ring/vibrate and could never figure out the new set up for the storm. but now ive got my phone working for me the way i want it again. Yesss soooo happy. i hope 5.0 goes back to the old way it was sooo awesome

I would love to know how to get the number of alerts back. On my 8703e I had the option of 1, 2, or 3 alert notifications with whatever sound I chose. Now on my tour I only get one alert. This is really annoying as when it is on my hip and I am in the car or something, I frequently don't hear the first alert and I don't see the LED notification immediately. Anyone know how to get the three alerts back?

All good until you setup custom ringtones for each profile in your address book. The main sound profile volume will not change in volume level when selecting normal, loud or medium while utilizing custom ringtones for contacts who's specific phone alerts or volume are set to active profile in lieu of the optional numeric value for ringtone volume. When the ring comes through it will default to a low volume that's very difficult to hear in a busy environment and won't increase or decrease in volume when you try to change the main profile volume control. On the old OS of .75 a problem was discovered where custom ringtones of contacts set to active profile would still ring thru even though the main sound profile was set to vibrate. But on the other hand a user could successfully change the Sound profile volume and notice a increase or decrease in volume when custom ringtones of each contacts were set to active profile. RIM and Verizon acknowledged this problem and fixed it on the .148 release. So now when using new ver 4.7 and contacts are set to active profile and the main sound profile volume is set to vibrate everything works fine except when you attempt to change the main sound profile from vibrate to one of the other selections like loud, medium or normal. The sound volume remains at a constant low volume and will not change no matter which volume level is selected. This new problem was verified on two separate blackberry storms and brought to the attention of RIM and Verizon whom still remain puzzled on this problem. The only hope is that their software engineers will finally figure it out after multiple attempts and get it right on the next anticipated software update.

My flashing light notification is now gone. I have tried to update my profile, send service books, reboot by phone, and changed to custom profile. Nothing works. I like it because at work I can see the alert without having any of my ringers on like the "quiet" setting on the Curve. Anyone have any ideas or maybe know if the new software update might have a fix. Otherwise, I have no problems or issues with the phone. Thanks

This was very helpful. I initially treated it the same as my 8830, 8130, and 8703e, and created a custom profile. It did not work exactly as expected. I read this, and it cleared everything up. Thank you!

Is it possible to change the number of vibes and rings from the two vibe, one ring cycle? My Curve did two vibes and then three rings before cycling again, which actually let you know you got a call before it went to voicemail. I need the vibe on as I try to be courteous to my customers, but if I leave my phone in the other room, I don't hear the vibe, and don't always hear the first ring. If it immediately goes back to vibe after one ring, I often will miss the call.

did you ever get an answere to this as i to have tried everything. as per your comments my curve did it but i can't get my tour to.

Has RIM come out with any solution to the issue of custom profile sounds not being flexible.

I have a few custom profiles set, however it defeats the purpose when my phone is set to silent and those custom profiles are still able to break through.

Any patches, apps or suggestions would be helpful. This is really annoying.

I hope someone can help me. I received a BB Tour for Christmas and LOVE it except for the fact that the phone keeps reverting back to the default ringer/alert sounds. I set new sounds and also even set a Custom Profile. I took the phone to the Verizon store...they took out the battery and tested it and it worked fine. Within 30 minutes, it reverted back to the defauts. I took it back the same day, they upgraded the software and it tested fine, but again, within 30 minutes, it reverted back to the defaults. I'm very frustrated and have looked online about this issue and it seems to be an ongoing problem. Any ideas?

The profile system in OS 4.7 is of very poor design. In the previous versions you could edit your default profiles and assign individual tones to them. I am on call 24/7 and need to be able to customize a profile to allow 6 different callers to "ring" at night and everyone else "silent" (including sms and e-mails). This is impossible with the OS 4.7 - RIM, I'm hoping your going to fix this in your next OS. If something is not broken, why fix it.

I think as with many other users here, I love my new 9630 with the exception of the Sounds Profile. From what I've seen and read, the new 5.0 will give my back my Curve Sound profiles? I have way to many tones going off and never know who's calling, TXT'ing or Emailing me, very frustrating!

When I got my Tour I edited my contact list to include more of my contacts' information. The problem is that each contact was then issued a contact alert when I only want specific contact alerts for 5 people. Now all my contacts have different ringtones/notifications for calls, sms, etc. and I didn't realize the problem until much later. I've tried to delete the unwanted alerts from the sound menu but I have over 200 contacts and the Tour only lets me delete one by one. Any suggestions? I'm so frustrated!

Ok, help me to understand this. I currently have the storm and am waiting for my new tour to arrive. The reason that I chose the tour rather than a curve or any other BB is because of the Custom Ring Tones/Alerts options in the contact list. I was very familiar with setting new profiles in my old curve but did not like that when I set my phone to vibrate only, the custom ringtones would ring through anyway. My storm does not do this. I chose the TOur because it was the only phone that had the same options as my storm. I have specific ring tones for most of my contacts- for calls and SMS. However, when I set it to vibrate only, it actually IS vibrate only! Am I reading that the 5.0 OS for the tour will take that away from me and take me back to the curve settings??? Uhhhg.... I hope not!

I was wondering if there was a way to change the profile settings so that if you had it on silent you could still be able to receive calls from 1 or 2 numbers??? My friend is going to have a baby soon and I would like to get the call even if its during the night, and not all the other emails, txt, bbim, etc...

Would greatly appreciate it if you had any light on the subject.

Ok - I get all this. But....heres my problem. . . .I have several "custom profiles" set up and NONE of them work the way they are programmed. For instance... i have one set to "Class" mode because i am a college professor. "Class" profile is set to ONLY show LED notification with NO vibrations and NO ringtones for anything. However, my phone ringtone still rings aloud, AND ALL my SMS/MMS/Blackberry Messenger texts vibrate! I don't understand how to fix this!!!!

I really don't care about preset Normal, Medium, Loud, etc profiles because i create my own custom profiles which i use exclusively. I just wish these would work as I program them.

Any suggestions????