To delete Vendor.xml or not to delete, that is the question

That is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous delays in releasing OS updates?
By Joseph Holder on 29 Jun 2011 04:36 pm EDT

Through the course of many BlackBerry OS announcements here at CrackBerry, many of you have asked about deleting the vendor.xml file. You may have seen it referenced in one of our articles about a carrier releasing an official OS update. You may have come across it several times in the forums. You may be hearing about this file for the first time. The truth is: you only need to delete the file from unofficial updates; that is, updates that are official for a carrier other than your own.

When updating your BlackBerry, oftentimes the first step is to install that Operating System update to your computer. The vendor.xml file is copied to your computer as a part of that process. If you are updating your BlackBerry with the official update supported by your carrier, the information in the vendor.xml file must match similar information in the hardware of your smartphone. If the two don't match, the update cannot be applied to the phone. This is how the carriers make sure you only load their supported version of the operating system on to your phone.

For the sake of argument, let's say that Orange in the UK has a BBOS version for my BlackBerry Torch 9800. Since AT&T's officially supported version is .570 (I think), I wouldn't mind getting that Orange update. BBOS versions that are supported by a carrier are usually pretty solid. Ah, but that vendor.xml file would prevent me from using it. The file won't match the hardware on my AT&T Torch. Well then, I'll have to delete it.

Delete it! You know you want to. 

That's right. The only thing standing between you and another carrier's update is that vendor.xml file. Mind you, if you upgrade to an unofficial OS and later call your carrier's tech support, the first thing they'll tell you is to downgrade to the official version. But for many, unofficial updates are a great way to get the latest stable release for their devices.

The only time you'd need to delete vendor.xml is when you're installing an unofficial update. Official updates have vendor.xml files that already match the hardware on your phone. The update is already official; you won't need any tinkering to get it to work. The Vendor.xml file on a leaked OS (BBOS versions that are not official for any carrier) is almost always blank. You can delete a blank file, but it won't change anything.

After installing the unofficial update to your computer, you'll need to find the vendor.xml file. Depending on whether you have a Mac or a PC or if you run Windows XP or 7, vendor.xml can be in a variety of places. The easiest thing is to search for the file. Likely the file is in a hidden folder, so you'll need to make sure those are included in your search. Once you've found it, feel free to delete. Just make sure you don't delete any other .xml files.  After that, it's business as usual.

More reading

BlackBerry 101: How to install an official (or leaked) BlackBerry operating system BlackBerry First Steps: Operating systems - official, leaked, and unofficial Backup and restore data using BlackBerry Desktop Manager 6

Reader comments

To delete Vendor.xml or not to delete, that is the question


I never installed leaks, would like to know what has been the experience of those who have done it though. Maybe i'll consider it in the future...

You're about to get flooded with positive responses to this, I'm almost sure.

I was cautious at first too with my Torch, but to summarize my experience, it's "hella" easy and worth it. Just watch the forums for feedback on the version you're considering changing to.

Being with Verizon, if I didn't install leaked OS' from other vendor's I'd always be a version or 2 behind since Vzw is so damn slow with updates. I've never had any bad issues with leaked OS' save for one time where I had to revert back since the update was so bad a few years ago. Go for it, it's a no brainer!

Sometimes having the latest software takes away useful features aswell though. When my 9780 was on .285 (BB6) I had the option to zoom in on a picture and then crop and save a new file directly from the OS options. Unfortunately, once they went up to .4xx that option went away, SMH

No matter what version of OS 6 you have, it'll always display:
"Sorry! We're closing this page because it is too large to load"
Getting pretty sick of that message every time I look at a full site, even if it's not that demanding.

Download and install the Opera-Mini browser. It works perfectly, never fails. You can view any full site with no problems.

It used to be more hazardous and hit-or-miss venturing into unofficial waters for a leaked OS. But over the last few years, most of the leaks are pretty near to stable, at least so far as the Torch OS's go. You find a lot less freezing and conflicts than you used to. Of course, its still a good idea to wait and see what the collective assessment of a leak is before taking the plunge, by visiting the forums. I take a look at almost every new OS and more times than not, I've gone ahead and upgraded and been the better for it. Every once in awhile though, you will still find a bad fit that disables some favored app or won't browse properly, etc., and then you can always downgrade to an official release.

Its time RIM gets away from carriers deciding when to release an update. RIM themselves should decide which features stay in as well as do all the testing.The days of letting carriers decide on when to release updates should be well over.

Rule of thumb is it is safer to delete the vendor xml file when installing OS's other than those approved by your carrier but it is incorrect to say that the OS will not load if you do not delete it.

Cosign. I've forgotten to delete the vendor file with OS's from other carriers and everything ran just fine. Plus, if it's a completely unofficial OS (no vendor), then does the vendor file really contain anything?

No. Just as its stated in the article, the vendor.xml file in an unofficial OS does not contain any info. Its a blank .xml. So it does not matter if its deleted or not.

Just delete regardless if it is official or not and use loader.exe to install. Works every time.

I'd like to throw it out there that when Rogers (Canada) released OS v5.0 for the Bold 9000, the official OS install would not recognize your device as needing an upgrade. It actually required the user to manually delete that vendor.xml file in order to install the official OS release from the carrier. It seems that one slipped through their testing somehow...