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How to setup and use Picture Password on OS 10.2.1

By Alicia Erlich on 25 Feb 2014 01:15 pm EST

BlackBerry is known for security and one of the new features introduced in OS 10.2.1 is the ability to lock and unlock your device using a number (0 to 9) and a picture combination rather than inputting in a password. As Kevin demonstrated for us in his guess my picture password post, the process itself is quite simple.

Users are asked to select a specific number and a unique point on their image as their unlock code. In order to gain access to your device you simply tap and drag that number until it lands on the location you chose. It’s that easy to use and is an awesome option to have in lieu of using a device password.  

Believe it or not, in order to use the Picture Password, users should set their device password, if you do not already have one in place. This is to ensure you can still unlock your device should you forget your Picture Password and you can find the directions here on how to do so. Please note that BlackBerry Balance users should disable the Use as my device password in Settings before enabling Picture Password.

Now we have come to the important part, enabling picture password on your BlackBerry handheld. When you initially select this option, Picture Password offers you a choice of 8 images within the application or the option of selecting one stored on your device or media card. For those who store images in the cloud those can be used as well. You can follow the instructions below or take a look at the video walkthrough above.

  • From the home screen, swipe down from the top and tap on Settings
  • Scroll down to and tap on Security and Privacy > Device Password
  • Toggle the button for Picture Password to On
  • At the Device Lock prompt, input your device password

Follow these on-screen directions to setup your picture and number combination

  • Choose an image from the default gallery or your picture library
  • Select a number (0-9) from the grid
  • The number selected will be highlighted on the display. Drag this number to a specific point on the picture (i.e. For this example, I used the button wallpaper and chose the round blue button as my spot) and tap on Next in the upper right
  • You have now setup your picture password unlock combination
  • You will be asked to confirm your selections by re-entering your picture password combination

The only action you are performing is dragging the number to the specific point on the display. You don’t even have to tap on your number, just as long as you move it into the correct place. Picture Password is also a secure method for locking down your device because the number grid changes each time to minimize the risk. Even if you had someone looking at your display, it will be extremely difficult to ascertain what your password is as the numbers and size of the grid varies each time. 

For more tips, tricks, and tutorials on BlackBerry 10 be sure to check out our Help and How to page or browse through our forums. 


Reader comments

How to setup and use Picture Password on OS 10.2.1

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You sure do! I love picture password. I can type it in front of people and I'm not worried it will be compromised. Like when I'm giving a presentation and forgot to unlock my phone first and using a Bluetooth mouse!

Posted Via CB10 on my Zed 10

I just did! I've had Z10 since September last year but never really utilise some of its great features. Shame on me.

Loving My SexyBack Z10!

Absolutely! Love the picture password; no need to hide and unlock, simply hold anywhere on-screen and align your chosen # with your chosen spot and voila! Fabulous...;)

Hibby_CB10; Z10STL100-3/

No, it depends on what policies gets applied. My Z10 is connected to bes10 and I have picture password set on my phone.

Posted via CB10

Wow, awesome! It surely is convenient, but I wonder how less secure this is over a standard password.

Posted via CB10

The math is beyond me, but my hunch is it's pretty amazingly secure. I wouldn't be as concerned about onlookers when unlocking with picture password.

My hunch of increased security is assuming you don't touch your number or your designated spot in maneuvering the grid to align your number. It's harder to perform the unlock that way anyway, not really meant to be used that way, although that was my first instinct when setting it up, so I'll bet a lot of others are still trying to do that. But clearly a lot less secure from onlookers then, if you persist in doing it that way.

That's why doing these quick refreshers about certain features is never bad things.

Those who already know, please don't complain.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

After doing the complete process and receiving the confirmation from the device ... after it got locked is not working

The regular number lock appear when I wake up my Z10


I'm MongezaurioBerry

I can't wait to use this. I've been looking forward to it since it was first mentioned in one of the older articles about 10.2.1. I'm not going to wait on Verizon much longer to release this OS for the Z30. Missing out on a lot.

Posted via CB10

I have a Microsoft Exchange work account and this feature will not work. I think it doesn't register the password because it isn't a numerical value.

Posted via CB10

Will not work, or won't let you set it up?

If the latter, did you see the part about "Please note that BlackBerry Balance users must disable the Use as my device password in Settings before they can enable Picture Password"?

I believe it's a toggle under Security and Privacy > Device Password > Balance (button).

My phone isn't through BES and doesn't have Balance, so I'm relying on my flaky memory of setting up Picture Password on my wife's Z10 last week.

Note that implementing Picture Password on a phone with BES+Balance forces a two-password situation. Well, three, if you count the picture password too:

1. Picture Password
2. Personal pin for non-work
- this won't be used much, but you *will* need to remember it
3. Work pin
- required whenever you need to switch to the work side of Balance

Some people might find the extra PIN prompt for accessing Balance too much of a pain to bother using Picture Password.

Tried it, but I must not be careful enough. You have to be very bloody accurate or you can find yourself locked out and phone wiped!
Gave up on it :/

Posted via my splendid Z10

You do have to be fairly accurate, which is much easier to do with your finger not obscuring your number -- that is, don't try to drag your finger, holding your number, to the designated spot. If you're not doing that, it should be relatively straightforward and quick to unlock, unless your picture is sorely lacking detail.

