Tips & Tricks: Set Phone to Ring, Vibrate, Flash LED – Part 3

BlackBerry Pearl 8130 Tips and Tricks - Ring, Vibrate, Flashing LEDBlackBerry Pearl 8130 Ring, Vibrate, LEDIn Parts 1 and 2 of this 3-part tutorial, we covered basic and intermediate configuration of notification profiles. In Part 3 we will cover the most advanced features:

  • How to create custom profiles
  • How to create exceptions to profiles
  • How to handle notifications that occur during the middle of a phone call
  • How to set your phone to “do not disturb”
  • Level 1 Notifications


If you’ve worked through the first two parts of this tutorial series, then you must be really hard-core to tackle Part 3. Actually, it is quite interesting even if you decide you don’t really need this advanced capability. It’s always good to know what’s there and have the freedom to take it or leave it.

Custom Profiles

In Part 2 we reviewed the standard profiles: Loud, Normal, Vibrate, Phone Only, and Off. We can edit any of those profiles to tweak them to our satisfaction. But in some cases, we might want to create a totally new profile. Let’s say we want to use our holster to indicate if we want to be disturbed by our phone or not. Let’s say that if the phone is IN the holster, we do NOT want to be disturbed by any kind of call, message, or other event. If the phone is OUT of the holster, we want settings like the Normal Profile.

Open the Profile icon, scroll to Advanced and click to see what profiles already exist. Below we see only standard profiles.



Press the Menu key and scroll to New Profile. Let’s name it HolsterDND (for Holster Do Not Disturb). Note that there are eleven reasons for notification, all of which potentially need to be edited to give you the notification profile behavior you desire.



To save time, let’s just look at one reason: a Phone call. Below I’ve already set everything the way I want. Out of Holster, I want a Tone, the Ringer_BBpro_1 ringtone, High volume. I’ll also use LED Flashing and Vibration.

However, for In Holster, I want my phone to do nothing at all. So, I set None (for tone or vibration) and Mute for volume.



Now, let’s discuss a point that might be confusing. If we scroll down just a tad further, we see a setting for Do Not Disturb. That sounds a lot like what we wanted in the first place, so why didn’t we just choose that? Who knows the answer? Right–that would apply to both In Holster and Out of Holster, which is not what we really wanted. We’ll cover that DND setting again later.

Save the profile you just edited.



Note the new icon for a custom profile, and how the Home Screen (at least for this theme) shows the name for this particular custom profile.

I recommend you test a custom profile before you come to rely on it, as it’s easy to make mistakes. Or sometime the profile just doesn’t work they way you expect. Better safe than sorry.





I think everyone has someone special whose calls or messages need to come through no matter what: spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, best friend, parent, children, babysitter, boss, etc. That’s what notification profile Exceptions are for. Exceptions take priority over any profile you can set except the Off profile. (I told you Notification Profiles were complicated: even Exceptions have an exception.)  Your phone comes with one exception group already defined: Important Calls. However, you have to add contacts to it. Let’s start by exploring the Important Calls exception.

From the Home Screen, open Profiles. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Advanced. Scroll down to the Important Calls line.



Press the Menu key and select Edit. Scroll to the From line.



Press the Menu key and select Add Name. Find the name of an important person in your Address Book. Click it.



You can repeat the previous step until all your important persons are included in the From list. Scroll to the Use Profile line and click. Scroll to the profile you want to switch to when you get an important call, then click it.



If you want a particular ringtone to signify that an Important Call is coming in, then choose a custom ringtone: Scroll to the Custom Phone Tune line and click the checkbox. Scroll to the current ringtone name and click it. Scroll through the list of available ringtones and click your chosen tone.



Press the Menu key and click Save.



Lastly, click the checkbox to enable the Important Calls exception.



I think exceptions are more useful when they are more selective. Let’s say there are times you don’t want to be bothered by ANYbody except that one, superhot, somebody you would crawl over broken glass to get a call from. Let’s create an exception for that person.

Do Profiles > Advanced… > (press Menu key) > New Exception. Type in a descriptive name for this exception.



Scroll to the From line, do (press Menu key) > Add Name. From your Address Book, select the name of your special person.



Set the profile and custom phone tune you want to signify that special somebody is calling. Save those settings.



OK, I’ll bet you didn’t think of this one: what if you want to have all calls come through except one special jerk you really don’t have time to talk to. Repeat the steps above to obtain something like the below:



As seen above, if Ima Jerk calls or texts, the phone switches to the Off profile just for the jerk. Everyone else is allowed through with the Active Profile.

Notice that you can enable or disable any combination of exceptions, so you can hear from Hottie and screen out Jerk all at the same time. How cool is that?

[I'd love to hear from readers any imaginative Exceptions you come up with!]

PostScript, 2008-06-03: Thanks to a question by reader Andrew (see below), I discovered the following…

When you set a Custom Ringtone for a contact, that actually becomes an Exception in your BlackBerry Profiles. Let me show you…

First, let’s find my old friend Zzzyp Z. Zzzyrt, and set a Custom Ringtone for him.

Custom Ringtones are the same as an Exception
Then, let’s go to Profiles > Advanced. We see in the screenshot below a newly created exception named “Calls from Zzzyp Zzzyrt.”

Now, Andrew asked what would happen if a contact was listed in an exception list but also had a custom ringtone set in the Address Book. Which ringtone wins out? I discovered by experiment that when a call comes in, the BlackBerry starts at the top of the exception list and works it way downward, scanning for that contact in all enabled exceptions. The first enabled exception it finds with that contact, it uses that ringtone.If you use lots of custom ringtones for your contacts, I’m afraid your exception list will be quite long and a bit clumsy to manage. I’m not sure this is a good design feature, but that’s how it is. 

PostScript, 2008-06-06: My buddy Andrew (see below), has asked another question leading me to a significant discovery…

If you have (and enable) an Exception to allow an important caller (e.g., Girlfriend) through despite the Active Profile, what happens if your Active Profile is Quiet or Off? The answers are:

  • Quiet: Exception will override Active Profile and important caller’s call will come through as desired.
  • Off: The phone will remain silent (no ring or vibration) however, the important caller’s caller ID will come up on the screen with options to Answer or Ignore.


Notification (or Not) During Calls

OK, so there’s still more. What if you are on a phone call and:

  • a Calendar event occurs and wants to notify you?
  • a Task item comes due and wants to notify you?
  • an SMS text message comes through and wants to notify you?

If you want to have these events possibly interrupt your calls, then do this: For each chosen Profile, edit Calendar, Task, and/or SMS Text to set Notify Me During Calls to Yes.



Do Not Disturb

Still not done. Suppose you want to create a profile where all kinds of messages come through but you don’t want to be disturbed by a phone call. Or maybe for a standard profile you temporarily want to not be disturbed by a call. Messages, yes; phone calls, no. For your chosen profile, edit the Phone setting named Do Not Disturb to be Yes.



