How to: Update your BlackBerry firmware and OS

Tips & Tutorials

The BlackBerry Desktop Manager suite of applications is designed to help you manage the link between your desktop and smartphone

The BlackBerry Desktop Manager suite of applications is designed to help you manage the link between your desktop and smartphone. Although the primary role of this full-functional, integrated suite of applications is to enable you to sync your PIM data (calendar, contacts, tasks and memos), the BlackBerry Desktop Manager can also be used to update or remove applications.

Read on and we will show you how to use the Application Installer component to update your firmware, operating system components and third-party applications.

Step 1: Latest version

The first step is to check that you have an up-to-date version of BlackBerry Desktop Manager installed on your desktop PC. Click Help>About BlackBerry Desktop Manager to view the version number and release date. Now click the Components tab and check that you have version 4.7 of the Application Loader. You can source the latest update of the Desktop Manager Software from

Step 2: IT policy

If you have an employer-issued BlackBerry, your organisation may well have imposed guidelines on what applications (if any) can be installed and uninstalled from your device. Before you go any further, familiarise yourself with your IT department’s policy and check that you are entitled to update the operating system components. If you are allowed to proceed, connect your device via the USB lead and the BlackBerry Desktop Manager will automatically launch.

Step 3: Back up data

The next step is to synchronise your PIM data and if you have already configured the relevant options, the process will begin automatically. If it doesn’t, click the Synchronise button and confirm the organiser edits when asked to do so. Because you will be updating your device software we advise that you safeguard your important information by performing a data backup. To do this, click the Backup and Restore icon and then the Backup button.

Step 4: Manage update notifications

It’s now time to launch the Application Loader. Do this and then click the Notifications for Software Updates hyperlink in the Update Software window. Now choose how you wish to manage update notifications. The majority of users opt to subscribe to notifications via email alert.

Step 5: Application configuration

In the Update Software window on the right, click the Start button. As long as the BlackBerry is connected to your PC, the wizard will read the configuration of each application.

Step 6: Update summary

In a few moments you will see an Update Summary listing all the applications and operating system components that can be updated. Click Next when you are ready to proceed.

Step 7: Start the process

You will now see a summary of the process and this includes details of system software and core applications about to be updated. Click Finish to start the installation process.

Step 8: Grab a coffee

The new modules will now be downloaded, the existing data backed up and then erased and the new operating system components installed. Go and make yourself a coffee as the process of loading the application components will take some time.

Step 9: Do not disconnect!

Do not disconnect your device from the PC until the loading process is complete. If the process is interrupted, your device applications may well malfunction when you try to use them. If the process is interrupted for any reason, you will need to repeat steps 5 to 8. As long as all goes to plan, the modular components will be installed and you will be notified that the loading operation was successful after your device reboots.

Step 10: Wireless radio

After the loading process has finished, you will need to re-enable your device’s wireless radio. You may need to check your product documentation for information on how to do this.

Originally published in Smartphone Essentials. Written by Andy Nott.

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