How To Downgrade Your BlackBerry's Operating System

Class is in session...'s BlackBerry 101 Lecture Series
By Duvi on 14 Apr 2009 05:13 pm EDT

Today's lesson will be on how to downgrade the OS (operating system...aka firmware aka device software) on your BlackBerry. Some of you may have chosen to upgrade to 5.0 or some other OS that isn't just right for you. Luckily, BlackBerry smartphones are one of the easiest (in my opinion) to downgrade. I chose to upgrade to 5.0 on my Curve 8900 (using Desktop Manager 4.6) and I want to go back down to (my favorite).

How to Downgrade Your BlackBerry's Operating System

To start downgrading your operating system you'll need your BlackBerry, windows based (sorry mac users; get Bootcamp), and a USB cable to complete the downgrade process.

BlackBery 8900 about screen
What I'm starting with...


Step 1 - Uninstall/Install the BlackBerry OS Software

The first step is to delete/uninstall all the versions that you don't want (or at least any version later than the one you are trying to downgrade to). Since I want to downgrade to, I would need to uninstall all the versions that came after. In my case that is: .199 and .206. To do this, go to your start menu and then go to your control panel. Then find "Uninstall Program" (I'm using Vista, for XP it is "Add or Remove Programs"). Here, you will highlight the OS and then click uninstall. I usually go by the date the OS was installed to know which OS I need to delete, but if you aren't sure which is which, delete all of them and reinstall your preferred OS.

Removing BlackBerry device software


Step 2 - Download/Install the BlackBerry Desktop Manager Software (4.6 preferred by most)

I have the Storm, Bold and 8900 and still find 4.6 to be the best. I haven't tried and tested 5.0 yet, but that's still in beta at the time of this posting. If you have higher, that should be fine; anything lower, we suggest to upgrade. The latest software can be found on RIM's site located here.

BlackBerry Desktop Manager


Step 3 - Backup your data/3rd party apps and then wipe device

The next thing you will want to do is back up your data and also 3rd party apps (if you wish to or haven't already done so). At this point, I normally use JL_CMDER to wipe my device. I think this is the best way to wipe your device clear of any remains from the OS you're downgrading from. Now you will see a white screen with a '507 Error.' This is what we're looking for, don't worry. You are now ready to install the OS.


Step 4 - Load the Blackberry OS

Now it's time to start up the Desktop Manager. Select Application Loader and then select 'Add/Remove Program.' You need to select all the applications you'd like installed (Blackberry Messenger, Blackberry Attachment Service, etc.).

Reloading BlackBerry operating system

After that hit Next. On this screen you will get a confirmation of the software/applications being installed. Click next and watch it load the OS.

Reloading BlackBerry Operating System

Step 5 -Restore your data from backup (if needed)

After your OS has been loaded, you can now restore your 3rd party apps and back up file. When this process is complete, you're done! You've just downgraded your OS. Give yourself a pat on the back. Keep in mind that RIM and Carriers will only provide technical support for official software releases. So if you want to play around with some of the betas that pop up in the willd, if things go awry the CrackBerry forums are your source for support - if you call into your carrier for help and you're running a beta, they'll know it right away and ask you to downgrade to a supported release, which hopefully now thanks to this tutorial you can easily do on your own!

The final product - a slightly lower but more stable OS!


- If you use any BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) accounts, you likely want to resend your e-mail service books even if you're device was automatically reregistered. This ensures that you're taking advantage of any related tweaks that may have been included in the software update.

- Immediately following your downgrade, you'll be prompted to log back into a number of applications but some you'll need to manually open to enter your account information. If you have a media card installed, you'll also be asked whether or not you want to turn your BlackBerry's mass storage mode on, regardless of your previous settings. You'll also be asked if you want to run through the BlackBerry Setup Wizard.

Related Articles:

BlackBerry 101 Lecture Series

How to Upgrade your BlackBerry's OS

How to Fix a Nuked or Bricked BlackBerry

Reader comments

How To Downgrade Your BlackBerry's Operating System


Can you guys put up a note that lil old SaskTel has released the 4.5 OS for the 8830, 8330, and 8130?
They were previously running 4.2, 4.3, 4.3.

Understandable. This is nice and purdy with pics and such. And my guide is probably a little outta the loop since OS 5.0 and the likes are making their way out now.

Did not mean to step on your toes Duvi!

Last week when we did our Call for BlackBerry 101 posts this was one of the most popular requests. Much thanks to duvi for covering it in the blogs. And much thanks to you bmc for covering it in the forums. Got tackle the 101s from both sides for max visibility and ease of use.

While i think Duvi did an excellent job, this sort of post can be easily searchable.

I dont see why the need for it to be posted on the front of CB when it is stickied in like every forum, most forums i visit for that matter.

Id rather see a new Verizon Official OS on the front page than how to downgrade...anyone who knows how to upgrade should be equally aware how to downgrade, if not, then they shouldnt be tinkering with their phone(s). Not tryin to be cold hearted and not support the noobs, but this is just ridiculous...

Maybe we should put a banner on top of CB that says "CAUTION: READING REQUIRED!". This might let the illterate know that they will have to read the site, oh wait, they cant read! Forgot! :)

Just my little thought on all of it, take it as you wish!


if you know what to search for. Some users don't. And some don't know what to type in the search for. It's happened to me where I know what I want to find, but the wording is different and does not yield the correct results.

