Great feature or just plain annoying? Shift and delete erases your message in BlackBerry Messenger

By Adam Zeis on 7 Mar 2011 11:50 am EST
BlackBerry Messenger   

When it first started happening I thought it was just a fluke, but then as it happened more and more it became super annoying. When using BlackBerry Messenger I (as well as many others) discovered that hitting "shift + delete" in BlackBerry Messenger magically erases your entire message. Now, while I appreciate RIM tossing in some quick actions like this, I'm pretty sure this one could have been left out. I highly doubt there are too many times when someone wants a quick key combo to delete a whole message in BBM. Highlighting and pressing delete usually does the trick for me. I honestly have lost count at this point as to how many times I've accidentally used this combo and dumped an entire message.

So has this happened to you before? According to a few users in the forums it happens all the time, and not one of them thinks the "feature" should be there. Cast your vote in the poll then hit up the thread below and let us know!

Discuss more in the forums

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

Reader comments

Great feature or just plain annoying? Shift and delete erases your message in BlackBerry Messenger


This "feature" has frustrated me from the beginning. Many times I have crafted carefully worded messages, only to inadvertently hit SHIFT-DELETE and lose it all. If there was an UNDO feature to get it back, or if there was a way to disable this function, that would be cool. It may be a nice feature but I've never found the need. I just highlight and delete if I want to get rid of text. This Key Stroke sequence is too easy to do inadvertently and VERY frustrating.

I've deleted more than a few long messages this way. It's especially easy to do on the virtual keyboard. Capital P or deleted message? Only my thumb will decide.

I tend to write very long messages in BBM, and when I'm about to write a name or anything with a capital letter and then change my mind, the whole message get's erased!!!!
It is by far the most annoying thing about my BlackBerry...

This has been my one strife with BBM.

There have been plenty of times I've accidently gone to delete a typo and had it wipe out the entire message thanks to not realizing I'd hit the shift key (I type rather fast, I guess that's my problem).

It always seems to happen when I've typed a very long message, too. Very frustrating, but doesn't happen often enough for me to really actually be bothered by the feature.

And may I add, I've never actually used it to my advantage, so I wouldn't mind if they took it out of BBM. Anytime I've written a paragraph and needed to erase it, my natural instinct makes me highlight the whole thing and cut it.

Love it.. Nice and easy way to clear the entire message window.
I use a Torch. in OS 246, htting the back button would delete the message. I was lookking for this functionality in 448. Thanks CB!

I've done it TOO many times and it gets on my nerves....I usually type pretty fast and sometimes I'll accidentally press the shift key and if I've messed up and want to delete a few characters my whole message is can be soooooo frustrating...I'd rather this feature not be

It did annoy me at first when I didn't know what was causing the random message clears, but after finding out it was the shift+delete, I've used it to my advantage. When I need a capital 'P' or 'L' I stay clear away from that delete key. I suppose they could fix it with a shift+delete+delete to clear message.

I've had a few long messages deleted too, its always EXTREMELY annoying. I never use shift+del to erase everything, I just highlight all and delete.

It's the most annoying thing ever! I hate it! This always seems to happen after I've typed a really long message!

This used to happen to me a lot, but it stopped sometime ago :/
It really used to annoy me though especially when i wrote long messages

There did it again!!! #*@!! This probably the worst feature in the BBM - not sure if it was intentionally designed to be this way - obviously it couldn't have been thought through

Before bbm 5.0 you could just hit the "back" key once to delete an entire typed message. They changed it to "Shift delete" after 5.0. I wish they'd bring back the back button doing the trick. Now I usually just select and delete rather than shift, delete.

I've never deleted a message since upgrading to BBM 5.x. Prior to that, I was constantly losing long messages because I'd hit the back button to go check something that I was referencing. It drove me crazy! Shift+Del doesn't bother me at all.

It's not that I write super long messages, but sometimes you start typing a question, response, etc. and then part way through the other person sends a message that changes your response or makes your current entry redundant. It was so nice before to just hit back, delete the whole thing and just start over. Now I use the shift+del, but I really miss the back button option.

I HATE THAT!!! your writing a long msg you press shift to do something, then you wanna delete what you last did and then next thing you know your whole msg is gone. it sucks. i wish i could turn that off !

It was really annoying the first coupl times it happened to me.. I couldnt figure out why.. But After getting used to the feature it has come in handy..

I just deleted my whole bb with shift+delete.
I also deleted my whole PC (right not a mac) because of that and I also erased the monarch of Lybia with thats.
SOrry for that!

Umm.. How about the option "I figured this out as soon as they made the return key just back out of the message"

I often would like to delete everything I've typed and it used to be easier. It used to be 1 button press and now it's two. As far as capitalizing is concerned can't you just hold down the letter you want capitalized instead of pressing shift? If you didn't know, holding down e will give you a capital E and even more if you hold down a letter and swipe left or right you can add an accent

This is literally my least favorite thing about BlackBerry... Thus I don't have a ton to complain about, I really wish they'd get rid of it though...

Hate it! Doesn't happen every day, but it REALLY sucks when it does.