Level 1 Notifications

As best I can determine, Level 1 Notifications have little application with the BlackBerry Pearl. BlackBerry Messenger (”PIN”) messages are apparently considered Level 1 Messages. Otherwise, this seems to be something that is becoming an obsolete feature. I could be wrong; if anyone knows different, please leave a comment. Here’s what RIM has to say about it:



At this point, we’ve covered everything about Notification that I’ve been able to figure out with my BlackBerry Pearl 8130. Some features we’ve covered I may never use but at least I know they’re there if I do need them. I hope I got it all right and didn’t miss anything important. And I hope you get lots of use out of what we’ve learned together!

Related posts:

Bookmark and Share

About the author

This entry was contributed by Kelly Carter
84 entries have been written by this author.

95 comments on this post

Andrew says:
Jun 3, 2008 - 07:06:16

One of the most helpful articles I’ve seen on BlackBerry tips!

One question I have: How do Exceptions work interact with Custom (caller ID) Ringtones?

Suppose I have John Smith set to a Custom Ringtone of Tune_Special. If I create an Exception group and then add a custom ringer (or set the Exception group to use some other profile), will the caller ID custom ringer be used or will the Exception group override the custom ringtone?

Love the site! The animated GIFs are particularly helpful!


Jun 3, 2008 - 08:06:41

Your question just forced me to discover something: Custom Ringtones are implemented as Exceptions! I had never set a custom ringtone until this experiment, and when I went into Exceptions–lo and behold–but the person who I had set a custom ringtone for showed up as a new exception. I’m going to revise the above article to reflect this finding.

Now, a related experiment that I just did was this: What if a person is in an exception group/list and also shows up as a single exception? Which ringtone is used? ANSWER: Whichever is first in the list of enabled exceptions.

Thanks for asking that question! And thanks for sharing your thoughts on the article and the animated GIFs. I appreciate helpful feedback.

CHRIS says:
Jun 5, 2008 - 10:06:52

When I miss a call (or any other notification) the only way to know it is if I happen to physically look at the phone and notice the blinking red LED. Is there a way to get it to beep or vibrate every minute or so to let me know I’ve missed something?

Jun 5, 2008 - 01:06:50

You need a custom app to do that. I hear a lot about BlackBerry Alerts as a good solution for that problem, but I have not tried it myself.

What you’re asking for is a very popular idea. Maybe one day RIM will add that feature to the BB OS.
Kelly says:
Jun 5, 2008 - 03:06:41 asks: I can not get my phone to viberate when an e-mail message is coming in. What am I doing wrong? It works fine for phone calls, but not e-mails…. Thanks!!
Kevin Umbehr

Jun 5, 2008 - 07:06:14

You have to set vibration for email in addition to phone.

Choose the Profile you want to have vibration for email. Do Profiles > Advanced… > (highlight the desired profile) > (press Menu key) > Edit.

Scroll to the (first, if several) email account that you want to vibrate in that profile. Click it. Change the Out of Holster to Vibrate or Vibrate+Tone (whichever you prefer). Set the Number of Vibrations (1, 2, or 3). Do the same for In Holster.

If you want that behavior for more than one email account, go back and repeat the previous paragraph for each successive email account.

Save the changes to that profile. You may even want to edit another profile to behave the same way. Or you might have wanted to create a totally new profile just for that particular vibrating behavior.

Let me know if that works for you. It should.

Andrew says:
Jun 6, 2008 - 02:06:47


Thanks for the follow-up. That is definitely NOT the behavior I expected. It’ll take some thinking to figure out exactly how I want to configure my profiles and custom ring tones.

The implication is that if I have a custom ring tone for Girlfriend (which as you discovered creates an Exception), switching the Active Profile to Quiet or Vibrate will NOT have the intended effect with respect to the Girlfriend contact–calls from her will still ring as opposed to vibrating or being silenced. … Or am I wrong about that point?

I’ll have to do some experimenting (but it’s hard since I only have one phone).

Thanks again,

Margy Houtz says:
Jun 6, 2008 - 02:06:16

Kelly…great site! I don’t know what I would have done without it…

When I’m deleting email messages on my BB, is there some way to select more than one at a time?

Jun 6, 2008 - 03:06:12

If you highlight a DATE instead of a MESSAGE, you can press the Menu key and select Delete Prior. That will delete ALL messages prior to that date.

Another thing you can do is hold down the SHIFT key and start rolling the trackball. You will select all messages from the starting point to the end point. Then you can press the Menu key and select Delete Messages.

Recently readers have mentioned they accidentally deleted an important message and wondered if they can recover them. You can’t. So, be sure to save (that’s another Menu option) important messages before you do any deleting.

Thanks for your compliments on the site. It makes it so worthwhile when I learn it has helped someone.

Jun 6, 2008 - 04:06:47

Your questions continue to force me to learn new things. Here’s the latest:

* If you have an Exception to allow through important calls (e.g., Girlfriend), and your Active Profile is Quiet, the call WILL come through (ring/vibrate/whatever you set)!

* If you have an Exception to allow through important calls (e.g., Girlfriend), and your Active Profile is Off, the caller ID will come up on the display with a choice of Answer or Ignore, but the phone will remain SILENT.

Personally, I really like how that works. What about you?

Katee says:
Jun 9, 2008 - 01:06:00

Hi Kelly,

Have you figured out a way to make new messages flash the green led instead of the red. Mine flashes green when the battery is low. Seems to both me and my husband that it should be opposite. Red for dead battery, green for go message. Great Site! Very informative!


Andrew says:
Jun 9, 2008 - 07:06:47


Thanks again for the helpful update. I agree; I like how the Quiet and Off profiles work together with Exceptions. I think heretofore I had been using Quiet essentially as Off.


Jun 9, 2008 - 08:06:35

There is a 3rd party program I keep hearing about called BlackBerry Alerts. It’s possible that it’s smart enough to use different colors for the LED.

In the early days of LEDs, red was the only color (at least for affordable LEDs). So, electronic designers probably are following a tradition that needs to be reconsidered, now that multicolor LEDs are common and cheap.

Thanks for your comment.

Darrin says:
Jun 12, 2008 - 01:06:57

I use Twitter a lot. I can’t seem to find a way to assign SMS messages from Twitter (40404) their own custom ring tone. I would like to be able to know whether I’m receiving a regular SMS message or a Twitter SMS. I tried adding Twitter to my contact list and assigning a custom ring tone, but my default notifier plays no matter what. Any thoughts?



Jun 12, 2008 - 08:06:28

Here’s what I would try: Create a Custom Profile just for Twitter. In that profile, set the tone you want for Twitter SMS Text. Then go back and set an Exception to use the Active Profile except for the Twitter contact. In that exceptional case, use the Twitter profile. I hope that works–please let me know.

eve says:
Jun 23, 2008 - 02:06:39

great blog.

thanks for taking the time.

didn’t know where to ask this question, but is there a way of increasing the RINGER’s volume higher than its factory setting?

also, is there a way to make sure there is a constant reminder (for text, voicemail etc.) whether the phone is on, or when it’s being powered up again?

Jun 23, 2008 - 09:06:31

Everyone complains that the Pearl’s ringer is not loud enough even at maximum volume. Personally, I think it’s because the Pearl speaker sounds bad when you go any higher, so RIM decided to limit how loud it can go. I’ve experimented with ringtones I made myself recorded to be extra-loud. It didn’t help any. The best you can do is select or download a ringtone with a higher pitch or something that sounds louder to your ear.

