Use Bluetooth to Backup, Restore, or Synchronize Your BlackBerry

Bluetooth_logoWhen I purchased my BlackBerry Storm, I was annoyed to discover that it uses a different USB cable than my other BlackBerry models. So, I wondered if I couldn’t use Bluetooth to connect to my phones, instead. I discovered that I could, and what limitations there are…

Your Computer and Bluetooth

In case you don’t know, Bluetooth is a technology that allows you to connect two devices without a cable. For example, you can use Bluetooth to connect your mobile phone to an earpiece, your mobile phone to a GPS receiver, or your computer to your mobile phone.

Not all computers, whether desktop or laptop, come with Bluetooth capability built-in. None of my computers do, so I had to purchase a Bluetooth adapter, often referred to as a Bluetooth dongle. They come in various shapes and sizes, as shown below:

BelkinBluetoothDongle  TinyBluetoothDongle 

You will need to follow instructions specific to your Bluetooth adapter and your computer’s operating system (OS) to get that working. BTW–before purchasing a Bluetooth dongle, make sure your OS is supported by that device. I had a hard time finding one that worked with my Microsoft Vista 64-bit laptop.

Your BlackBerry and Bluetooth

Your BlackBerry model has Bluetooth capability that must be enabled. Each model has more than one way of enabling Bluetooth. I’ll review some of those alternate methods below.

Bluetooth on BlackBerry Storm: Manage Connections

On the Storm’s Home Screen, click Manage Connections.


In Manage Connections, click Bluetooth**.


Bluetooth on BlackBerry Storm: Options

Here is an alternate method from using Manage Connections. On the Storm’s Home Screen, click Options.


In Options, select Bluetooth.


Press the Menu key and select Enable Bluetooth.


Your screen will look different. Mine shows that I have previously connected to my PC and to a TeleNav GPS unit. I had to use the Menu key to do Add Device for those devices*.


BlackBerry Pearl, Curve, Bold

On non-Storm models, the approach is similar but more varied, and the Home Screen icons vary by theme. I’ll provide a few screenshots from the Curve using a Verizon theme to give you the basic idea:

From the Home Screen, you can choose either Options, Set Up Bluetooth, or Manage Connections to enable Bluetooth:




Please read the NOTE and WARNING below:


* NOTE: While pairing Bluetooth devices, you often are asked for a passkey (or it may be called something similar). Unless you change it intentionally, the passkey is almost always four zeroes: 0000.

Bluetooth_logo_tiny** WARNING: When finished using Bluetooth, remember to turn it OFF. Why? Because leaving it on will drain your battery. When Bluetooth is active, your front-panel LED will flash BLUE. Depending on your theme, you might also see a tiny Bluetooth icon on your Home Screen (similar to the image on the right).

BlackBerry Desktop Manager and Bluetooth

Below I have screenshots from Desktop Manager version 4.7 (which was released with the BlackBerry Storm). Older versions look similar but not identical.

In the top-right corner there is a drop-down menu for Options. In that menu, select Connection options.


In Connection Options, select a Connection Type of Bluetooth. Select Turn on Bluetooth support. Click Configure Bluetooth.


A window appears with any Bluetooth devices that your computer already has recognized. In my case (below), there are none, so I had to click Add.


A search was made for a Bluetooth device.


My BlackBerry Storm was discovered. I selected my Storm in the window and clicked OK. It was successfully paired, and added.




After a Bluetooth connection is established between Desktop Manager and a BlackBerry, Desktop Manager allows only two of its primary functions: Backup and Restore and Synchronize.


If you try to run any of the other Desktop Manager functions, it informs you that the function is not supported over Bluetooth, only over USB.



Please be aware that, because of the number of variables involved, my screenshots above did not capture everything that you must see and do:

  • Getting a Bluetooth dongle installed and working on your computer
  • Accepting connections between computer and BlackBerry

And about the limitations of Desktop Manager, you can also use Bluetooth to:

  • Send/receive files between your BlackBerry and either your computer or another Bluetooth device (say, another smartphone)
  • Transfer contacts between your BlackBerry and your computer

…but that’s another article–possibly in the future. (Please comment below if this would be an important article for you.)



