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How do I clear all personal data from my BlackBerry?

If you need to remove all personal data (e.g., messages, address book entries, notes) from your BlackBerry device, first create a backup of your data; see With a BlackBerry, how do I back up and restore data? Then, follow the appropriate instructions below:

On this page:


Handheld method for software version 6.0 and newer

  1. From the Home Screen, press the Blackberry Button to see all the icons.

  2. Select Options.

  3. Select Security, then Security Wipe.

  4. Check the boxes for the items you want to erase and restore. Type blackberry in the Confirmation field, and then click Wipe.

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Handheld method for software version 5.0 and newer

  1. From the Home Screen, press the Blackberry Button to see all the icons.

  2. Select Settings, then Options, then Security Options.

  3. Select Security Wipe.

  4. Check the boxes for the items you want to erase and restore. Type blackberry in the field where indicated to confirm device wipe, and then click Wipe.

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Handheld method for software version 4.5 and newer

  1. From the Device Options menu, select Security Options.

  2. Click General Settings.

  3. Click the BlackBerry menu button, and then click Wipe Handheld.

  4. Click Continue, and then type blackberry .

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BlackBerry Desktop Manager method for all software versions

Before cradling your device, do the following to prevent it from synchronizing after you clear it, which would reload all your personal data:

  1. Open the BlackBerry Desktop Manager, double-click Intellisync, and then click Auto start... .

  2. Make sure the only option checked is Update handheld's date and time.

  3. Click OK, and then click Close.

After completing the steps below, if you want to synchronize your BlackBerry again, make sure to reselect the auto-start options you deselected above, or your device will continue to only update the date and time when cradled.

To clear personal data from your BlackBerry:

  1. Cradle your device.

  2. If the BlackBerry you are clearing is not the one you are currently using, you will see a Redirector Settings pop-up that says your email account is set up to use a different device and asking if you want to change it to work with this device. Click No.

  3. Double-click Application Loader, and then click Next.

  4. If prompted, enter your password.

  5. On the Handheld Application Selection screen, click Next.

  6. You will see the message "No actions are required." Click Advanced. If you have an 850 or 950 series device, click Next on the Handheld Storage Allocation screen.

  7. On the Handheld Data Preservation screen, select Erase all application data. Click Next.

  8. On the Application Data Backup screen, select Do not automatically back up and restore the handheld application data during the loading process. Click Next.

  9. Click Finish. Make sure you do not remove the handheld from the cradle until the clearing process is finished.

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Reinstalling Blackberry device software from an external source using Desktop Manager

At times, you may need to go beyond just clearing all personal data. When a device malfunctions after following the steps above, or when you simply want to upgrade to a newer version of the handheld operating system, you will need to wipe the handheld and restore it from an operating system installer downloaded from the cellular provider.

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Last modified on April 23, 2013.

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