About the constant reminder, the closest feature to that is the flashing green LED showing you have a good signal. Many people do NOT like that because it slightly drains the battery, so they disable that feature.

eve says:
Jun 24, 2008 - 12:06:01


thanks so much for the lowdown and specs on the bb pearl’s lack of a pa system ;-)

oh, well, i’ll apply your great advice, and will continue to do what i always do: look at the phone whenever i’m not within earshot of it!



April Thompson says:
Jun 25, 2008 - 11:06:29


I saw the answers that your provided for Andrew’s questions, and I think my question may be along the same line or not.

When I go to Advanced under Profiles and scroll down to the “Use Active Profile Except for” section, I have Important Calls and then a list of names, and they are all checked. I am assuming these are the contacts with custom ringtones.

Here are my questions:
What exactly are “important calls?”
What would happen if I unchecked any of the names I mentioned above? Would I simply not hear the custom ringtone when they call?


Jun 25, 2008 - 01:06:11

You are correct that you are seeing contacts with custom ringtones listed as “exceptions.” If you uncheck them, you simply deactivate the exception so that calls from them will not be treated differently. They will NOT be ignored, just treated like any other caller.

The “Important Calls” is a built-in exception that you can edit to be any list of people you want. You highlight “Important Calls,” press Menu key, select Edit, and add/delete your contacts you want to consider “important” as a group. I use it for family members. You could use it for business clients, etc. Of course, you can create a totally separate group and name it anything you like.

Jason says:
Jun 26, 2008 - 09:06:44

My Girlfriends has a blackberry pearl, Now auto txt is messing up it on but not working. Is there away she can fix this. Or is the phone screwed and needs RMA it.

Jun 26, 2008 - 01:06:40

No, don’t return the phone. Do Options > Custom Dictionary. You can edit out all the mistakes, or you can clear the entire dictionary (as a last resort).

Jen says:
Jun 29, 2008 - 12:06:46

Hi Kelly, you’re site here is very informative…

I just bought a BB Pearl today, I’ve so far managed to get the ringers assigned… Placed all of my contacts from my old cell into the BB and think I have an understanding of the features w/i the BB…

My problem is music… I’ve installed, uninstalled, reinstalled, you name it to get the media manager and desktop software onto my PC so that I can connect my BB and transfer music to it so that I can have custom ringers and background pictures…

I do not have an SD card yet, and to be honest I’m starting to think I should just wait till I get one, I understand that the memory w/i the Pearl is limited, but I’d at least like to be able to transfer 1 song and 1 picture for now… Please help…

Jun 29, 2008 - 12:06:46

Your instincts are correct: you should get a microSD card as soon as possible. There just really isn’t enough memory on the phone itself to put many songs or videos on it. At least get an inexpensive microSD card, such as a 1GB for around $10-15.

What exactly isn’t working with your Desktop Manager software? Is it not recognizing your phone? Or does only the Media Manager not work? Many people complain about the Media Manager.

Although the Roxio Media Manager has worked OK for me, I usually just set the phone (with media card) to enable “mass storage mode” so I can just copy songs and videos straight to the media card. Let me know if you have questions about that.

Jen says:
Jun 29, 2008 - 01:06:13

You’re exactly right, it’s the Media Manager… I’ve found all of these neat applications but some of them want me to install on my PC and then move it to the BB via the Desktop Manager which refuses to work… Says Media Manager has stopped working and needs to close, or something like that… Currently I’m working on getting a trackball colour thing… The OTA I can’t seem to figure out so now I really need my manager to work…

Jun 29, 2008 - 03:06:53

Be aware that the trackball color app only works on the Pearl 8100. All other pearls can only do white light.

I understand now that your Media Manager is not working right. But you seem also to imply you can’t install apps. Have you read this article? It’s the single most popular article I’ve written, as almost everybody has the problem it describes. Let me know if you think that applies to your situation.

Jen says:
Jun 29, 2008 - 04:06:39

Hi thanks… Going to read that article after the one I’m currently on…

I can install apps if I can get them to my bb… I’ve found that if in a forum there’s an OTA I copy that page into an email, email my bb and find the OTA link within the website directly from the bb which is working now… The transfering pics and music from the PC to the bb is not working since the program won’t work … I’m not sure if it’s due to Vista or not…

How do you remove applications?? And themes??

Also I’m reading the getting started thread and found out about the D’s beside text msgs… I scrolled through all of mine and all I see is a check mark, no D?

I found out that I couldn’t use the colour track ball app through forums as well… :( Maybe they will bring one for the 8130… I like to pretty up my phones… I tried a theme but ended up not liking it so I’m just going to change the wallpaper and leave the theme alone… Thanks!

Jen says:
Jun 29, 2008 - 05:06:45

Hi there, I have another question about signatures on SMS msgs… I’ve read your reply about this, typing the msg and then typing sig This sends the word sig and not what I’ve changed my owner thing to… Did I misunderstand the explanation????

Jun 29, 2008 - 06:06:12

About “sig”: Your Pearl should have in its AutoText list (do Options > AutoText) an entry for “sig” and have it defined as “%O”. If that’s not in your AutoText list, it won’t work. If it is, when you type “sig” (without the quotes), then press SPACE or ENTER, it will replace it with your “Owner” text.

You can delete apps by doing Options > Advanced Options > Applications > (highlight an app) > (press Menu key) > Delete. Be careful not do delete anything unless you’re certain, since you’re having trouble installing apps.

Downloaded themes can be deleted just like they are an app, as described above. But the name of the theme in the app list may be hard to identify. You may have to to do View Properties to be more certain.

Themes can take up a lot of memory, so delete any you know you’ll never use.

The 8130 can never have a colored trackball because it has only a white LED behind the trackball. The 8100 have several different-colored LEDs.

Jen says:
Jun 29, 2008 - 07:06:44

Right so I have the signature working so long as I remember to type in the “code” for it… I created one kind of like the one girl mentioned tricking the auto text into smileys… ** is now my signature…

Removed that theme that I ended up not liking so that’s good…

I love this site, it’s been so informative… I’m pretty much managed to answer all of my questions within it….

Will post more questions in the future I’m sure!! Thanks again!

Marcell says:
Jun 30, 2008 - 04:06:19


Allthough I have a custom active profile, and all it’s notifications are set to vibe+tone, suddenly the device is doing neither one. I can receive calls, e-mails, and all notifications, however no sound or vibrate alerts are achieved. It shouldn’t be a problem with the speaker or the vibrate function, since I tested them other ways and they work. I wonder what is going on. It is frustrating to keep the device at eyesight. Any help????

Thanks in advance…

Jun 30, 2008 - 09:06:13

It’s always easy to try a battery pull (remove, wait, replace, wait for reboot). If the phone just had a temporary failure, it might recover. It’s hard to explain any other way.

If the above doesn’t work, I’d try deleting the custom profile and rebuilding it.