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About the author

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

51 comments on this post

Malluco says:
Jan 24, 2009 - 11:01:28

Hi Kelly..

on my BlackBerry Desktop Manager the option Bluetooth is disabled … what I do??


Jake says:
Jan 29, 2009 - 12:01:46

I have that same problem. I downloaded the latest version of the software and that bluetooth functionality is disabled… the radio is turned on in the phone, and on my computer…

I have the phone disconnected from the usb cable since I thought that it wasn’t connected to bluetooth due to it defaulting to the wired connection… Still nothing… Anyone?

I am trying to get this working for a few of my users, and I am have a heck of a time finding documentation in the right places to get everything working. It is a nightmare getting Oracle calendar sync’ed with the blackberry so far.

Jan 29, 2009 - 02:01:22

I have read a claim that this problem may be due to a new Bluetooth driver being loaded over the original Microsoft Windows driver. The claim is that Desktop Manager only works with the Microsoft BT driver. I am not in a position right now to test that claim (I’m on lunch break at work, and my BT adapter is at home). I certainly hope that isn’t true, yet it may be true in some situations. If you can roll back your BT driver, you might want to try that and see what happens. Please let me know if you discover anything. If you help me remember (by leaving another comment or sending an email), I’ll look into this on my computer later.

Feb 4, 2009 - 09:02:20

I’ve been using bluetooth to transfer my data back and forth since I first got my Pearl. It’s fairly easy on a Mac Laptop as bluetooth is already built-in. I found it much easier than using cables, etc, and especially as the programs for managing info on a Mac are not as thorough otherwise.

Feb 4, 2009 - 09:02:45

Thanks for letting me know you’ve found Bluetooth sync’ing useful. It’s good to hear from you after so long!

akilah says:
Feb 4, 2009 - 11:02:21

hi kelly,
this information has been very helpful! One question, how can i tell/find out if if my OS supports a particular Bluetooth adaptor/dongle (i don’t think it has built-in capability b/c the bluetooth option is not lit up)? My phone will not charge or recognize the usb cable, so I am replacing it, but I would like to back it up before I replace it…..also, i am not so computer literate. (i have an emachines T6414 desktop)

thanks so much!!

Malluco says:
Feb 5, 2009 - 06:02:45

i´m sad..

I tryed but it dont work.. I reinstalled my BDM and dont work too..

I have a bluetooth adapter in my notebook ..

the option “[] Enable Bluetooth” stay disabled !!!

do anybody knows help??

Christina says:
Feb 7, 2009 - 02:02:04

Thank you for this help! I am new to Blackberry and finding myself somewhat perplexed at times. I have a Blackberry Curve 8330. Would love more info on how to use my Blackberry to access files on my laptop (and vise-a-versa) and any other neat things :-) Thanks!

Feb 7, 2009 - 05:02:24

The best thing to do is go online and check with the manufacturer of the Bluetooth device in question and see what versions of your OS it is said to be compatible with.

Feb 7, 2009 - 05:02:50

I would look at your Bluetooth driver on your computer. Try reinstalling the software that came with your Bluetooth adapter. But make sure it is compatible with your computer’s operating system.

Feb 7, 2009 - 06:02:13

This site is specifically dedicated to helping people new to BlackBerry (first time or just a new model), so I’m glad you found it. About your suggestion, are you wanting to transfer files between your laptop and your BB? Have you learned how to connect your BB to your laptop with a USB cable and use Mass Storage Mode? That allows you to “see” your BB’s memory (I hope you have a media card–if not, search for my article “All About Media Cards”) like it was a USB flash drive.

