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How to use a simple password on BlackBerry 10.1

By Adam Zeis on 30 Jul 2013 03:37 pm EDT
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A few weeks back we first got word of a PIN-style "easy" password heading to BlackBerry 10 with the 10.1 MR update. As the update began to roll out to some regions, users are getting some new features to play with. One of those is simple password - a PIN lock for the Z10 that takes the place of a longer password.

The benefit to the simple password is that you don't need to remember a long password with mixed characters and, more importantly, don't have to fumble with the full on-screen keyboard when trying to unlock your device. When a simple password is set you'll be presented with a number pad rather than the full keyboard, so you have bigger buttons and an easier time unlocking your device. 

Here's how to setup a simple password (keep in mind this works only if you've updated to the OS 10.1 MR)

  • Go to Settings > Security and Privacy > Device Password
  • Tap the toggle for Simple Password to On
  • Enter your password, then enter it again to confirm

That's it! You can tweak the options below as you see fit. Once finished just tap Back to save.

Now when you unlock your device you'll just need to enter your simple password - quick and easy!

Reader comments

How to use a simple password on BlackBerry 10.1

110 Comments

Way easier to unlock my phone while walking the dog as he is tugging on the leash.

Posted via CB10 on my Black Z10.

You could set a simple numeric password since the beginning (10.0). This update just gives you a simpler dial pad to enter it.

It is quick and easy. Definitely better than nothing, but I miss the ability to swipe to unlock.

It's most assuredly almost perfect. I think it could be a bit cleaner. If the passcode is correct, the phone should simply unlock without having the press the "Enter" key. Now, I don't have 10.1 MR so I don't know if it already does this, but if it does, then that key seems unnecessary.

I like the feature but agree. The feature as it is: nothing more than big keys. I felt it was missing something that I did like about ios and you reminded me that I didn't have to hit enter. In other words it seems to have more "flow" on the ios version of this feature.

I guess it is necessary the 'enter key' because I guess you can enter a 5 or 6 or even more numeric password, not just limited to a 4 numbers password. I repeat is just my guess I don't even have a z10 yet. The # and * buttons I don't think they leaved them because they are lazy (as someone else suggested in another comment), my logic tells me you can use them as part of your password. If my guess is right (please someone confirm if I'm right or wrong) it makes sense because if typing being difficult was the issue, with all alphanumeric keys, now you have the option for a simpler keyboard without losing that much security with a longer numeric + #/* password (more than four digits). And if my guess is right how many numbers is the minimum (I guess 4) and the maximum?

The lack of a character limit does not force the need to press enter.

My gripe is similar to this comment thread: it's UGLY. Why not integrate it into the lock screen where you can see what message notifications you have, clock, etc.?

Why not try to be more creative like having a vault wheel and rolling it to find three numbers.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry really should have a first run tutorial or at least a change log display on screen after an update... users who aren't crackberry members currently have no idea their phone just got these new features... marketing miss IMO

Posted via CB10

I have my z10 set to unlock it with the powerbutton on top. Why do i have to swipe up first before i can unlock the phone with the password pin. To much gestures IMO. I've disabled it again :(

I think it looks like a feature that was brought on just for it to be there, I get what other people men a because it seems like just the keyboard number pad whereas it would work slightly faster if the numbers were bigger filling the screen more, bit like iOS, but it works fine as it is :)

Kind Regards, Tino Chiko C0008DDD1 TechCraze!

If you're using your Q for work email, your company IT peeps have probably disabled it. I got the update but because I get my work emails on my Zed, our IT peeps have to have their uber tight password policy enabled. No simple pw for me.

Finally. I was dreading the other password option before, it drove me nuts. Four digit password is a good addition to the new update. Can't wait for 10.2

Posted via CB10 from my Awesome Z10

This is great, but you still need to push ok button. Android unlock gestures are still dream for me, but this is important to see in os - this means that developers listen us! And another feature that I've mentioned is phone numbers in call log, but you still can't permanently see number when calling.

Posted via CB10

I believe it asks for your current password first then the new password frame pops up then enter and confirm enter your password. Anyway that's what I had to do. I think that's where the confusion was, added security

Posted via CB10

I kinda like it the way it is now...Pre MR? I've always had a 4 digit pin and it was never difficult to unlock my phone. And if it was ever lost the thief would have a harder time cracking it because the keyboard shows both numbers and letters. The simple password way the keyboard only shows numbers. Might be a moot point but you can never be too secure.

