How to do a Security Wipe (factory reset) the BlackBerry Z10

By Kevin Michaluk on 5 Feb 2013 04:06 pm EST

The process of wiping your phone on BlackBerry 10 is straight forward and simple, but there are a few details that need highlighting as they are different then what we've seen in the past on the legacy BlackBerry OS.

You can watch the video above to see me walk through the process of wiping my black BlackBerry Z10 to factory settings. And keep reading below for the things you need to know!

How to perform a Security Wipe on the BlackBerry Z10

From the homescreen of your BlackBerry Z10, you have easy ways to get to the Security Wipe setting:

  • Navigate: Go to Settings > Security and Privacy > Security Wipe
  • Search: Tap the Universal Search icon and start typing wipe. Security Wipe will pop up as a search results and you can tap into it 

To proceed with the Security Wipe, you'll need to type blackberry into the text field on the page. Type it, then hit Delete Data. It can take a while for the wipe to take place. Just wait for it, even if it's a long time (over 15 minutes). Don't pull the battery out while you're waiting!

What data gets deleted?

When you perform a wipe on a BlackBerry 10 phone, all data on the phone itself will be deleted. This includes data, files and apps. Note: If you have a Micro SD card inserted, data on the card will not be deleted.

On the legacy BlackBerry OS you had more granular control over what you could delete during a Security Wipe (you could delete data, but not apps, etc.). On BlackBerry 10, everthing on the phone is wiped. 

When the Security Wipe process is complete, the phone will reboot to the initial Setup Wizard.

How long will it take?

Depending on how much data needs to be wiped, the security wipe could take some time and should not be interrupted – be patient, keep the phone on a charge, and don’t pull the battery.

When to perform a Security Wipe

You just need a clean phone: There are a variety of reasons why you may need to wipe your BlackBerry Z10. Most of them are pretty obvious -you're giving your phone to a friend, taking it back to the store for whatever reason, selling it, or maybe you're like CrackBerry's Bla1ze and in doing your mad-genius experiments just messed something up and need a clean start. In my case as demonstrated in this video, I was switching from using the black Z10 to picking up a white BlackBerry Z10 so was cleaning up the black one to factory new settings.

Changing your BlackBerry ID: One reason that's less obvious but may have you needing to do a Security Wipe is if you want to change the BlackBerry ID associated with your BlackBerry Z10. Right now there is no way to sign out of BlackBerry ID on the phone and sign in with another account. If you want to switch, you need to do a Security Wipe and sign in with another ID.  

That's it. Wiping your BlackBerry 10 phone is as easy as typing blackberry

Reader comments

How to do a Security Wipe (factory reset) the BlackBerry Z10




Wait till it's over.
In my personal experience; it takes 10 to 15 mins, and that odd time took over 1 hour! (more than 5 wipes under my belt, dev Alpha B)
This will save you a lot of heart hake!!! Trust me.
Don't know if they included the OS in the BB link software (New Desktop software, don't think so)

You will lose the OS. Will need to reload it. The only way that I was able to obtain it was by contacting RIM support. (That was with the dev Alpha, like I said don't know and don't think it's included in BB link)
Size of the OS: 1.35 GB

Hi sair, I have a problem in my bb Z10, last night I did factory reset my bb Z10 but toke more than 1 hur and than I didnt wait and I removed the battry after that showing error "" when I chcked this site it showed I shuld reload the OS on my bb, plz help me to reload the OS,if u have some link to download it,plz help me tnx.

After wiping, or with a new bb10 phone, how to I transfer my contacts and calender from my 9900 to my z10. It doesn't seem to work with the backup and restore feature in bb link. it says that it has done the transfer but no contacts show up in my z10. Pulling my hair out, anyone have a fix? Or has anyone been able to do this?

Hi Sulfuric, the best way to go about it is to pair your 9900 with Z10 through Bluetooth, then from Bluetooth menu of 9900 select Z10 and there will be an option to transfer contacts, once clicked, all contacts will be transferred to Z10.