I got fooled for a while one day when I had set a custom profile that played a tune on my media card. I removed the media card and forgot to replace it. When my phone rang, it played the wrong tune. Naturally, the phone reverted to a default ring tone since it couldn’t find the tune on the missing media card. I don’t see how that could be your problem, though.

Let me know what happens if you try the suggestions above.

Justin says:
Jul 7, 2008 - 03:07:48

can you set a custom ringtone for a sms text message?

Jul 7, 2008 - 04:07:56

You can edit a profile to set a custom tone for SMS for all callers, but you cannot set a custom SMS tone for any one particular caller. It would be nice, but it’s not possible on a BlackBerry currently (unless you buy some 3rd-party program that might do it).

Joseph Logue says:
Jul 29, 2008 - 01:07:29

How do I set the Blackberry Pearl to ignore calls while I am navigating? (vz navigator)

Jul 29, 2008 - 03:07:27

I don’t subscribe to VZ Navigator, so if it offers an option, I don’t know about it. For the Pearl itself, the best suggestion I can think of is to set the Profile to Off. Your phone wouldn’t notify you of anything. But when you stop using VZ Navigator, you’d have to remember to change the profile back.

Joseph Logue says:
Jul 29, 2008 - 04:07:37

Thank You!!!

Zach says:
Aug 11, 2008 - 03:08:29

I have accidentlly erased blackberry messenger from my menu but it is still on the phone how do i get it back? Whenever I try to download it again it tells me I do not meet system requirements?

Aug 11, 2008 - 04:08:36

Where exactly did you erase it from? You didn’t just hide it on the Home Screen, did you? If so, you can similarly “unhide” it.

If you deleted it at Options > Advanced Options > Applications, then it’s gone. To restore it, you have to download and install your “Device Software” from your wireless carrier’s download site. Then you can use Desktop Manager to restore it. It’s somewhat complicated, so I can give full instructions in this tiny comment box. In essence what you’re doing is downloading all the software that would normally come on your phone, and making it accessible to Desktop Manager. This same mechanism is used if you wipe your phone totally clean and reinstall everything. But in your case you’re just reinstalling one application.

Let me know how you proceed, and if you have any problems.

Mo Parekh says:
Aug 18, 2008 - 12:08:21


I bought 8130 Pearl few months ago. I am not that much happy with it. First thing the ringer volume is very low and other thing i can hear only three rings and then it goes to the voice mail. Is there any way i can get more rings on my phone?

Lauren says:
Sep 22, 2008 - 01:09:17

When I set up the personalized ringtones for people, when it’s put on silent, those still ring. I then go to the checkbox underneath to take them off when its on silent, but then it unchecks the box for all of the profiles, so when they call it still rings like everyone else.

Is there a way to have them set to where their ringtones play when its on normal or loud, but when it’s on vibrate or silent to not play?

Yoshi says:
Oct 10, 2008 - 01:10:33

Hey Kelly, I have a few questions about this phone, and after reading all the Q&A’s this site, I’m hoping that I too will become fortunate enough to gain helpful advice.

1. Sometimes when I’m receiving a call, no matter what setting the ringer is on, it won’t ring at all; instead, an hourglass will appear on the screen. Afterwards, my phone will tell me that I missed a call, and when I click on “view” so that I can see who called, it won’t show the number, at all– not even on the “call log”. Doe this have something to do with my memory amount on my phone?

2. I’ve only had this phone for a little over a month, and when I got it, I installed Yahoo IM to it. My problem with this is that whenever I try and log on to it, it says that it can’t connect to the network; however my internet is fine. In order for me to be able to use Yahoo IM, I have to go online and basically use it as a web page– as a result, I’m not able to hear when Im’ receiving an IM, I judst have to look click on “refresh” and then the page will load back up and that’s how I’ll know if I have rec’d an IM.

3. The last question (so far) is that when my ringer DOES DECIDE TO WORK, it will only ring when my active profile is on “normal”. Whenever I set it to “loud” it jsut vibrates, but no ring. What’s’ going on here?

Oct 10, 2008 - 09:10:22

1. Almost any time you see the hourglass pop up, it means your phone is short on memory. If your phone is a Pearl, this is a well-known issue. You really need to read my article on memory problems: Also, you should read my article on SoftReset: Before you struggle much longer with this ringer problem, do a battery pull (remove battery, wait a while, replace battery, wait for it to recover). That will clear up your free memory to the maximum amount. See if you phone works better after that.

2. I haven’t used Yahoo IM, so I’m not sure I can help much. Are you sure you have set Yahoo IM to log in to your registered account? Double-check your username and password. As a last resort, delete the app, then download and install it again.

3. If addressing your probably memory problem hasn’t already corrected your ringer problem, check your Notification Profiles, such as Loud. Make sure you have the Loud profile set to ring and not just vibrate. Make sure the volume is set to High.

If my suggestions above are not clear, please return and ask more questions.

Andrew says:
Oct 21, 2008 - 02:10:30


I’d like to do the following, though it would appear I can’t with native BB features. Can you think of an easy way to do this either with native features or with some add-on application?

I’d like to have an “Important Callers” group that has the following behavior: If active profile is “Normal,” then have the phone ring + vibrate for those callers in the exception group. If the active profile is “Vibrate” or “Quiet,” then have the phone vibrate for those callers in the exception group.

The problem is this: If you have an exception group (or custom ringtone) configured for a caller(s), switching to “Vibrate” will still cause the phone to ring for those callers. If I switch the phone to vibrate, it’s probably because I don’t want the phone making noises (e.g. I’m in a meeting). So, it’s always a two step process: (1) Switch active profile to Vibrate, (2) Turn off exception group.

Likewise, if I created two exception groups, “Important Callers – Normal” & “Important Callers – Ring,” I could switch back and forth depending on whether my active profile is “Normal” (then I’d want the former) or “Vibrate” or “Quiet” (then I’d want the latter). But, that’s just a nuisance and I’d be likely to forget at some point and end up either missing calls or having the phone ring at inappropriate times.

Anyway, I’d be curious if you could think of any clever solutions. Maybe it’s just a design oversight by RIM that they should address in a future release.


Oct 22, 2008 - 06:10:37

I’m going to need some time to analyze precisely what you’re trying to achieve. I’ll need to construct a so-called “truth table” (if you’ve ever heard of that; they are used in mathematical logic, as well as in digital electronic circuit design). You may need to clarify for me how you want your phone to behave when a non-important caller calls, so I can complete all the entries in the truth table.

Come back soon, or “poke” me to remind me to formulate an answer to your very interesting question.

Andrew says:
Oct 22, 2008 - 11:10:15


I’m not familiar with truth tables, but I’ll try to clarify what I’d like to be able to do:

Premise: I always want to be notified of an incoming call from my “Important Caller” group unless my active profile is set to Off.

Basic Idea: If the profile is Normal, I want the “Important Caller” to ring (possibly with a special ringtone and possibly vibrate too). If the profile is Vibrate or Quiet, I want the “Important Caller” to vibrate. If the profile is set to Vibrate or Quiet, it’s because I’m in a situation where an audible alert would be inappropriate. If it’s set to Vibrate, I obviously am fine with calls from anyone causing my phone to vibrate. If it’s set to Quiet, I don’t want to be interrupted UNLESS it’s a call from an Important Caller.

