Quick Tip: How to enable home screen shortcuts in BlackBerry 7

Home Screen Preferences
By Adam Zeis on 30 Jan 2012 01:21 pm EST

While the default action in BlackBerry 7 when pressing a key from the home screen is Universal Search, you have the ability to change this up to access application (keyboard) shortcuts instead if you so desire. This lets you quickly get to many apps on your device by pressing a key on the keyboard (like M for Messages of N for BBM) right from the home screen, making navigating apps even easier. If you think you'll miss Universal Search, not to worry because you can get to that simply by pressing S from the home screen.

To turn on your keyboard shortcuts:

  • Go to Options > Display > Home Screen Preferences
  • Under Launch By Typing change from Universal Search to Application Shortcuts
  • Press Back button and choose Save

While some may be fans of having Universal Search ready to roll just by typing, I for one like to be able to jump to apps quickly with keyboard shortcuts. What is your preference? Do you use Universal Search or prefer to have keyboard shortcuts? Let us know in the comments!

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

Reader comments

Quick Tip: How to enable home screen shortcuts in BlackBerry 7


To me being able to open apps from the home screen with the keyboard shortcuts is on of the best features of the BB OS.

Just in case some out there don't know all the shortcuts, here you go:

A - Address book (push and hold locks screen)
B - Browser
C - Compose
D - Memo
G - Google Talk
H - Help/search
K - Lock device
L - Calendar
M - Mail
O - Options
P - Calls
Q - Change profile (push and hold)
S - Search
T - Task
U - Calculator
V - View Saved Emails
W - Weather (if applicable)
X - Windows Live Messenger
Y - Yahoo Messenge

No there isn't. These are the built in native shortcuts. You can use a thirdparty app to do those though. For example: if I press my spacebar then "L", I can open my flashlight app or spacebar then "A" opens BB App World. PM for info on third party apps. Don't wanna advertise on this comment page.

Also another one that is not well known, if you are a user of the app Super Qwerty, the "Q" will launch that app then you have even more shortcuts! A press and hold on "Q" will still change to vibrate, but a press and release activates Super Qwerty. Thais is how mine is setup. :)
Boldly sent from my 9930

app shortcuts is awesome. wish we can customize the hotkeys so that i won't need quick launch anymore

I agree... but it is second nature for me to open via spacebar then hotkey I assign. Third party apps just expand your hotkeys.

Thank you guys so much. I'm in love with BB phones but I'm not very adventurous with them. This is just a little thing to know, but I absolutely love it. I don't have to go through so many screens to get to where I want to be.

I get why people would like the shorcuts, but I much prefer to be able to dial/search by default. I use the universal search many, many times a day.

Simply pressing "S" puts you into universal search and pressing phone or "P" gets you to yourphone so you can dial out.

I used the short cuts but since universal search I'm using it.

First because I just wanted to test how it works but now I just enter the app I need and after 2-3 sometimes 4-5 characters I have it on the screen.

I know, I also was and still am a fan of the short cuts. Call me lazy ;)

Have used shortcuts since my 8900 and they are just as useful and quick on my 9900. I can't even imagine why they are not the default setting. If you want search, just type S and start searching. The only way to improve it would be to make each of the keys configurable to launch any program you want.

My default setting was Application Shortcuts. When I logged on to BB Desktop Manager to switch devices (Torch-which I disliked - to 9900 Bold - which I really like a LOT) I was advised that a newer version of OS 7 was available. Perhaps that update accounts for the default setting being the apps shortcuts.

Have a day. Bang Gunley

Most of these were present back in OS 5.0. I can't remember if 4.0 had them but some/most worked on my Curve 8330 with 5.0.

**Edit: I'm speaking of app shortcuts.

this would be a good survey, how many people use blackberry shortcuts,

i think shortcuts are great but i get a feeling not many use it

man....I cant get that list to work ...tried all I can think of...using my sons 9360 Curve OS7...

Keeps getting "Assign to speed dial"


After reading this I switched over to application shortcuts from universal search and I love it! Like mentioned previously you simply press "S" for search, super easy! That list was very helpful also thank you :)

Then did a restore on my 9800 and it appears to have OS7 on it can someone tell me if that could happen?