Upgrade your BlackBerry Operating System (OS)

I put this guide together for those who are interested, or don’t know how to, upgrade their BlackBerry Operating System (OS).
Before you begin, make sure you have the latest BlackBerry Desktop Manager (DM) available at RIM’s site:
BlackBerry Desktop Software – BlackBerry Software at BlackBerry.com
Now that you have the latest DM we can continue with upgrading your BlackBerry OS. First thing’s first…make a backup! Run the DM and select Backup/Restore, then Backup and select where you want the file saved.
WARNING: Do this at your own risk. I am not responsible for any problems that may occur as a result of following this guide. Like I always say…make plenty of backups!

Upgrade your BlackBerry OS
  • Locate and identify your current BlackBerry OS version. (Note that I have
  • Find it here: Options > About
  • You need to identify your current OS version to know whether you are upgrading or downgrading. For the purpose of this guide you are upgrading, but the process is the same for downgrading your OS.
  • Download and install the BlackBerry OS you want to upgrade to.
  • You can get the latest BlackBerry OS for your BlackBerry at your service provider’s website. An example would be tmobile.com/bbupgrade for T-Mobile USA. Your service provider will have the latest official OS for your BlackBerry.
  • You can also check for and upgrade to the latest OS for your BlackBerry at the RIM BlackBerry Site here. Internet Explorer is required for this update method.
  • In the event that you decide you want to install an unofficial BlackBerry OS or an OS from another service provider you must follow these steps:
    • Download and install the unofficial OS or other service provider’s OS.
    • On your PC go to Program Files > Common Files > Research In Motion > AppLoader
    • Delete the vendor.xml file.
  • NOTE: BlackBerry Operating Systems are specific to the BlackBerry model they were created for. For example, you can only use an OS meant for the Pearl 8100 on another Pearl 8100, and not on the Curve 8320 or on a Pearl 8110.

  • To install/upgrade the BlackBerry OS you installed on your PC you can do one of two things.
  • If the OS you installed on your PC is your service provider’s, simply run BlackBerry Desktop Manager and select Application Loader.
  • If the OS you installed on your PC is unofficial or from another service provider you must use the Loader program, which you can find in the same location the vendor.xml file was:
    • On your PC go to Program Files > Common Files > Research In Motion > AppLoader
  • I prefer using the Loader program (official OS or not) because it is basically the Application Loader without the BlackBerry Desktop Manager running in the background.
  • For the purpose of this guide I will be using the Loader program.
  • Run the Loader program.
  • Go through the prompts and make sure all the settings are the way you want them to be, including which applications will be included in the update, which languages you want, etc.
  • You will come to a screen that asks you if you want to automatically backup device application data (including messages) and then restore the backup after the process is complete. It is highly recommended that you do this even though we made an initial backup in the beginning.
  • In the next screen you will come to a summary page of what will happen in the update process. Click finish.
  • Your BlackBerry OS will now be upgraded, along with the other settings you specified.

  • After the loading operation is complete your BlackBerry might take a few minutes to load up completely.
  • Make sure that the upgrade was successful by checking Options > About on your BlackBerry. (Note that I now have vs from the beginning)
I hope you all found this guide useful. If you know of anything I might have missed or think I should add something be sure to let me know.


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