Only way I know to do this: Create two “Important Caller” exceptions: (1) “Important Caller – Ring” and (2) “Important Caller – Vibrate.” When my active profile is Normal, turn on the “Important Caller – Ring” exception and the phone will play the custom ringtone. (Note, if I didn’t care about having a custom ringtone for Important Callers, I would not need the “Important Caller – Ring” exception.) When my active profile is Vibrate or Quiet, first turn off “Important Caller – Ring” and then turn on “Important Caller – Vibrate.”

The above process seems like it would work, but it is also a nuisance because it creates extra steps. Worse, it makes it likely I’ll forget, which could cause one of two problems: (1) I’m in a meeting so I switch my active profile to Vibrate, but I forget to also switch my exception from “Important Caller – Ring” to “Important Caller – Vibrate.” As a result, if someone in my exception group calls during the meeting, my phone will ring and embarrass me and annoy my colleagues. (2) I’m in a meeting so I switch my active profile to Quiet and I remember to switch my exception from “Important Caller – Ring” to “Important Caller – Vibrate.” When the meeting is over, I switch the active profile back to Normal and go home. I go to my bedroom and empty my pockets, putting my phone on my desk and go to the kitchen to cook dinner. But, because I forgot to turn off “Important Caller – Vibrate” and turn on “Important Caller – Ring,” I won’t hear if an important caller calls me because the phone will vibrate for that caller (though it would ring for all my unimportant callers).

While the above process might not seem like that big of a nuisance, the difficulty would be magnified to the ridiculous/impossible if I had multiple exceptions or if I wanted to have custom ringtones associated with my contacts. This seems to be a serious flaw in RIM’s design: I can’t use custom ringtones because switching to Vibrate will not make incoming calls vibrate for people who have custom ringtones. This is surely NOT the behavior most people want or expect and is not how most cell phones work. When people set their cell phone to vibrate, they except it won’t make sounds–whether or not the person calling has a custom ringtone.

It’s hard to think of times when I would set my phone to Vibrate but want people with a custom ringtone or some other exception group to ring out loud. On the other hand, it’s easy to think of times when I would want to not be disturbed at all but might still want important callers to either ring or vibrate (hence the Quiet profile).

I guess what I’d like is 5 base settings (with the ability to create additional custom profiles):
(1) Normal: All calls play default ringtone or the custom ringtone associated with the caller
(2) Vibrate: All calls vibrate regardless of exceptions or custom ringtones (which I know are also just exceptions) [As an aside, I think custom ringtones should be differentiated from other exceptions in some way.]
(3) Quiet w/ Ring: All calls are silenced except people in a defined exception group, which ring normally
(4) Quiet w/ Vibrate: All calls are silenced except people in a defined exception group (same as above), which vibrate
(5) Off (True Quiet): Phone doesn’t ring or vibrate for any caller, period. [Also known to attorneys as the I’m-in-court-and-if-the-phone-makes-a-sound-the-judge-will-fine-me setting.]

I’d still want other profiles too, such as Phone Only (which acts like Normal but only alerts for phone calls) and Loud (which acts like Normal but increases the volume of the ring and vibrates—useful setting for sporting events). One might also want a Soft (which acts like Normal but decreases the volume of the ring–perhaps useful at night when you don’t want calls to wake others).

No hurry, but I’d be curious to read your thoughts on this. My intuition tells me that the behavior I’ve described is what most people would expect and want. (I wonder how many new BB users have created a custom ringtone for a special someone–spouse, kid, etc.–and been surprised and embarrassed when the custom ringtone played when they were in a meeting/class and had the phone set to Vibrate?)


P.S. In case you didn’t notice from my e-mail address, I’m the Andrew who originally commented on this article and mentioned in the postscript. … Great work; love the site! Upon your review, I got Aerize Alerts and love it–such an obvious but overlooked feature!
P.P.S. In case it makes a difference somehow, I have the Pearl 8130.

Oct 22, 2008 - 09:10:20

I’m working on your problem. I’m mapping all your caller types and profiles against the behaviors you want in a truth table (a matrix, basically) to make sure I clearly understand what you want. You certainly have given me plenty of detail, which is nice. I may need to play around with some ideas for a while before I get back with some kind of an answer.

I really appreciate your loyalty to the site and returning to stay involved. I’m especially pleased you read and acted on the Aerize Alerts article. I’m on a roll writing articles after a very long hiatus due to work and personal pressures. I love writing and experimenting with my BlackBerry Pearl and Curve (…still waiting on Verizon to get the Bold).

Check back later, or look for an email from me.

Oct 22, 2008 - 10:10:50

I think your analysis is sound, and I agree that the solution you came up with is probably impractical. And I agree that RIM’s Notification Profile is way too complicated and not well thought out.

I thought of a way that could work that might be less prone to error but maybe impractical for a different reason:

1. Create a Custom Profile that would vibrate for all callers that aren’t in an exception.
2. ALWAYS set that one Custom Profile. NEVER change it. Instead of changing PROFILES when your situation changes, choose a different EXCEPTION (one and only one at a time).
3. Create an Exception: Important_Callers_Ring. Add the names of all “important” contacts.
4. Create an Exception: Important_Callers_Vibrate. Add the names of all important contacts.
5. Create an Exception: All_Callers_Ring. Add all contacts to this list.
6. Create an Exception: All_Callers_Quiet. Add all contacts to this list.

Adding the contacts to these lists would be brutal if you have many contacts, so that might kill this idea’s practicality.

But if you could live with this, you would have to retrain yourself to not change Active Profile, but simply select the one exception you need in a given situation. For Exceptions that filter out Important Callers, you’ll get vibration for other callers, but for Important Callers you’ll get either Ring (or Ring+Vibrate if that’s what you prefer) or Vibrate based on which exception you choose. For regular situations, you don’t filter out Important Callers but treat all callers the same: either Ring or Quiet. In terms of keystrokes, it’s almost as efficient as changing profiles (one click more). I don’t think it would be very prone to error–you just have to remember to deselect one exception and select another one.

Do you think this would be worth the effort?

Andrew says:
Oct 23, 2008 - 10:10:37


That’s an interesting solution. The downside, as you mention, is having to manually one-by-one add contacts to the exception groups. In my case, I sync my BB with Outlook and have hundreds of contacts and it simply wouldn’t be practical. It would be better if there was a way to tie exceptions to categories. It’d still be a nightmare, but less so if I could use my already existing categories in Outlook to control the exceptions.

I suspect there is no practical way to do what I want to do without a third-party application or an upgrade to the OS.

The main thing I wish I could do is: be able to switch from a Normal profile (wherein I could have custom ringtones assigned to callers) to a Vibrate All setting where the phone only vibrates, period.

I wonder if a third-party application could be developed (perhaps called “Vibrate All” or “Force Vibrate” or something) that would make all calls vibrate regardless of exceptions. It could be a simple application that you could toggle on and off. In the Off state, incoming calls would be processed in the regular fashion using the active profile and exceptions. In the On state, the application would override all notification settings and vibrate only for all incoming calls/sms/e-mails/etc. (Probably you’d want to be able to configure how it handled SMS and e-mail separately.)