Kent Conrad says:
Feb 9, 2009 - 05:02:40

What is Mass Storage Mode and where is it found? I, too, would like to transfer a small number of files from my leptop to my Storm. I’m already syncing music files using iTunes via Desktop Manager, but I would also like to easily send over some spreadsheets, etc. My prior PDA was a Windows Mobile type. With it you could create a folder on the PC. Any files that you copied into that folder would automatically be synced to the PDA. Is this possible with the Storm?

Feb 10, 2009 - 10:02:00

From your BB’s Home Screen, do Options > Media Card. There are settings for Mass Storage Mode there.

Desktop Manager does not sync any arbitrary files or folders, only those types described in the Synchronization menus (e.g., Calendar, Address Book).

Chris says:
Feb 26, 2009 - 12:02:52

Hi, I just recently purchased a BB Bold. My provider is Rogers. I have installed the desktop software etc… However my problem while accessing the bluetooth feature, is that my lap top tells me that I am missing the perhipheral Bluetooth drivers. I have been all over BB website, and can’t find them. Any help finding them would be great. Thanks

Feb 26, 2009 - 06:02:17

I think the Bluetooth driver you’re looking for is the one associated with your Bluetooth device for your computer, not for your BlackBerry. Your BT device may be built-in or it may be plugged in to a USB port. In either case, your Desktop Manager needs a working BT driver for your BT device. There is no driver needed for the BlackBerry itself. To find the driver, if built-in, you need to go to your computer’s manufacturer’s web site. If plugged in, the driver came on a CD with your device, or is available from the device manufacturer’s web site. If you tell me more about your BT device, I might be able to direct you more precisely.

Chris says:
Feb 26, 2009 - 07:02:47

Thanks for the quick reply Kelly. I have a Dell Studio 1535 with the Dell 370 Wireless Bluetooth adapter. What you are saying makes sense. I will look on the Dell web site for bluetooth driver information, but if you happen to have a quick reference, that would be great.

Chris says:
Feb 26, 2009 - 08:02:25

I downloaded the latest drivers from Dell for my Bluetooth device, and I am still having issues, as my lap top asks for the instillation cd for perhiperal device. When I indicate that I don’t have, I choose the option where it searches for a solution, then it pops a link to goto RIM to look for drivers. And here I am back where I started. With my old phone, I used to be able to see my bluetooth phone in My computer, with this, I can’t. I’m not sure is that is normal…., I still can do function via USB cable, but it would be nice to use the blue tooth function.

Feb 26, 2009 - 10:02:54

It sounds like the driver you downloaded didn’t get properly installed, or installed at all. That’s why Windows is asking where to find the driver. I would need to know which version of Windows you are running to pick the right driver for you. A quick Google search turned up links to downloads. If what you previously downloaded was a .exe file, make sure you run that to completion. Then reboot your computer. If you get any strange message while you’re trying to install it, let me know what the message says. Drivers can be a pain in the $!@%#.

Chris says:
Feb 26, 2009 - 10:02:11

Hi Kelly,

I have windows vista, the 32 Bit version. I downloaded the,A13, or R205174 from Dell. It did install, because I had to remove previous versions, and lost my BT icon. Since installed it I have the BT icon again. Again, any input to resolve this would be appreciated,

Thanks, Chris

Feb 27, 2009 - 05:02:36

I’m perplexed why Windows would ask for the CD if the driver was installed properly. But it does sound like it installed. So, when you return to Desktop Manager and try to connect using Bluetooth, you still aren’t allowed that option? If that’s the case, and it were me, I think I’d try deleting and reinstalling Desktop Manager (I know, what a pain this is!). I’m assuming you have a fairly recent version of DM?

Do you have any other kind of BT device you can test with your Dell to see if it’s truly not working? Sometimes our computers lie to us, so to speak.

When I get stuck in a predicament like this, I change what I can change, even if it doesn’t seem to make sense. You sometimes have to stumble into a solution. This may turn out to be a Vista anomaly and not a case where you did anything wrong. I don’t mean to bash Vista but I’ve had driver problems (one or two) with Vista that I could never resolve. But I’ve also overcome lots of them, too, if I was persistent enough.

