Dear Berry: How do I restore a backup after downgrading my OS?

Need advice on how to solve your BlackBerry woes? Dear Berry is here to save the day.

By Dear Berry on 27 Feb 2014 10:15 am EST

Hello again readers! Dear Berry is here once again with a mailbag full of BlackBerry questions and woes. Today's question comes from a reader who asks:

I'm having an issue with the new OS leak so I  downgraded back to my carrier's stock OS. BlackBerry Link is giving me an error message that it cannot restore data as the backup was created with a higher version of the OS. Can you please help?

Each time a leak is released, we all would like a way to seamlessly transfer our information. If you are switching devices or happen to downgrade from a leak to an official version and encounter issues, keep these instructinos handy for future reference if you happen to experience an issue with BlackBerry Link.

After searching through various forum posts and a suggestion from a BBM Group, there is a modification you can do on your computer that will essentially correct this error message. Thanks SCrid2000!

Please note that for this example, all the screenshots were taken with a Windows computer. In addition, please proceed with caution as this might cause conflicts or corrupt your data.

  1. Install BlackBerry Link and make sure you download and install a compatible archive management software program (i.e. WinRAR or 7-Zip), though for this tutorial I will use 7-zip.
  2. Follow the steps to backup your device using BlackBerry Link 
  3. Once that is complete, navigate to the path/folder where you directed Link to save your backup files in Windows Explorer (or Finder on MAC). In this folder you are presented with all of your backup databases, each one denoted by a .bbb file extension.
  4. Right mouse click on the backup file you wish to modify for older firmware version and extract the contents, using one of the unzip programs mentioned above, to a new folder.

  1. In this new folder should be a file with the name Manifest.xml.
  2. Right mouse click on this file and "open with" a text editor of your choice (i.e. Wordpad, Notepad, or Notepad++). 
  3. Within this file, search for the line/string that says <Platform type="QNX" version=""/>. Though yours may and will be different than the one shown for me. Keep in mind this is the OS version, not the software release number you are entering.

  1. Now this is the part where you have to be careful. In this field, replace the firmware/OS version to the version of the one you are downgrading to. In this case it would be Again, editing or modifying any other part of this file may cause your restore to fail so please be careful.
  2. Save your changes 
  3. Select all of the files in the folder, and using a zip program, add them to a new .zip archive folder

  1. Locate the new archive file and right mouse click and select rename, be sure file extensions are visible, and change the .zip to a .bbb
  2. If not already placed there, make sure the archive file is in the /Backup directory
  3. Using BlackBerry Link, select this newly created file and restore it

Once it has been restored and loads to the home screen you should be good to go. If you have any questions please hit up the forums link below.

Restoring a backup after downgrading your OS thread

See you next time!

Have a question about BlackBerry etiquette? Need advice on how to cope with your BlackBerry addiction? Dear Berry has you covered and there's no question too big or problem too small. Submit any of your BlackBerry woes by email to or on Twitter @DearBerryCB.

Reader comments

Dear Berry: How do I restore a backup after downgrading my OS?


Quicksilver first!? :-P and yes this was a great article and will for sure come in handy when I may be faced with this.

Posted via CB10

I downgraded also from 2142 leak... 1925 gives me 24hrs moderate battery while 2142 only 8hrs and battery seems to be draining a little faster even on standby... xD

Swap my Q10 to ur Z30 I'll add cash, just PM! TQ! :)

I've actually kept tge 2141 leak and just replaced the 2142 radio file with the radio file from the 1926 (the 1925 leak). Like this you have the benefit from both versions... and WAY better battery life time...

Actually the radio 2142 was very instable for me (Z10) (sudden reboots all the time, phone not starting unless I'd unplug the battery etc etc)...

For the winning solution is really the OS2141+Radio1926

hehe one thing that made me choose the 1925 is that the facebook integration isn't good at 2141... happens most of the time when I click notification in the Hub and nothing happens.. but in 1925, it does opens every time... so that's quite a bit deal for me :D

Swap my Q10 to ur Z30 I'll add cash, just PM! TQ! :)

Never had an issue with that... but not much FB here :))

the FB bars are identical in both 1925 and 2141... so maybe the issue is really in the hub...

somehow the 2141 feels more unstable and less tested then the 1925...

Very good article and instructions.

Posted via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA  ‎BlackBerry Q10...SON! (Soon to be the almighty Z30!)

I had no idea you could manipulate the manifest this way. Great to know! Now to remember this article exists when I actually need it...

Also did the same with Evernote. I thought I used it a lot in the past but it's so easy and convenient to share directly (as well as the integration with Remember) that I now use it all the time.

Posted via CB10

Will this method work to restore a bb10 backup to a Legacy OS? The reason I ask is that my Z10 has gone in for repair and I need to restore the Local Calendar onto a Bold 9700.

Very good article...

I want my problem to be solved with link I actually had a battery problem with my z10 after 10.2.1 soo I had to reload my os.. I backed up over 6 times first time on BlackBerry link I had a problem that my device was disconnected than I upgraded to and now I have a new problem it says the restoration has been canceled and files were not restored I need a fix urgent

Posted via CB10

This is sweet but you can't just change the file extension .zip to .bbb by right-clicking and selecting rename. Only flaw in this article.

Is it possible to extract a specific file say, Remember App notes, without the rest of the backup files? For example, I upgrade to but would like to restore my notes from Remember app backed up with an earlier software version. Thank you in advance for your response.

Posted via CB10

I hope I never need to use these excellent instructions. I don't do leaks.

Sent from my iPuh-lease-as-IF

There are far easier ways to do this by just opening xml with notepad and changing and hitting save. 7zip will automatically update it in the bbb file. Or you can use Darcy's tool to do this

Posted via CB10

Thanks for this... could they make it bit simple.... well, at least they are allowing us to downgrade.

Posted via CB10

Just use Darcy's tools, takes 30 seconds.

And remember: there is a REASON that Blackberry does not enable this by default. Restoring to an older OS with a backup from a newer version can bork your system.

I got a BlackBerry Q5 not quite long ago. About a week ago, I am a die hard keyboard user , but I got d Z10. I love d shape nd beauty of it. But I find it hard leaving the Q5 bcus of the keyboard nd all the apps I put in it including d radio Wich cmes with the 10.2.1.(which d Z10 doesn't have). What will I do cause have tried downloading 1mobile into the Z10 but it won't install. Nd I can't switch unless I get 1mobile app nd the radio installed........i promised my brother I would give him the Q5 this Sunday. help Pls.

Posted via CB10

I followed all the steps and I did have the bbb files already, but when I restore using bb link, I could not find the new restore files.
Anything that I should do?

Thank you

Will this procedure work to restore pictures from the old OS to the new OS? I ignorantly forgot to move pictures and videos over to my PC before installing a leaked 10.2 OS. I found BlackBerry Extractor that will do what I want it to with a .bbb file, but it does not support BB10 OS.

Posted via CB10

Can this method be use to restore from a legacy os to BlackBerry 10? I sold my fone after backup on my pc b4 I got my Q10 and need to restore

Posted via CB10

Hey ! This seems to be very convenient, but can someone help me out on point no. 11 ?

"11.Locate the new archive file and right mouse click and select rename, be sure file extensions are visible, and change the .zip to a .bbb"

I'm quite sure I've gone through all the steps and the entire procedure the right way, but just can't seen to change the .zip file to .bbb.
I'm not really bothered about the media on the back up, but my contacts and messages,as I rely on heavily on them for my work.

Would really appreciate some assistance on this.

Thank you.