Posted via CB10

It's an option (toggle on off) so feel free to keep the full keyboard to have alphanumeric code.....

Posted via CB10 from my awesome Z10

Does this simple password still wipe your phone if you get it wrong a certain number of times?? I always thought it would be nice if BB went the way of IOS with the password thing, meaning that it just freezes your phone for a certain amount of time if you get the password wrong rather than just erase everything...I understand the security of the phone is at stake here but an option to have something like this would be nice too. I have curious kids that try to touch and play with everything and if they get my phone and hit the password wrong 10 times (which takes them seconds) then my phone is wiped and that whole process sucks...so back to my original question, does this simple password still wipe your phone after so many tries?

I think BlackBerry does it better. If you enter the password wrong 10 times, it wipes the phone. However, when you have put the wrong password 6 times, it gives you a prompt that it will be wiping the phone, and then makes you type "blackberry" to continue and then it displays the simple password number pad. I think this way is better, since it is more secure and not making you wait extra minutes. Simply waiting does not make you remember your password. The person entering wrong passwords, either does not know it, or is in a condition that is not able to put their password in right. Another thing that I think BB does better, is that the simple password is not limited to a 4 digit number. You can have longer passwords, which would be more secure.

One thing I do not like about the new simple password is the design of the number pad and how you have to press OK or enter after having put in your password.

Dude! You completely missed the point of my post...I DON'T want my phone to be wiped if my three little kids decide to grab my phone and play with it while I have it locked...I don't want to have to re-install the back-up every other day because my kids got a hold of my phone. If they get it, I want the option to be able to just put a lock on it that will only disable the phone for a specific amount of time (similar to IOS) and then maybe an option for a more secure lock like what BB already uses (that you described)....Get it??

I am not sure if you read what I wrote and got what I meant. Your kids must be pretty young if they like playing with your locked phone. In that case, once they reach wrong password number 6, then they must read a prompt and press OK, then the keyboard has changed to a normal keyboard and they must type "blackberry" to get back to entering passwords. So essentially, after the 6th wrong passwords, your phone stops accepting random keyboard strokes, as if kids were playing with a phone or if the phone was in your pockets.

If your kids are old enough to read and write and they still like playing with your locked phone and going all the way to 10 wrong password entries, even though they will know it wipes the phoen, then I am pretty sure that is an isolated issue to you and your kids.

have you done a secure wipe, where you have to type in a word before it wipes the phone? with wrong passwords, it is the same thing as well.

Ok I understand what you are saying and I will include a bit more information...my 5 year old can and will type in BlackBerry when prompted not even knowing what she is doing...she sees the letters and knows how to copy them and has done this in the past...so this method does not stop them lol

Back to the point of this post...I am just asking is this simple password does the same thing and it appears that it does so I will leave it at that...If I had it my way I would have an option of the two kinds of security that I have mentioned already. Good day sir!

I changed it right away to simple password buuuuuuut I wish it would be a little... just a little bit more stylish... you know what I mean?

Posted via CB10

Pattern unlock is one of the only features I miss from android, this is a step in the right direction...

Posted via CB10

This is a great BlackBerry take to a feature from another platform. Users who prefer numbers aren't stuck with the security shortcoming of a 4 digit passcode. A 10 digit passcode is almost as good as a 7 character password made up of lowercase letters and digits.

Been using a four digit numeric password since I got the phone. FYI, it won't let you use the same password when activating the new simple password. Had to change it to activate, then change it back.

I like the improvement but it would be nice if you didn't need to hit enter.

Posted via CB10

You can use the same password, all you need to do is turn handset passwords off, then you put it in the same password when it prompts for a handset password. =)

Hmm, must not be available on all carriers. I have VZW 10.1 but it doesn't have the simple passw feature. Too bad, as I kind of like the simple pin type lock of the iPhone and wanted something similar.

This is in a later version of 10.1, the 10.1 Maintenance Release, that has just been released around the world excluding the USA where the carriers are way behind on testing and approving updates.

You might get this update in a couple of months, or you might just get 10.2 by the end of the year instead if your carrier can't be bothered with it.

Posted via CB10

Interesting information. I downloaded a small 10.1 update yesterday which bumped me to 10.1.0.2039. I was hoping this was the MR mentioned here, but apparently not. Thanks for the clarification!

