How To Upgrade Your BlackBerry OS Software 2010 Version



Since Simon first published How To Upgrade Your BlackBerry OS, there have been a ton of updates and questions from BlackBerry Cool readers, so I thought it would be good to republish with new tips and put everything on a single page.

What you’ll need

  • Desktop Manager (free 200-300 MB download)
  • Handheld software (free 100+ MB download)
  • Time (about two hours, counting download, device backup, and installation)

Do I need to upgrade?

The quick answer? Yes. OS upgrades come with performance enhancements and sometimes new features that will make your BlackBerry experience much smoother. While we can’t recommend grabbing unofficial software, as it could bork your device, it’s worth becoming familiar with the process and trying it out for yourself. It’s a fun process that makes getting to know your BlackBerry more fun.

Before you upgrade, make sure you have the latest software. To do this, go to Options > About and the details of your device will be displayed. Take note of the device model number and the software version. Later in this tutorial, we’ll show you how to go about finding the latest OS, and comparing it to see if you’re eligible for an upgrade. But first, lets get what you need to start the process.

1. Download Desktop Manager

Desktop Manager is the software that lets your BlackBerry talk with your PC or Mac. As of writing this, the Mac version is still in its early development, and isn’t as smooth as the PC version for upgrading BlackBerry software.

Desktop Manager 5.0.1 for PC – Without Media Manager

File size: 73.96 MB
Date posted: 23-Nov-09

Desktop Manager 5.0.1 for PC – With Media Manager

File size: 204.71 MB
Date posted: 23-Nov-09

BlackBerry Desktop Software (Mac OS)

File size: 26.730 MB
Date posted: 12-Aug-09

Make sure to delete the vendor.xml file so that your software is carrier agnostic and you aren’t tied to any specific official updates. We can assume that if it’s good enough for one carrier, it’s good enough for all. You can find the vendor.xml file in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\AppLoader.

2. Download handheld software

The only thing to really keep in mind when downloading the software proper for your device is that it needs to be for your model. As stated above, be sure to check Options>About in order to check your device model number. The source doesn’t matter so much, just make sure to delete the vendor.xml file. Below, you’ll find some of the latest software as of January 12th, 2010.

Latest Official BlackBerry OS 5 Updates

Download OS for the BlackBerry Curve 8530 from Sprint.
Download OS for the BlackBerry Storm 9530 from MTS Mobility.
Download OS for the Storm 9500 by A1.
Download the Official for the BlackBerry Bold 9000 from Bell.
Download the Official OS for the BlackBerry Storm2 9520 by TIM Italy.
Download the Official OS for the BlackBerry Curve 8900 from Optus Mobile.

Here is a list of carriers who can provide the latest software. If you only want to download from your service provider, be sure to check in at these links.

BlackBerry Software for Asia Pacific

BlackBerry Software for Europe

North America

BlackBerry Software for South America

3. Install handset software

Now that you’ve installed the Desktop Manager and Handheld software, you’re good to go. If you’re a Mac user, you can use the device update feature in the software, but you aren’t going to be able to roam between carriers and get the latest software. As of writing this, it’s still better to be on a PC, or use a virtual Windows service like BootCamp. Double click on the .exe Handheld Software file and install it to your PC.

Plug in your BlackBerry via USB, launch the desktop software and Desktop Manager should detect that your device is able to be upgraded. Just follow the wizard that pops up, and the Desktop Manager will back up all of your contacts and emails, wipe your device, install the new operating system, and restore your data from backup. Keep in mind this process will reset many of your applications, so you might have to put in activation keys and the like back in once everything’s done.

Be warned, however, that not all developers are as quick to patch up their software as you are to upgrade yours. Any third-party apps that you had installed might not be designed for the new operating system, so you may need to pick up a newer copy if it’s available. By the same token, a new operating system could also open up some software designed to take advantage of the new features or layout.

Been having any problems with your install? Leave a comment here, and we’ll do our best to fix the issue. Also, we’ll be updating the guide as new operating systems come out, complete with the freshest download sites.

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  • Chan

    when i install the OS on my computer and I connect my phone and open the desktop manager I cannot upgrade… what is wrong?

  • Innoviler

    Hi Vojta,
    It worked fine as you described! This trick is so foxy and powerful as well :)

    Thanks alot.

  • Markez

    Is it possible to load this on a mac? The OS file is a .exe and I can't seem to find the .dmg mac file, if it even exist.

  • nigelmcdowell

    Hi I was trying to update my Blackberry Bold after downloading your latest software for the Mac, but it froze about 3/4 of the way through and after waiting for half an hour I had to unplug the phone…now it won't start up at all….nothing! Can you help? Thankyou

  • Rulo_78

    I don´t thik so; I just updated the OS on my unlocked Curve 8900 yesterday and it work fine!!

  • Chelsea

    You are my hero. I couldn't figure out for the life of me why I couldn't upgrade. I had that extra vendor.xml as well.

  • Terry

    Thanks for this, it is now installing v5. The desktop app kept installing the same v4.5 :-/

  • lisa

    alright, for some strange reason. I have a blackberry curve 8900 but it is not on a data plan. When I tried to download the 5.o version it would not allow me. Why is this? and what can I do so that it will download?

  • lisa

    Tried doing this to, but its not working . When it is plugged in there is no next button, the phone just starts to reload

  • etcoma

    I have a storm 9520 on MTN contract in South Africa. I installed latest OS on PC and also have latest Desktop manager. I deleted the vendor file under apploader folder, but the newest os does not get detected. I currently run V5.0.0.436 which is the carrier's official update. Can the phone be locked for upgrade for the device software? If so, how do I unlock it?