Any chance you might branch out into application writing? ;-)

As always, thanks for taking the time to reply. I don’t think your clever solution will work for me, but perhaps it would be more feasible for readers with fewer contacts.


Oct 24, 2008 - 04:10:50

I don’t think my solution is practical, either. I really appreciate your bringing to light this shortcoming. I’ve recently been in high-visibility meetings, one with a former US President, where cell phones went off. It’s just inexcusable! Except that cell phone manufacturers don’t necessarily make it easy on us. We all really need to be able to simply and reliabily control our cell phone’s ringing (notification) behavior. Maybe we should draft a letter to RIM with our suggestions!!

MAK says:
Nov 5, 2008 - 06:11:44

Thanks fr the wondeful info. I have one question: I selected the do not disturb profile then I created an exception for my family and added there names. I selected the normal profile within the exception and highlted the exception. I should not get any phone calls except from my family however I get all calls normally from all people outside my family. Do you know the reason?


Nov 7, 2008 - 07:11:47

I can’t tell for sure how you set things up, but here’s how I would do it:

1. Add all your family contacts to the built-in exception named “Important Calls.”
2. For Important Calls, set the Active Profile to be Loud or Normal (depending on your preference). You set that by doing Profiles > Advanced > (highlight Important Calls) > (press Menu key) > Edit > Use Profile.
3. Check the Important Calls exception so it is activated.
4. Select a profile like Quiet so you won’t be disturbed unless the caller is on the Important Calls list.
5. Don’t use the Do Not Disturb Setting.

There is certainly more than one way of achieving what you want to do, but I think the above is the most straightforward. Let me know if that still doesn’t work for you.

MAK says:
Nov 7, 2008 - 02:11:33

Kelly, this should work but the idea is that I do not want the caller to hear a ring at all (other than family). I am so surprised that the exception with do not disturb did not work. did you try before and did it wok? let me know if you have any ideas.


Nov 7, 2008 - 09:11:58

I’m having trouble understanding what you mean. The Do Not Disturb setting is not part of a exception. It’s a temporary setting to prevent your active profile from allowing calls to come through. I don’t think you should try to use it the way you are. I don’t think you should use it at all for what you’re trying to do. I think it’s only useful when you want to stop phone calls but allow other kinds of messages (e.g., text, email) to come through. Don’t use it to try to filter calls except your family. Try another way, like my suggestion.

MAK says:
Nov 7, 2008 - 10:11:25

thanks kelly, so you are saying it is not possible to filter callers, some get voice mail and some get the call run through. That is weired , I was told it works in BB. That is why the do not disturb is there and I was hoping to assign an exception to it to make the filtering.

Thanks anyway for you help. Let me know if your here is this is possible any time later.

HSCharles says:
Nov 14, 2008 - 06:11:34

I have a flash website
i’m looking for the script who makes google ads with flash.
do you know this script?

Nov 15, 2008 - 09:11:52

I don’t know about combining Google ads with Flash–haven’t heard of, or looked into, that. There are zillions of sites with free scripts. Googling for that should reveal what, if anything, is available.

Please ask me a BlackBerry question next time, where I have at least a fighting chance of looking smart! ;-)

Bradon says:
Nov 18, 2008 - 07:11:58

I have a question, how do i get a sig to appear without me having to type sig into the keyboard everytime? And i also don’t have internet (email)

Nov 19, 2008 - 10:11:54

This is an AutoText feature: type %O then press the SPACE key. That’s a “percent capital letter O”. See my article on AutoText for more info:

It shouldn’t matter if you don’t have an Internet plan.

Monica says:
Dec 1, 2008 - 12:12:02

i’m having problems with my notification profiles. I will have everything on vibrate and so no sound should be coming out or completely silent and no vibrate too and for some reason this annoying sound will occur after it vibrates. I’ve checked over and over again in my profiles and cant understand why this is happening.

Dec 1, 2008 - 01:12:25

Is the “annoying sound” not one of the sounds that is installed on your phone? If not, then it may be a defect in your phone–bad speaker, some loose part that resonates with the vibration to make a strange sound. (Maybe the battery cover is loose?) You can determine whether the sound is coming from an actual sound file by playing all (yes, all) of the sounds on your phone using the Media app. If you can’t hear the same sound there, you probably have a defective phone. If you CAN locate the sound file, that will give you a name to look for in your Notification Profile settings.

Please let me know how this works out.

Melenie says:
Dec 6, 2008 - 03:12:25


I’ve read through this tutorial, and wanted to ask a related question.

I’ve assigned one ringtone for my husband, a second for my friends, a third for my family, and a fourth for my siblings. In other words, each member of my family had a custom ringtone set up as part of their contact info. I noticed when I’m setting up profiles, the exceptions list those contacts automatically based on the ringtones I have set for them. In other words, I have an exceptions list with items like “Home, Matt” (my husband) and “Amy, Heather, Jeff” (my siblings). When I check the boxes to enable my exceptions, their custome ringtones do indeed override the profile ringtone. Hoever, the exception also applies to any SMS, MMS, or Blackberry Messenger alerts for these people. I have different tones selected in the profile for each type of message (SMS, email, Messenger, etc.) but they all go quiet if the incoming message is from an “Exception” contact.

Is this an Exception thing, or am I missing something?

Thanks for your help.


Dec 6, 2008 - 04:12:09

Having set the custom ringtones and other sounds for each individual, don’t explicitly set (check the checkboxes of) the exceptions you find in the exception list. I have never done that. Yes, custom ringtones are implemented and reflected as exceptions, but there is no need to also enable those exceptions explicitly. RIM’s design of Notification Profiles is not good, in my opinion. It’s overly complex and somewhat illogical in ways.

Please let me know if my suggestion helps.

Chad says:
Dec 29, 2008 - 01:12:50

Nice website — I am having an issue which should be very simple, but obviously I am missing something — I am simply trying to set up notification exception so everyone in my exception list (EMAIL, not phone) will sound/vibrate, and everyone else via email will make no sounds.

Easy enough — set messages notification to OFF for normal profile (active).

Create exception for myself as test — use High importance profile, which has messages set to tone+vibrate

Send email to myself, always uses the normal profile, never hits the exception??? Thoughts?

Dec 29, 2008 - 05:12:54

Let me make sure I understand what you want to do: You want to add a number of your contacts to an exception. You want calls and emails from those contacts to cause a ring/vibrate. But everyone else you want emails to cause no ring or vibrate–just silence.

I believe it will work like you want if you set it up correctly. Here’s what I did–just for your question–to verify that it can work:

1. I set my phone to use the Normal profile. I checked the tones used by Normal to make sure they were different from those to be used for my exception. In your case, you want it set for emails to use None instead of tones or vibration.
2. I created an Exception that I named High Importance. I set it to use the Loud (you could choose any, including a custom) profile which has a distinctive ringtone that I want for emails from High Importance contacts.
3. I added myself to the High Importance list of contacts. I checked that a certain email address, let’s call it Kelly1, was included in my entry to the Address Book.
4. I logged in to that email account and sent an email to a separate email account that my phone is registered to accept emails from, let’s call it Kelly2.
5. When my BlackBerry received a message from the Kelly2 account, and saw that it came from Kelly1–an address that matched a contact in the High Importance exception, it caught the exception and used the distinctive ringtone of the Loud profile. Just like I wanted.