Better not still not quite. The user needs to be able to automatically go in once it entered correctly. I hate how we have to go an extra step and press enter.

I know how that stupid it policy even blocks dev mode so I can't side load. Lucky for me I work in the it department so I just wipe the work crap off my phone do what I need to do then just reactivate the phone on the server after I'm done annoying but doesn't stop me.

Posted via CB10

I have a Z10 and am on 10.1 but do not have the option for a simple pw. Anyone else have this issue?

Posted via CB10

So I have 10.1 but there is no mr....what is that Nd how do I get it?...i would love thus feature but it's not in my settings.

Posted via CB10

I have downloaded the new 10.1 and still don't have this feature. Anyone know what could be going wrong??

Posted via CB10

Very helpful if you use numerical password, as before I had to input password 2-3 times to unlock handset. Helpful update! =)

I know it's off topic, but I was wondering, is it only me or did the new update change the background color of the calendar to white??

Posted via CB10

Hey guys, I updated my OS to 10.1.0.4181 on my Q10 and I still can't find the " simple password " button.
Any help would be appreciated :}

Posted via CB10

I tried using the new simple password for around 10 times and I decided to hate it! They wasted so much free space on the screen! They could make the numpad bigger so that it's easier to use! The numpad is too small and looks like a dodgy fix to me!

Posted via CB10

So, is this for the Z10 only?? Cos I've got a Q10, on a leaked 10.1......not that I need it, just curious....

autocorrect's for the birds -- SQN100-2. V10.1.0.4651

Nice one to have this. As for me, I don't have any issues with the device lock page. Plus it has this button for emergency call which I find is really important that you don't have to enter your password before making an emergency call. I just find that feature helpful. More power to BlackBerry!

Keep on going and moving forward! :)

Posted via CB10

Nice to have the simple password, but I'd like to be able to set a device password _without the need for auto-lock.

Great!!!

Re passwords another suggestion to waterloo: build in a password/pin request when you want to access your PC through the Data Manager. Just an additional hurdle to secure your home PC in case your phone gets lost or stolen!

Posted via CB10

Downloading now, at least I'll have something to do since my brain decided 3 hrs is enough sleep.

ForcePosted using the Z10

Am I the only one without the "Simple Password" toggle? I just updated last night to 10.1.0.2039. It says I have the latest software update, but i still can't add a simple password

Posted via CB10

The MR update is on .4181...

If you're in the states the update you made was the 10.1 that was delayed in the US... you'll need more patience... sorry mate

Posted via CB10

Just awesome.. lol..
Thanks..
Just wanted to make sure I was going crazy or using a defective device..

Posted via CB10

I received a software update notification today so I updated my phone. My OS version only jumped to 10.1.0.273. I guess I have to wait for another software update notification to get this feature.

Now that I've updated to the 10.1MR the simple password option is no longer available in the menu

Posted via CB10

All working on my z10. Wish I could clear the bbm contact update list though.

And I wish there was a fall back voice control feature for when you didn't have a nwk connection.

Posted via CB10

Re: easy to hack. Not likely,the permutations of 10 possible numbers taken four at a time allowing for repeats of the same number is a possible 10,000 choices.
Don't forget your simple password :-)

Posted via CB10

Same here.. made the update and the option was not there.

Once you go Black, you don't go back. Q10 baby.

IMHO it's stupid solution - it's easier to break (or view) this kind of password...

Posted via CB10 from Dev Alpha C

I just updated to the newest software, but I don't see a simple pin option at all!!! Can anyone let me know if I'm doing something wrong? If it helps I got the update pushed on my carrier koodo. Thanks!

I ported all my stuff over from OS7 - Torch 9810 - and am using the same 4 digit unlock as previously. Currently running 10.1 which gives the full keypad option.unless anyone knows different?) ported into BB10 - like the menu option to forward any kind of message as another type - i.e BBM message forwarded as an email.
Lastly - I for one thought the 9810 mixture was perfect - Q keyboard + full touchscreen - I had the 9800 too.
I need large screen now my eyesight's degrading but still love the real keyboard. I would love to see a virtual trackpad option too!
Nuff said for now.
NH

I have used this method for some time now and find it easier than alphanumeric although less secure it does help to use the maximum amount of numbers

Posted via CB10