Maybe a double or triple shift + delete could minimize accidental deletions?

At first I found it annoying, but after getting used to it I wish it was a system wide thing. I'm too impatient to hold the delete key for everything. RIM should make this a toggle-able option in bbm or in the system options.

I think the toggle idea is really good, blackberry are you listening???? Give us a toggle on "shift-del" to get back what we accidentally deleted. Alternatively, use shift-del like "cut" & keep the results in memory once. If you accidentally used shift-del then you can use "paste" to get it back.

A great improvement over the previous versions where the Back button would dump the unsent message. Two deliberate sequential actions before it deletes has to be better than one unguarded action.

I remember when it used to be alt+del and I used to erase my $#!+ alllll the time.. But now that they changed it to Lshift+del I love it!

It happens to me all the time... my fingers just think too fast for my phone. Sometimes I'm annoyed, but other times (as with the occasional double-hit as well.) I just shrug it off and backspace. It doesn't REALLY bother me, after all it's only another few seconds out of my day, but sometimes I do wish that nothing would get in the way of getting my message across.

I love it, so quick and convenient, there is really only 1 logical solution to this that'll appease every1: make it a toggleable option.

I couldn't figure out if I was doing something wrong or not. But now I see how easy it is and why it happened. Maybe alt+delete would be better? I don't know but it has messed up a few BBM messages for me too

I hate it! How many times I deleted my long messages by accident. I hope there is a way we can disable it than fully remove it.

I like the option.

When it first rolled out I was irritated. But during beta testing we go them to make a few changes. Now we can again delete after the cursor by using alt and then backspace.
and now we can clear the field with a shift-delete, or what I call a capital delete.

I do think one minor difference would make a HUGE difference. I wish there were a way to undo or undelete. like, if you could hit alt-delete to clear the field. then hit it again to bring it all back. That would help eliminate those frustrating times when you lose everything you've typed.

First of all did not know about this feature so thank you for your post. I actually like this feature because there are times when I do want to erase everything. Second of all, how could you accidently press shift and delete? I have never before done that with all my typing on my phone so I am against this. Maybe you guys just need to type slower.

annoying! lol. i wish the bb had the undo feature like the iPhone at times. tends to happen on longer bbm msgs!

Hm this has never happened to me, I guess I'm perfect :-p but seriously, I have never made this error and thus didn't even know about the feature. Have to say, I much prefer it to delete via back button because prior to os5, I liked being able to start a message and back out to do something and then return to it (instead of fearing the back button and having to use app switcher). So I say, keep it the way it is and learn to type more accurately! Hahaha...ha.

It is ANNOYING! It is also inconsistent, which makes it even more annoying. In every other BlackBerry app, Delete omits the character preceding the cursor and Shift then Delete omits the character following the cursor. However, in Messenger they make Shift then Delete omit the entire message.

It is probably most annoying to those who rely on consistency throughout the systems and programs within a phone and pay attention to details to be more efficient. I have had many messages deleted because of this inconsistency.

I love this feature and wonder how on earth it could be annoying. It is, of course, just one of the little things. So - I say - adapt. It's not that serious.

I didn't even know it worked that way - so thanks for the "head's up" on this one!


I am happy to see this brought up, because I've wondered if others had the same issue at times. I've found it be to be an inconvenience when needing to retype lengthy messages. I think a different key combination or requiring the two keys to be pressed simultaneously would make more sense. I've deleted many messages because I press shift only to instinctively press delete after I realize I've made a mistake or would like to change something. Annoying - no. Inconvenience - at times.


I can't say I have done it. As a matter of fact if I try on torch running .450 doesn't work, but if it did I could see this being annoying but then I have been typing on bb for 5 years or so and don't make to many errors unless I use touch screen to type messages(I rarely do.)..

IT IS so annoying... you wanna delete just one word hitting a shift and delete key but that deletes everything, and with BB not having the undo option, it sucks...

the best remedy would be to add the undo option, delete one word with a press of ALT+DEL and delete the whole paragraph with a press of ALT+SHIFT+DEL... this would help

I hate this feature so much, I almost want to kick the asses of everyone who said they liked this feature. How is this so much harder than highlighting and hitting delete? I've lost huge messages like this and it's pissed me off to where I've almost thrown my BB against the wall. I've written long messages two and three times (I type fast and it's easy to make the deletion mistake) because of this stupid fucking feature. I'd better stop. I'm getting pissed off again...

I am ALWAYS using the virtual keyboard on my Torch and am accidentally wiping out the whole field quite often. Usually when I need to hit the backspace more than once. I am not however in any way using the Shift key! Maybe because I'm deleting someone's name that I am trying to type when AutoCorrect has other plans or... Who knows! I found it was related to this & it upsets me that I cannot turn it off.
My wife is also having issues with this on her Bold so its not just because of the virtual keyboard.
I think this is a ridiculous feature. If you screwed up an entire field then select it then delete but honestly, how often would this even be 'useful'?!
I am beginning to SMS more now to avoid this issue.

This is not just for BBM anymore, this goes for all the apps including the web browser. Pain in the neck I should go to Waterloo and beat the guy who came up with this stupid idea.