So, it can work if set up right. I think you were trying to do the right thing but some detail must have been wrong. I’m assuming you do have an entry for YOURSELF in your Address Book, and that it includes the same email address you’re sending FROM in your test case. Check that again.

BTW–I think the Notification Profile feature of the BlackBerry is poorly designed. Too complicated to be used easily, and to be so complex, still can’t do what everyone wants it to do.

Chad says:
Dec 29, 2008 - 05:12:55

Thanks Kelly, that’s exactly what I had done but it still didn’t work properly — but you helped me figure out WHY! Our companies contact lists sync’d up to my BB just fine, BUT the email address listing is some weird nomenclature as opposed to generic

So even though my BB recognized contacts in email, EXCEPTIONS in notifications did not recognize that weird nomenclature of email address and didn’t match.

Type over it with the generic email address for each contact and wallah! all fixed. So I was doing it correctly all along, but the email address/contact sync with my co. was weird.

One more question since I have your attention — this (exceptions) seems limited to just contacts…is there a way to notify just on subject or “high importance” marked emails or something similar? Obviously I can filter those, but say I want to ring on all emails marked HIGH IMPORTANCE, and not on those that don’t? Sort of a filter and notification exception merge?

thanks for your help/ideas!


Dec 29, 2008 - 07:12:36

So glad you figured it out. Sounded like you knew what you were doing–it just took some digging to flush out the problem.

For more elaborate filtering and notification, I think you need a 3rd party application. Honestly, I don’t know what to recommend without doing more research. That might make an interesting article for me to do in the future. I already have quite a backlog of articles I’m working on, so I can’t get to that real soon. However, if you do some research and give me a heads-up on what you find, that would be extremely helpful. At the least I could try/buy a promising email app if you find one.

Although it’s not precisely what you’re looking for, have you read my review of Aerize Email Alerts? It’s a pretty good app that lets you view a pop-up alert when emails come in. That’s one way of allowing emails to come to your attention, say in a meeting, without an obnoxious tone sounding (unless you want one).

Stay in touch!

Nicole says:
Jan 15, 2009 - 06:01:44

I want to set a ringtone so that when my friends text me the ringtone goes off, but i donk know how I do that. Can you help me?

Jan 16, 2009 - 07:01:26

Well, you’re in the right place. The article above explains how you can do that. I recommend you use the Important Calls exception for your special friends you text with. Edit the Important Calls exception to add each of those friends. Then edit the Important Calls settings to use the ringtone/alert/notification sound that you want for SMS/Text messages. Also set what you want for phone calls, MMS (pix/flix) messages, etc. Let me know if the article above doesn’t make that clear enough, and tell me where you’re getting stuck.

lori says:
Jan 16, 2009 - 04:01:19

I have a BB Curve 8330. I have custom ringtones for husband, parents, kids and siblings. When I get a text message from them the right ringtone rings. Than when I get a standard text for someone I don’t have a custome tone for the ringtone that comes up is the last custom ringtone used. So if I get a text from my brother and than after that I get a text from someone else my brother’s ringtone is the one that is used. I don’t know what is going on but this is my second BB Curve and this is the 2nd time it’s happened. I even got a new battery hoping it would help it but still does the same thing. Any ideas?

Jan 16, 2009 - 11:01:40

Sounds like a software bug in the operating system (OS), but I’m not sure why it’s not happening to other people. Or is it?

If your Curve OS doesn’t have the most recent OS, you could consider updating.

When in doubt, change something! Try changing the sound for text messages for the default profile, if only for a while to test. See if you can’t enlist a couple of people from your custom and not-custom groups to do a quick test for you. See if the problem remains. Maybe the problem is associated with the particular sound you chose for non-special text messages (as crazy as that sounds).

Please let me know how this works out.

Hope says:
Jan 17, 2009 - 10:01:49

Hello i have a blackjack1 and when i have a incoming message the tone keeps playing. How do i make that stop.

Jan 18, 2009 - 03:01:48

The BlackJack isn’t a BlackBerry, so I have no expertise on that brand or model of phone. Try a web site like and locate the forum on BlackJacks. Start here: Hope you find a solution.

Greg says:
Feb 22, 2009 - 09:02:41

Great site, just got the thing today and would like a simple ring for everyone. The one it comes with is terrible. How do I do this and where do you find the ring choices?? Thanks

Greg says:
Feb 22, 2009 - 09:02:59

scratch that found it

Feb 22, 2009 - 10:02:56

Glad you found what you were looking for.

Debbie says:
May 12, 2009 - 01:05:26

I can no longer her the beeps on my call waiting after the 4.5 software upgrade it is so low in volumne I miss half the calls. Any ideas… everything else works fine.

May 13, 2009 - 12:05:08

The “beeps” you hear from call waiting are coming from the network, not from your phone. The OS upgrade really shouldn’t have anything to do with it–theoretically. The only way to know for sure would be to downgrade to the old OS and test (which would be a royal pain). I can’t think of any phone setting that could be changed to make it better. If it’s truly the OS to blame, there may be a future update that will fix it…maybe.

Craig says:
May 20, 2009 - 09:05:14

I have a quick question. Whenever i create a meeting in the calendar and invite other the emails they receive comes from my yahoo email. I have 3 emails in the blackberry: hotmail, gmail and yahoo. How can I change the email associated with a calendar entry?


May 20, 2009 - 01:05:25

Go into Options > Advanced Options > Default Services. You should be able to set which email is the default for use with your Calendar app. Let me know if that doesn’t work for you.

craig says:
May 20, 2009 - 05:05:28

unfortunately it did not work

May 21, 2009 - 08:05:42

May I ask how you tested it? Did you add a new calendar entry and invite someone after you changed the default email for calendar? It surely seems that that should have worked.

craig says:
May 25, 2009 - 08:05:00

that is exactly what i did. it is so frustrating

May 25, 2009 - 10:05:01

I assume the new email address is set up properly (e.g., correct username/password). I’m wonder if it’s not being used because it’s failing to connect or something. Or some other issue with that account. I’d exercise that account to make sure it’s working (you probably already have, but I felt I needed to suggest something). Also, when in doubt, do a battery pull and try again.

Lisa says:
Jul 23, 2009 - 05:07:21

Hi Kelly, I’ve read this whole page and first want to say thanks for taking the time to help us all out. Second there are two things I’m trying to accomplish with my new BB Pearl 8230 that I believe you’ve covered above but I can’t quite get mastered.

Problem 1: For my Outlook email acct my computer shows all of my messages as read whether they have been or not. Only my phone shows them as unread if I haven’t opened them yet. When I’m at work, I really need my computer to be the master and the phone to be secondary. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong here? I’ve checked and re-checked my settings with no success.