You also have to realize that some users may not even use the forums. All they would have to do is click the "Blackberry Help" drop down above and then click "Blackberry 101 Lecture Series"

You are pretty much a fag aren't you. Don't you have anything better to do with your time. I am reading your response wondering to myself why I am reading your response.

It definitely is my favorite OS. I've never had any issues with it. Not saying 5.0 is bad, haven't kept it long enough; just felt why mess with perfection.

Exactly what we need here.

Not to be a terrible person, but I miss the days of blackberry owners being professionals, and not kids who can't figure out the caps lock key.

so you were a professional expert blackberry know it all king of all kings whiz the very second a blackberry entered your hands the first time? just wondering. everybody starts off not knowing much about a blackberry cept what they read before getting one.

Has anyone run into a runtime error when trying to delete a software file? I am trying to downgrade from .114 but when I try to delete the program from my computer I keep getting an error 2378 message. Any suggestions?

Try this:

When installing or uninstalling the following error message is displayed:
Error 2738. Could not access VBScript run time for custom action.

This error message indicates that the VBScript engine is not currently registered on the machine where the install/uninstall is taking place.

The VBScript engine can be quickly registered by following these steps:
1. Run Command Prompt as administrator
1.1 Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories
1.2 Right click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator
2. cd %windir%\system32
3. regsvr32 vbscript.dll

It worked for me.....

What do I do if when I try to uninstall the current version of the device software, I get the following error:

Error 2738. Could not access VBScript run time for custom action.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

does this process take? i am downgrading to .122 on my storm and im about 35 minutes into it... should it take a few hours? its still uploading RAM image

This is great, I lost my browser & MMS when upgrade my BB to OS 5.0, and I couldn't takem back. Your support is cosiderable.

Hi I recently upgraded to OS and now wish to downgrade as I cannot get BIS to function for some or other reason. I have followed all of the above steps but I do not get the option to install the system software. I am using BBDM 4.6.
Desktop Manager only shows the applications that I have installed and not any system software eg. OS 4.6. Are there any solutions to my problem.


man am i having the same problem can anybody help us i look all over and i just cant find my previous os for my storm anywhere we need a link or something

Did you resolve the problem? Because I have the same problem as you had. DM doesn't show BB apps. Could you give me a tip if resolves.
Many thanks.

Does anyone have the Verizon OS4.2 for the 8830?
I'm running 4.5 now and want to downgrade desperately, but I can't find the software anywhere!
Thanks kindly in advance!

My problem is I got the blackberry 8520 with the newest version there is right now: v., and it has a bug (according to the technique assistant from Orange France) that doesn't let you use appworld and such apps.

I tried to follow these steps but the very first one, that is to Uninstall the newer version, I cannot do.
Is there a way to downgrade if I didn't upgrade in the first place or basically I don't have a solution to my problem?

Thanks in advance and also thanks for the 101 post, I found it very useful.

I'm sorry if this is annoying to the advanced people. I have kind of a strange problem. Before I attempted this downgrade, I had .822 of os 5. The glitches were too annoying (the common one of profiles and sounds not working right), so I wanted to downgrade to . I followed the steps of this, the JL_CMDER, the backup (etc) word for word, including deleting the blackberry OSes from my computer. Now, my blackberry is in error 507 mode and the only option in my update section is for 4.6, not 5, which I had installed.

So here's probably some important info: I had to use a slightly older version (I think it was 5????) of Desktop Manager because I get this error "Error1935.An Error ocurred during the installation of assembly component{9BAE13A2-E7AF-D6C3-A01F-C8B3B9A1E18E}. HRESULT: 0x8007054F."

I'm running just a regular little netbook using windows 7 starter.

I don't know what to do now, and I do not want to have to install 4.6 and go through the upgrade process AGAIN...

I should make it clear that I *did* install the blackberry onto my computer, and that would make it the only one installed on it.

Sorry, I meant to say I get that error when I try to upgrade to the latest desktop manager. Been a long night.

I guess I'm not going to use this phone forced me to install some older 4.6 that does not have the option to do wireless upgrade. My PC will not load the new OS onto it. My Mac is incapable of updating it to a new OS. What a pain...

McAfee cleanup and removal utility tool will DEFINITELY help you all.

It works perfectly!


took me about almost 2 hours to do this. NO JOKE, this is because it took a lifetime to find the driver and install it, a lifetime to find the correct software and a lifetime for everything to install

i hated using windows for this i was so pissed off

hello. this is the thing, my bb pearl 9100 has its os and i really hate this software so i decided to downgrade it. the thing is i do all what you said in here but im facing problem when i load the os there's a message saying error. i almost do it twice but nothing happen, because of that error. i dont even know what to do now. i fully wipe my os using JL_cmder. please i need a serious help here.

If anyone is having problems running the uninstaller / deinstall with VBSCRIPT runtime enviornment errors (could not be loaded for custom action) it will help to delete and register the vbscript-files again.
Please pay attention that the method differs slightly between x86 and x64 windows versions:
For windows7 x64 one needs to run a cmd with administrator privileges and enter:
reg delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{B54F3741-5B07-11CF-A4B0-00AA004A55E8}" /f
and then
c:\windows\syswow64\regsvr32 vbscript.dll

Check for further instructions.