BlackBerry 6: Wipe Your Smartphone, Restore Factory Settings

Whatever your reason, BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) makes it very easy to security wipe a BlackBerry using its latest mobile OS software

Many reasons exist for why you might want or need to "security wipe" a BlackBerry, or completely erase all personal data stored on your handheld: You got a new smartphone and plan to retire the older device; you're trading in your existing BlackBerry for a new one from your wireless carrier; you and a friend are swapping devices; you loaded too many applications or media and just want to start over from scratch; etc.

Whatever your reason, BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) makes it very easy to security wipe a BlackBerry using its latest mobile OS software, BlackBerry 6. Waaaaay back in the fall of 2008, I wrote a post on how to clean or wipe your BlackBerry smartphone running RIM's OS 5, so those of you with a BlackBerry 5 smartphone will want to jump over to that older tutorial.

The security-wipe process is very similar in both BlackBerry OS 5 and BlackBerry 6--in fact it's even more intuitive in the newer OS. And the following four steps will wipe your BlackBerry smartphone clean and restore the handheld to factory settings in no time. Keep moving for specifics. (Note: If you BlackBerry is connected to a corporate BlackBerry Enterprise Server BES, you may be unable to completely restore your device to factory settings, though you should still be able to wipe it clean, depending on the specific IT policies associated with your device. Check in with your BlackBerry administrator if you encounter issues.)

How to Security Wipe Your BlackBerry 6 Smartphone

1) Begin the BlackBerry security wipe process by opening up the main BlackBerry Options menu--the icon looks like a wrench when using the default BlackBerry theme. (Learn more about BlackBerry themes here.)

2) Next, scroll down to and select the Security option on the following screen, then choose the Security Wipe listing on the next page.

3) The Security Wipe screen displays a number of options and associated checkboxes that let you specific whether you want to delete E-Mail, Contacts, etc., User Installed Applications and/or all the data stored on your Media Card.

4) Finally, to initiate the process, type in the word "BlackBerry" in the confirmation field on the Security Wipe screen, accept any final confirmation pop-ups you may see, and voila, your BlackBerry device is on its way to its factory state. It may take up to an hour to completely wipe your device, depending on how many messages and other data you have stored on-device, so be patient.

When the deletion process is complete, your BlackBerry will restart and another dialogue box appears to ask if you'd like to run the device Set Up Wizard. At that point, your BlackBerry is wiped clean of all data--unless you chose to let third-party app information remain--and factory settings should be restored.

Got a broken BlackBerry keyboard that's keeping you from wiping your handheld using the process above? No worries, you can use any of a number of workarounds, including the free JL_Cmder application.

Check out a full list of all my BlackBerry tips and tricks stories on the CIO.com BlackBerry Bible page.

Al Sacco covers Mobile and Wireless for CIO.com. Follow Al on Twitter @ASacco. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Al at ASacco@CIO.com.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags research in motionconsumer electronicssecuritysmartphonesPhones

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Al Sacco

CIO (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?