Let me know if you try anything that provides any new information. Sorry about your troubles.

Chris says:
Feb 27, 2009 - 01:02:27

Hi again Kelly,
Well, I have deleted the 4.7 version on BB desk top, and reinstalled it. I have deleted the Bold from BT devices, and re-paired it. My lap top still indicates that it is unable to locate drivers for BB device, and eventually gives me a link to RIM. I think I will send RIM a messsage, or call to see if they have a solution. Thanks for your help. Chris

Feb 28, 2009 - 09:02:17

I’m a bit confused. Your first message implied it was the Bluetooth driver missing. Now it sounds like the BlackBerry driver (likely meaning the USB driver for BlackBerry). In any case, the actions you’ve just taken should have corrected the BB driver problem. You might find something useful/helpful in my article on USB problems. I’m not saying it will get any easier, but I’ll bet if you stay the course, you’re going to solve this (these) problem(s).

Nicole says:
Mar 19, 2009 - 09:03:02

Hi Kelly,

It looks like you’re an expert with BBs and Macs. Just my type of guy! I need help and I’m hoping you (or anyone else) can help. I have a BB Curve 8320, and I have a Macbook Pro and an IMac. The data port on my BB stopped working, so I can’t charge it. Before replacing it, I would like to save all of the my contacts and pictures. I know that I can copy my contacts to my SIM card (I’m a TMobile user), but I like the format that it’s in on my phone…one contact has 4 numbers (labeled by cell, work, home, other), 2 e-mail addresses, business locations, notes, etc. If I copy it to my SIM card, it won’t maintain this format, and I won’t know which number is a cell number, which one is a home number, etc. You get the picture!

Well, since I can’t connect my cable cord to do the sync. I’d like to sync the contacts wirelessly (perhaps via bluetooth) with my Mac. Any easy tips? I’m all ears!


Mar 19, 2009 - 10:03:04

One option is that you might be able to get your data (USB) port repaired. Try phoning or emailing (see the article about them on this site) for info. I think it can be repaired for less than $100. Are you absolutely certain that it’s your phone’s port that’s bad? Theoretically, it could be your charger, charger cable, data cable, or computer’s USB port. Perhaps you’ve already ruled all those out. If you’re not sure, return and ask me how you might do that.

I think you can connect via Bluetooth to your Curve using your Mac with no special software. But I think you can only transfer media files (e.g., pix) but not Contacts. I’m pretty sure PocketMac won’t sync using Bluetooth on a BlackBerry, either. So, I don’t think there’s a good solution for that. Technically, you can attach contacts to an email and send them to an account, then when you get a new BB you could forward them to your new BB and retrieve the contacts. It’s a possible but pretty ridiculous solution.

I say you look into repairing the port. It will mean having no mobile phone for a while, though. But BBRepairShop can turn it around pretty quickly. I’ve discussed this very repair with the company President. They’ve done this repair literally many thousands of times, he says.

Please let me know how this works out, or if I can help more.

Nicole says:
Mar 20, 2009 - 05:03:42


Thanks for following up. I appreciate your wisdom! Yes, it is in fact the data port and not any of the chargers. I may very well look into having my data port replaced; the cost is $79.99. Thanks for the letting me know about Maybe one day BB will get into the 21st century and get on board with Macs. We’ll see.

Take care,

Malluco says:
Mar 20, 2009 - 08:03:53

Hi Kelly. I could not to use bluetooth via DM. I uninstalled and installed again and the option bluetooth stay disabled… ..:S

Mar 20, 2009 - 09:03:40

Good to hear from you again. How’s your blog doing?

Are you successfully pairing your BlackBerry with your computer before opening Desktop Manager? What software did you uninstall and re-install?

Malluco says:
Mar 20, 2009 - 10:03:12

Hi dude.. good to hear from you too..

I uninstall the BDM and install too..

yes, I paring my bb with computer before open the bdm..