And you can prevent the phone from being wiped by making sure you have a regular device password, which it will revert to if you fail to enter your picture password. (Ok, if you then fail that, you'll wipe your phone.)

It is very easy to use once you realize that you don't need to have your finger on the number! Still, I have been st five attempts a few times when being careless. At this point, I am forced to enter "BlackBerry" and then my alphanumeric password to get in. I'm okay with this (especially with a little one who loves to pick up my phone!)

Tapped and flicked from my BlackBerry Z30!

He means don't put your finger on the chosen number (thus obscuring it). Instead, drag the picture from a different point of reference so that you can ascertain that the chosen number becomes correctly aligned to the correct part of the picture.

Posted via CB10

Doesn't work with Microsoft exchange email on device. It actually disappears from the options. It obviously is not secure enough?

More of a gimmick really.

Posted via CB10

I don't know that that's obvious. Our Exchange policies forced me to set a numeric PIN, which I would think orders of magnitude less secure than a strong password.

Alicia, would you mind either emphasizing "You don’t even have to tap on your number, just as long as you move it into the correct place", or maybe even explain it more fully. I've helped a dozen people setup picture password on their BB10 devices, and everyone of them had to have the "you don’t have to touch your number" part repeated before they got it. (And yes, I'm pretty certain it was them, not me ;^)

Be warned this feature wasn't quite ready for prime time when I used a leak OS (not far behind the official one everyone has now).

This unlock mechanism got stuck on me. I couldn't unlock my phone. Also use a picture that you can precisely pinpoint where the number goes. It's a little flakey, I think I prefer the short password (4 digit pin) better.

Has anyone else noticed the grid the numbers are on changes size, at random it appears, thus changing the amount of numbers on the screen to be moved around. Feels a lot less secure when this happens. Anyone come across this?

Fat kid grown up to be a fat man.

Yes, someone did a pretty good write-up of why that actually seems more secure, rather. Why do you feel it's less secure?

My thoughts on it being less secure is based on someone watching only once and that less numbers on screen makes it easier to watch which numbers land where and guess which is correct.
On several observations of the number input obviously the more variables that occur the less likely it is to guess and thus more secure.
Can you post the link to the previous write up you mentioned?

Fat kid grown up to be a fat man.

If you want to lock it right away hold the power button down until you see lock at the bottom center of your screen and then tap lock. Easy as that.

Posted via CB10

Have they settled the issue with active sync? If you have an active sync account picture password will *NOT* work.

Posted via CB10

I tried using this feature and failed miserably. Can't seem to pick my number again...who knew more than one 7 would appear on the screen. Picking one out and dragging it to my button didn't work, then another, then another...I almost got locked out. Thank God I had a number password. Won't be using this feature sadly.

Posted via CB10

Please, anyone has any idea when 10.2.1 would be available for stl100-2 sets? I know the carriers are supposed to launch it, but surprisingly none have launched it for this particular model!!

Posted via CB10

Sad to say.. I dont used picture pass, I would love to but.. the problem is.. I usually put my phone inside my pocket..most of the time when im walking it awakens my phone screen.. and when I checked my phone.. it has already 5 wrong input im using the simplify numeric password instead..

Posted via CB10

Picture password as minor let me call it bug. If I fail to succeed enter picture password after a few tries it will ask me to write the word blackberry. Then my number password. But when I enter my number password it should be showing **** instead it his showing my password so if someone is looking it will know what password I have..

Posted via CB10

You should be able to select whether you want the password to show or not. i.e. in the box where you type the password, there should be an icon in the top right corner, tap that icon to toggle between " * " and actually showing the password.

Thanks for the tip on not having to drag the actual number to the designated spot. Makes it much easier to move the whole grid without obscuring your number. :) Forget waiting on the us carriers, Sachesi really does work and is easy and free!

Posted via CB10

I know don't use your phone in the car almost went in the ditch I didn't have my glasses on and couldn't see the point where I needed to go,learnt my lesson and won't try it again in the car.I love picture password and will customize it with my own pic,thanks

Current Z10 OS has a memory buffer issue that causes the picture screen to freeze. Volume buttons work, Pwr buttons work, rebooting, soft or hard has no effect. Turn out OS is not reproducible. Best to wait.
The only way to get access to the device is to plug it to Link and start a backup, which prompts for a # pw. Then unplug Z10 and Screen pic pw works again. After a few ti
Es being stuck and logs sent to BBRY, I had to stop using it.

Posted via CB10

I have a z10 an haven't been able to add the picture lock. When I go to device password. It just the regular code.

Posted via CB10

Here's a really VALUABLE tip... you doesn't matter WHERE you touch and drag on the screen... so long as the right number ends up on top of the right position, you don't have to put your finger ON the number to drag, and you don't have to try to correctly position your finger exactly on top of the thing... that... you can't see through your sausage like finger... so the best idea is to NOT attempt to drag exactly on the number, because that way, no one will see what the number is (because you can touch any number) and they won't be able to tell where it was dragged to exactly (because any number anywhere on the screen could be the number).

EDIT I see that this tip is already posted but here it is again :-)