How to reload your BlackBerry 10 smartphone operating system

How to reload your BlackBerry 10 smartphone operating system
By Bla1ze on 12 Feb 2013 05:49 pm EST

With BlackBerry 10 out there in the hands of consumers there have been a lot of people asking how re-installation of the OS is handled should things go wrong. Looking into it further, it turns out that despite the fact it's a whole new operating system we're dealing with here, the process for re-installation isn't all that much different from BlackBerry OS.

You'll still need a computer, a USB cable and some desktop software along with a bit of patience but overall it's fairly easy to get back up and running should you ever have a BlackBerry 10 device misbehaving. While we hope you never need to know how, the guide below will be here for you should you ever need it.


Be sure to have this stuff handy!

In order to get things started, you're going to have to gather up a few essential tools to help the process along:

Once you have all that stuff gathered up, it's time to move onto the next step.


Update via the web

If for whatever reason you're running into issues with your BlackBerry 10 smartphone and need to reload the OS, you'll need a Windows computer with an internet connection to get it all straightened away for now. You check out the full guide down below:

  • Shutdown BlackBerry Link (and BlackBerry Desktop Software if installed).
  • Detach all BlackBerry smartphones, including the BlackBerry 10 smartphone that cannot be booted up.
  • Using Internet Explorer navigate to, scroll down the page and select the 'Check for Updates' button.
  • Connect the BlackBerry 10 smartphone that cannot be booted up. 
  • Hold the power button for 10 seconds until it turns off, then press the power button again so it turns on.
  • A prompt will appear and the BlackBerry smartphone will show in the drop down list shortly after the LED lights up as red (it could show up as USB: UNKNOWN or USB: BlackBerry (PIN) – both are normal/fine).
  • Click the OK Button as soon as it becomes enabled. NOTE: there is only 15 seconds to do this.

Once the above steps are completed successfully a dialog will be displayed stating Checking for BlackBerry Device Software updates. The BlackBerry 10 smartphone will now power itself off after 120 seconds. Shortly after the 120 seconds, the BlackBerry smartphone LED should turn green.

Continue to wait after the LED turns green and you will be prompted to install BlackBerry Device Software. Follow the prompts to install the BlackBerry Software and once the installation is complete the smartphone will boot up and is now recovered.

As noted, this guide only outlines the details with the assumption you have or have access to a Windows computer. We'll continue to update this information with new methods for both Windows and Mac users as it becomes available.

    Reader comments

    How to reload your BlackBerry 10 smartphone operating system


    I think the next logical questions are - can we shrink out parts of the OS? Can we mix and match parts of the OS? Who is working on a Swiss Army Knife type app?

    Likely you would need copy's of the bar bloat files beforehand. Until something else comes along there is only ddpb.

    So can you also do it the same way if it is not bricked completely, but rather just has some glitches and just reinstall the OS again? Or does it have to be completely unusable?

    That link works in the desktop version of Mozilla Firefox so if it's not working in IE8, it probably means it's time to give Firefox a try.

    I DO use Firefox...but The Blog said to use IE that's why I said would users be able to use an Alternative Browser if the IE one is messed up.

    How did u get that to work. I installed a leaked 10.1 n got the official update notification in india the very next day. Now I cant have the official coz the restore fails sayin there is no update.

    This good help. since i just had to use this method due to a faulty security wipe. Bricked z10 back to life :)

    btw: does work great.... but honestly where it says u have 15 seconds to do this i had like a half a second at best, had to do it 3 times cuz i wasnt fast enough hitting the OK button.

    The Check for Update link is gone and I just bricked my Z10!!!! HELP PLEASE!!!!

    So, the "Check for Update" link is gone from the BlackBerry website so I had to find a new way to restore my nuked Z10.
    Here's the down and dirty:
    1. Open BB Link and click the button with the 3 dots in the bottom right corner then click show disconnected devices.
    2. Click on the name of your bricked Z10. You should see a restore button. If not, connect the device to the computer.
    3. Click the restore button. You will get a popup confirmation to continue.
    4. Connect the bricked Z10 and click Yes on the popup when Link detects the device (you will have an extremely short time to click Yes)
    5. A restore to factory settings will start. There should be a progress bar in BB Link.

    I hope this helps!

    Please help!

    When I try this I get an error message saying -
    A fatal error has occurred while updating your device's software. Please try again. What can I do?

    I wish that Mac users would be included in such things as well. No Windows machine at home and no-go on the company laptop and not purchasing Windows to be used in a virtual machine. Bit disappointing.

    hi can anyone help

    i cant reload OS on Z10
    i just keep getting the fatal error msg come up cant load software ?

    the most helpful post of the year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    my phone been lagging, messing up, starting over by itself, vanishing text messages. etc
    i see post of how everybody is enjoying their new updated OS, and mines will never detect the update, regardless of it being connected to the computer, or checking manually. but this tip definitely work. and i appreciate you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have tried both methods to reload/restore the O/S on a Q10 from one of my company's users. Either method gives me the same message "Set Up has not completed. Disconnect the device and complete setup". I have selected Set Up and all I get is a ghosted Blackberry 10 screen, similar to the Blackberry 10 screen you get at reboot, but greyed out. I cannot get to Settings to do a wipe, selecting Settings returns me to the home screen. Any other ideas?

    whenever i try to download the software it will stop when its 11% wither its blackberry link or this tutorial
    i dont know what happened is it coz i tried to update it too many times trying everyway
    if u have any idea why this happened please let me know