Okay so I am not crazy, I entered the wrong Blackberry ID into one of the Z10's yesterday and could not figure out how to change it. I had to wipe it but it took a long, long time and no status update, got frustrated and pulled the battery...bricked the phone!

The new BB desktop software "Link" could not see the phone...

Luckily found this KB article, uses your IE browser to reload the phone..phew

I have also come across this link but tried several times and even left it overnight and have just come to it with no joy!

Its always stuck on 3/4 of the green bar just saying "loading system software"

It is driving me mental!

I had to exchange my Z10 today. My phone was in the middle of the security wipe when the Customer Service Rep removed the battery. Will any of my data be left behind??

Does anyone know if security wipe will assist in battery life? I have noticed my battery drains fairly quickly and currently I do not know a way to increase it. I have turned off bluetooth and nfc and all that stuff, and not sure where the settings are for push and refresh. I have read that factory wipes or security wipes have been known to help kind of reboot the battery and help the this true?

Kevin, sooo hoping you can tell me how to fix this one: how can I get my facebook contacts out of my contact list. I never wanted them in there in the first place!!! The only option I see is to delete each one individually, but if I have to log out (= delete the fb account) they all come back when I re-open it. Thanks++

Hi, can anybody help? I did the Wipe for Z10. When Wipe process was complete, the phone did not reboot to the initial Setup Wizard. Can somebody advice what to do to restore the phone?

Just thought I would add this in for people who has never owned a Blackberry like me and this is their first time doing a secure wipe (the video and article didn't go far enough IMHO).

After the security wipe is finished, you will have the LED light at the upper right side slowly blink. That tells you that the security wipe is done and you do a long press on the power button at the top to begin the next step of the process.

For someone like me new to this, I didn't know what the slow blinking light meant, I thought it meant that it was still doing other stuff to get the phone setup after the wipe. I nearly pooped a brick thinking I well.. bricked it.

Anyways, this video helped me if you guys wanted a source to this claim of mine: (3:12)

Hopefully this helps others who are new to this and might have pulled out the battery because they didn't know what the flashing LED meant and thought the phone was stuck.

Thanks for this post. I was just doing a factory restore and after Link finished, I'm not sure what happened, but the phone seemed dead. The LED was blinking green AND red at the same time. Wasn't sure what was going on. Left it for awhile, since I had read that sometimes the wipe process can take a long time. Was hesitant to interrupt it. Until I read this post. Would have been nice if Link or the Z10 would have notified me that I can restart the phone now!

Thanks for this... I was sitting here looking at the LED slowly blinking, thinking "does that mean what I think it means, or no?"

hi Kevin, I really messed up. Didnt read your article before I tried to wipe my BB Z10.
I tried to wipe, it took longer time. Was confused, and had to remove the battery hoping I could reboot it thereafter.
Right now, my phone isn't working; it is not booting. When it comes up, it shows a symbol of connecting
the phone to a pc. Really dont know wat to do now!

How long does it take to "erase" a micro SD from your Z10?
I bought a new one inserted, then thought it best to erase, then format before using.
The phone has been displaying "Media card operation in progress..." for a long time

I have a black screen, no icons. My BB link sees the device but gives no options other than disconnect. Any suggestions? ...yes, I was downloading an OS leak.

Hi, I'm Johnson using blackberry Q5. How do I call from an sms? Say, someobody sends me a message and I wish to call him or her from there. How can I do It?

I am past the shred icon phase and now all I have is black screen with re/green pulsating LED top right. Is this normal part of the process

FEW MINS LATER? It takes a couple of hours if not half day. Stop lying to yourself before you lie to customers. Blackberrys becoming very insecure with the everything. It's disgusting.

I want to reset my blackberry z10 to factory loaded OS. How can i do it ? Security wipe do not reset to factory OS. it keeps last updated only.

I removed the SIM card SD card from my z10 and did the security wipe. It's been processing for past 45 minutes.. Is there anything wrong?

am having problem with my z10 it always blink with 0% battery though its been charged, I ask my colleague to lend me her battery(she has z10 also) I put it on my phone and also same message, and she tried my battery but its fine(no battery problem) is there anyone here can help me? please...