I will to re-install the drivers of bluetooth adapter again..

and, my blog will good.. I change the name and change banner, so, I will to send to you other banner ok?..

thanks dude..

Rich says:
Mar 20, 2009 - 08:03:08

Hi Kelly I am hoping you can help me with my BB as you seem to no an awful lot! I need to back up my curve however the USB port on my phone is broken. I therefore need to connect via bluetooth however the desktop manager won’t let me do this. After speaking to blackberry they suggested downloading a bluetooth driver however due to my incompetence with computers I understand very little about this. If you could help it would be really appreciated!!

Mar 20, 2009 - 09:03:42

Don’t be so hard on yourself–it’s not incompetence. We’re all good at different things. Are you wanting to just back up the data you entered for contacts, etc? That can be done via Bluetooth, but you can’t back up the entire phone that way, as best I remember. Consider getting your USB port repaired. My friends at (see my article on them) have done this repair literally thousands of times, and would be glad to give you an estimate. Sooner or later, you’ll want or need your USB port working. What are your thoughts on that?

Rich says:
Mar 21, 2009 - 07:03:16

Thanks for the quick response. It is just my contacts and BB pins that I want to back up. I would get the USB port on my BB repaired however I have a replacement BB so the bluetooth option seems the only way, unless you know of any others?

Mar 21, 2009 - 08:03:09

OK, let’s work on the Bluetooth problem. First, do you have BT built in to your computer already (like most laptops do)? If not, do you have a BT adapter already? Your answer determines how we find a BT driver. Each BT adapter, whether built-in or externally added, has its own driver that is provided on a CD or can be downloaded from the manufacturer.

Rich says:
Mar 21, 2009 - 09:03:39

Yes the bluetooth is built in to the computer. It is a Sony Vaio VGN CR19VN. Does this mean I need to download a driver from Sony or from microsoft?

Mar 21, 2009 - 10:03:19

This comment is redundant to my direct email to you. I’d look for the CD that came with the laptop or try to find the driver on

rich says:
Mar 23, 2009 - 02:03:32

Thanks for the advice, I manage to transfer via bluetooth on my friends computer. Thanks again

Mar 23, 2009 - 02:03:27

Maybe you can fix the problem on your computer later. Glad you got the info sync’ed.

Chuck says:
Mar 31, 2009 - 02:03:08

How to enable Bluetooth on your computer. I had the same issue being reported: Bluetooth option grayed out. The BB desktop software is only compatible with Native Windows drivers. If your laptop’s BT device is compatible, no problem. If you have a newer BT device (dongle or builtin) you’ll have to restore the original Windows BT driver. This is a multi-step process that involved faking windows out to think your device is generic by uninstalling the device in device manager, adding your device name to the BT .inf file, then letting Windows discover the device and load the default drivers. If you need step by step:

Worked for my Lenovo Thinkpad just fine.

Apr 1, 2009 - 11:04:55

Thanks for this great information. I’ll try to make time to incorporate your info into the article above.

Andrew says:
Apr 22, 2009 - 07:04:56

I currently have my phone paired with my computer. My computer, to my knowledge, is running the microsoft stack for bluetooth. Now the problem is, when i follow your steps to set up BT with DM, it will search for my phone, and then come back and say nothing has been found. All the while, my phone will blink blue, and act as if it’s being connected to. I cannot figure out why i can’t get DM to recognize my phone.

I have a storm 9530, and a dell Inspiron 8600 with a built in bluetooth chip.


Apr 26, 2009 - 07:04:57

If you have any question about whether your Bluetooth driver is correct, try the info in this support page:

Andrew Adams says:
Apr 28, 2009 - 09:04:46

I just spoke with verizon support, and they claim that this function is disabled on the storm. Everything is set up correctly on my computer and phone. However, the desktop connectivity service is grayed out so i cannot enable it. This is the service i need, but is disabled by verizon…

How did you get yours to work? I know it’s not impossible (obviously since you’ve done it). If I apply a blank IT policy with this service enabled, would this fix the problem??


