How to Wipe Your Blackberry

In a rather radical departure from my standard postings of articles, musings, and recipes, I’m putting up a bit of tech support instead!

The BlackBerry device is a wonderful thing. RIM’s magical SmartPhone allows us to keep up speed with all of our business correspondence while on the move, as well as keep in touch with all our important contacts. We load our BlackBerries with various software and applications to increase our productivity and customize them with interesting themes and ringtones. We watch movies and play games and track day to day activities. And if you’re like me, you use your blackberry for rather sensitive work communication – communication that should be kept within your office. All of these things require passwords and usually involve storing data on our devices that is sensitive in nature.

So what if you want to wipe your BlackBerry clean?

No I am not talking about cleaning your screen…I’m talking about erasing all of the data that is stored and bringing the BlackBerry back to it’s factory default state.

There are a number of reasons why you might want to wipe out your Blackberry. Perhaps you have switched jobs and need to submit your BlackBerry into your new IT department so they can set it up for their network. You wouldn’t want them to have access to your previous employers data would you?

Perhaps you have purchased a new model of BlackBerry and would like to gift your previous model to a friend or sell it on ebay. The same rule applies, you do not want them to see what you were using your Blackberry for prior to handing it over.

While that makes sense intuitively, it doesn’t seem that people are taking this precaution. In fact, a recent study suggests that 44 percent of second-hand BlackBerrys still contain data from the original owner. That’s not a stat you brag about at a board meeting. This isn’t just any old personal data, either. According to the study, these devices “contained information which could pose a significant risk to organizations if exposed.”

If you fall into either of the above categories, or another with the same goal of wiping out your BlackBerry, you are in luck. The process is actually extremely easy and accomplished in one of two ways:

1. Incorrect password entry: If you enter an incorrect password into your BlackBerry 10 consecutive times, the BlackBerry is programmed to wipe itself out as a security precaution. You will be prompted to type the word “blackberry” (no quotes) in order to confirm the wipe.
2. Manual Wipe: In order to perform a manual wipe of your entire BlackBerry, you will need to do the following: Options > Security Options > General Settings > Click the trackwheel/trackball on the Password field > Select “Wipe Handheld“. As with the above method you be prompted to enter “blackberry” (no quotes) in order confirm the system wipe.

Note: If you have a Curve, as I do, follow the steps for method 2 above, except rather than “Click the trackwheel/trackball on the Password field” you need to press the Menu button and the Wipe option will appear.

For more neat blackberry stuff, check out BlackBerry Geeks.

One thought on “How to Wipe Your Blackberry

  1. i like your site…
    your post is very informative for me…

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