Problem 2: My boyfriend just got deployed :-( I don’t want to miss any communications from him whether this be a phone call, email or instant message. I’ve tried to set him up as an exception but think I’m doing something wrong. Is there a way I can make this happen so that when he calls, emails or IM’s I’m notified but that any other emails or IM’s are silenced. He’s the only one I want to know if I get an email from at 3:00 am.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Jul 23, 2009 - 09:07:59

Problem 1: There are many questions I could ask that might provide some clues for me, but I’ll just ask a few. First, if your phone is a corporate phone that works in conjunction with a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), I would need to know that. I’m guessing your phone is personal and works with your carrier’s BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS). Next, Outlook can be set up to read mail from almost anywhere. Often it’s a corporate Microsoft Exchange email server, but it can be almost any other kind of email server (using something called POP or IMAP protocols). Anything you can tell me about where Outlook is getting its email from would help.

Problem 2: I certainly want to do my part to support a US soldier (who I know is eager to stay in touch with his “girl”). What I would do is create a custom profile just for him: ringtone for phone calls, tone/sound for email, IM, etc. Then, I’d edit the Important Persons to (a) include him and only him (from the Address Book, which must include all phone numbers and email addresses he might use to contact you), (b) use the custom profile set up just for him, and (c) in Profiles > Advanced, enable the “Use Active Profile Except for: Important Calls.” It may take a lot of “clicks” to set all that up. I hope my article series provides the basics on how to do that; it would be difficult to repeat all the instructions in this little reply box. But I’ll hang with you till you get it set up right, if you’re willing to go back-and-forth as many times as it takes. (BTW–getting an alert from IM that doesn’t use BlackBerry Messenger is a different story, and depends on what IM platform you/he use.)

If you prefer to email me directly instead of using this web page, you can contact me at kellydcarter AT yahoo DOT com.

Corie says:
Jul 25, 2009 - 05:07:32

Kelly, Thanks again for sharing all your knowledge. I have a bb curve 8300 (my first bb). I too have read the entire page and just need a quick clarification. It is my understanding from this page that I can not receive a different notification to differ between a text, email, & phone call from the same person. For example, I have a custom ring tone for my husband, but I’d like to know whether it’s a phone call or a text before I go running for the phone. From my understanding, I cannot do this without adding a 3rd party application, right? Thanks again. Your information has been invaluable.

Jul 25, 2009 - 07:07:01

Well, there is a way if you only want that for one person. You would need to set up a custom profile just for that “special person.” Add that person (and ONLY that person or persons who you want for this special notification) to the “Important Calls” exception. Then set that custom profile (rather than the Active profile) to be used for Important Callers. I describe that reasonably well in this particular series of articles, but ask me more if you still have questions. But, you are right, that to have this feature for many callers, you need 3rd party software.

Andrew says:
Jul 26, 2009 - 10:07:58

Hey Kelly,

I made a discovery I’d like to share with you regarding Exceptions. (Maybe it’s obvious, but I didn’t figure it out until just now.)

In each Exception, there are two settings (aside from the contacts included in the exception): (1) Use Profile, (2) Custom Phone Tune. The Custom Phone Tune specifies a different ringtone to be used with the profile selected in Use Profile.

Thus, if the profile selected in Use Profile doesn’t play the ringtone, the ringtone won’t play. For example, if the Use Profile is Vibrate, the Custom Phone Tune will not play and the phone will vibrate.

Moreover, if the Use Profile is “Active Profile”, then whether or not the Custom Phone Tune will play depends on whatever profile is currently active on the phone. (If the currently selected profile–the Active Profile–is Vibrate, it will behave as above, if it’s Silent, it won’t vibrate or ring.)

Again, maybe this is obvious, but I didn’t figure this detail of interaction between the two options in Exceptions.

Alas, I still have not figure out an easy way to have calls from a contact (or set of contacts) automatically vibrate if the active profile is Silent but ring if the active profile is Normal. After all, what would really make Important Calls helpful is if I could set my phone to Silent when in a meeting/class/church but still have the phone vibrate if an urgent call comes in, and then when the meeting is over switch the phone to Normal and have calls from Important Calls automatically ring instead of just vibrate. I could do it as a two step process, but that’s a nuisance and also annoying because the Home Screen doesn’t show the status of Exceptions. [I could create an Important Calls exception and set it to Use Profile "Vibrate" and then turn that on whenever I switch the phone to Silent and then turn it off whenever I set the phone back to Normal.] The problem is that just by looking at the Home Screen, I have no way of knowing whether I remembered to turn on or off my Important Calls vibrate exception.

Andrew from the PostScripts

Jul 27, 2009 - 12:07:38

First, it’s great to hear back from you again. Hope you’ve been well.

This has been a fairly hot topic recently. Some readers corresponded with me directly via email so the full discussion is not on the site.

What I have recommended as the only way to handle situations generally like yours is to create a custom profile for Important Calls that rings or vibrates the way you want, and to set the Use Profile in the Important Calls exception to use that customer profile. But you’re right that you have no “at a glance” indication of whether you have enabled the Important Calls exception or not.

BTW–a trick I use for meetings is the In-Holster/Out-of-Holster profile settings. I slide my phone in or out of its sleeve (the one with the embedded magnet that triggers the in/out sensor) to determine if I want the phone to interrupt me in a meeting or not. If it’s in the sleeve, it doesn’t disrupt the meeting. But if it’s out of the sleeve, it’s OK to be disrupted. There’s probably a clever way to use that in conjunction with the Important Calls exception, but I haven’t thought that through carefully.

morgan says:
Sep 4, 2009 - 08:09:23

hello, my blackberry curve, has decided not to vibrate. I have put it on the profile and it still hasnt done it.It just keeps it silent. I also tried pullin the battery out while it was on. Still doesnt work.. What do I do?

Sep 8, 2009 - 12:09:51

Is anything else not working correctly, as far as you know? If not, and a battery pull didn’t fix it, then either your profile is set wrong or your phone’s vibrator is defective. First, look to see which profile you have active, such as Loud or Normal. Then, go edit that profile and make sure that vibration is turned on (both for in and out of holster). Also, remember that there are separate settings for phone, messages, etc. Check the setting for phone calls, emails, text messages, etc. before you conduct a test to see if the vibration works. Otherwise, you may set vibration for phone calls but test vibration using an email and think it’s not working. Let me know how it goes.

sandrar says:
Sep 10, 2009 - 07:09:42

Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

Corrie says:
Sep 15, 2009 - 03:09:21

Hi. I just recently set my first custom ringtone for a friend who I’m waiting for a “new baby” call from. :) Since I’ve done that, my phone ALWAYS vibrates 2 times then rings very quietly for any other calls. It’s set on LOUD profile. The ring volume is set to High and Tone only. I’ve done several battery pulls after turning the phone off. Is there any thing you can think of that would cause this? I still want to be able to hear all my calls and not just my custom one.

craig says:
Sep 22, 2009 - 09:09:07


I am interested in reading arabic language in blackberry pearl S/W 4.5

do you know anything about how to activate this language

thanks sir?

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.