Apr 29, 2009 - 05:04:01

My best guess is still that it’s an issue with the Bluetooth driver, not the Storm. I don’t believe the VZW support rep. that you spoke to. Since you mention an IT policy, are you on a BES? If so, then that is a different situation, and you’d need to talk to your BES administrator. But I don’t think you’re on a BES, so there should be no IT policy in place. I’d continue experimenting with the Bluetooth driver, as maddening as that is.

Andrew Adams says:
May 2, 2009 - 02:05:57

I dont’ believe the VZW rep either. I know it can be done. I just dont understand. I have double and triple checked the drivers and i know that it’s being controlled by the microsoft stack. I am not on a BES. What else can be done to the drivers? Can i edit any files???


May 2, 2009 - 09:05:50

I put everything I know in the article (or the links to other info), so I’d just be repeating myself. If it’s worth it to you to invest more time in this, see if there isn’t a different sequence you can try when removing and reinstalling the driver. Often my solutions come from just dumb luck when I stumble across something that works.

Tony says:
May 27, 2009 - 08:05:33


I ahve read through several posts ion various websites nad not found an answer on my problem. I have a connection via BBcurve8900 to my laptop (built in bluetooth- HP Compaq). My BB desktop and device manager have the Bluetooth option greyed out.
How can I enable this please?

May 27, 2009 - 08:05:56

What version of Windows are you running? The problem is probably with the Bluetooth driver. Also, does your Compaq’s Bluetooth work with any other device you can test it with?

John says:
May 27, 2009 - 09:05:36


In your bluetooth options, are the desktop connectivity and wireless bypass options grayed out? My are non selectable and grayed out, therefore i cannot enable them. Everything else is setup correctly. I just can’t get those to enable. Any suggestions?

I’ve tried applying an IT Policy with these services enabled. But that did not work.

I am at a loss. Please help.


May 27, 2009 - 12:05:54

This problem is apparently quite common (read up just a few comments). My best guess is that there is a problem with the Bluetooth driver. That driver may be compatible with other uses but (for whatever reason) might not be compatible with Desktop Manager. Here are some things you might try:

1. First, eliminate the possibility that your computer’s Bluetooth hardware/software isn’t defective. Can you find another BT device (e.g., an earpiece) and get it to work? If so, the computer’s BT capability is good.
2. Before trying Desktop Manager, can you pair your phone with your computer using Bluetooth? If not, then forget trying to get DM to work until you can solve that problem.
3. Using info from the article above (or elsewhere), search for a different (older, newer, whatever) BT driver and experiement. You should be able to roll back to the original if you keep track of your updates.

Let me know how it goes.

John says:
Jun 3, 2009 - 11:06:28


The bluetooth on the computer works as I can pair and use headsets and computer-computer transfer. I can also pair my phone with my computer and it works fine. I can send files from my phone to my computer via bluetooth no problem…i’m still stuck.


mr young says:
Jul 3, 2009 - 11:07:42

i am trying to use my bb bold to send and receive items from other phones and i am quite frustrated to find i can do everything up 2 the point of actually sending, my phone tells me server not found and i have this problem not only wiv my bb bold but my old bb as well if n e one can help me it would be appreciated

Jul 3, 2009 - 02:07:08

mr young,
I assume you are trying to swap music or pix between two phones using Bluetooth–is that correct? If so, first you need to successfully “pair” the two phones. Next you put one phone in “receive” mode. Then you can send the item from the other phone. “Server not found” probably means the receiving phone either never successfully paired with the sending phone, or it kept waiting for something to be sent and it gave up. Or, possibly the sending phone was attempting to send to some other Bluetooth device rather than the second phone. Try again with that information and see if you can’t get it to work. I have had trouble myself getting two phones to “talk” using Bluetooth. Sometimes you have to just keep trying different things till you find what each phone “wants.” Also, be aware that a relatively large song or video can take a LOOONG time to transfer.

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