  • etcoma

    I tried the battery pull and it still did not work. It will only install the official version from my carrier (MTN, South Africa). If I delete the MTN version and only have the latest version (non MTN) installed it will not allow installation, it basically does not pic it up and give some message about no software compatible. Can a carrier block upgrades? I did delete the vendor fileas well. I did not have this problem with my storm 1.

  • chris

    hey , when i upgraded my storm 1 , i lost my mms … and when i try to use util crack .. i cant bring up my files , so i tried to do it through windows … but when i go to “research in motion” i dont have shared/loader files …. i have no idea what to do or how to locate that

    please help! haha

  • af_developer

    Great stuff man, I never knew there was another copy. And thanks for the exact location. I would have never found the VirtualStore.

  • fey

    thank u so much

  • fey

    thank u so much

  • Malc

    I upgraded my 9700 to 9700M_PBr5.0.0_rel994_PL5.1.0.146_A5.0.0.586_COSMOTE as described here, all worked perfectly as described with only one small, but nevertheless anoying feature, the keyboard lock function has disapeared! The padlock icon is not anywhere to be found and no option to select 'keylock' on menu dropdowns. Anyone seen this and can advise how to get it back or is it available anywhere as a seperate component download?

  • Mario – UK

    Thank you very much for tha tips my friends!!!!!!! :)))
    I've updated my bb 8520 curve to 5.0 official wind hellas with just a few clicks!
    Perfect job!

  • Damian

    Thanks. After following your tip I was able to successfully install OS 5 on my Bold 9000 from AT&T. Kudos!

  • Ron

    Hello I have the same problem, the only way to bypass the Blackberry service thing is to click on the loader application in the same exact location where you deleted the “vendor” file.
    So don't use the desktop manager, use the loader application where you deleted the “vendor” file. Hope this helps!!!

  • Major Code

    Well, I red all the comments and suggestions. I have few questions/problems, hope you guys will give good suggestions. I live in Saudi Arabia and purchased Storm 9500 Voda phone from UK and got it un locked and now i want to upgrade it to OS 5, I do not have its service from local operator. I just want to upgrade to OS5.

    1. I installed both Desktop/Device software for Storm 9500.
    There is no instruction what to do you with the Device software, after installing device software i do not see its short cut or no idea where to run it.
    2. If I run the app loader and do as per giving idea of pulling battery,
    what will happen after that………..i will lose my all contacts, data etc and cannot restore, is that you wanna say.
    3. where to get that OS Upgrade which I installed ( Device software)

    Major Code

  • rin

    i dont know how to save the apploader file after deleting vendor.xml?
    i cant upgrade me pls

  • widigent

    Thanks for your tutor…. Thank you very much… it's working for my BB Curve 8520.. Thanks Again..

  • Tod Lunt

    Is there any way to update a storm 9530 without being subscribed to the network?

  • Niousha

    Hi I am a mac user and I have a bold 9000 with software version of 4.6 and my blackberry desktop manager cant upgrade my software actually it says there is no upgrade and I have the latest!!! what should I do?

  • Kyle

    I think you can – I struggled with this for a while. I think the solution was to do a stealth OS load. Without typing 5 pages of instructions, here's the sum up:

    1. Back up the device using Desktop Manager.
    2. Unplug the device.
    3. Close Desktop Manager.
    4. Run Loader.exe (NOT Desktop Manager).
    5. Pull the battery from the BB, and put it back in.
    6. QUICKLY plug in the device.

    The application loader should read USB: UNKNOWN if you did this properly. Click Next when you see that.

    That will basically ignore the OS that is on the device, and load the newest one from scratch. It will NOT back up your BB, because the OS never gets a chance to fully boot. That's why you have to back up before you start this.

    Also, if something goes wrong, it's possible to brick your phone doing this. But of the hundreds I've done, I've only bricked 2 or 3. So it's not common.

  • Ron Smith

    WARNING V5 Upgrade(UK Only)
    Please note that all domestic users of Blackberry Phones irrespective of model cannot upgrade to the latest V5 of the Blackberry operating system.

    In the UK, Version 5 needs a Blackberry Enterprise Server to host this version. it is only available here and of use to companies and corporates who have Enterprise Server installed on their Network. It is useless to domestic customers of the normal mobile providers e.g. Orange, O2, Tmobile, etc who do not provide Blackberry Enterprise Server. The latest Version for domestic Blackberry users is V4.6.1.134 for the Blackberry 8520 and above and cannot be upgraded further at this time. Plugging the phone into Blackberry Desktop Manager periodically will automatically provide all available upgrades

    Many users think they can access V5 by downloading Blackberry AppWorld to their phone. Don't even try. AppWorld is a huge memory intensive catalogue and downloading this to your phone will gobble up most of its memory and your phone can grind to a halt. Even if you were successful- V5 is no use to you anyway, as per above.

  • Black Jad

    will i loose my unlock?

  • ppnair73

    I have an unlocked Verizon Storm that I use in a different CDMA network. If I do this stealth install, will that change the settings on my phone & become unusable in the current cdma network?

  • Hotsexy69

    I've successfully updated my BB 8520 using the stealth OS load. Thanks

  • Gpix13

    I have tried everything and I cannot seem to get my bold 9000 from AT&T to upgrade! It doesnt say that i have the 5.0 installed on my computer and I do. I have installed it as well as deleted the vendor.xml file. I however cannot find the folder that was mentioned under Users like Marv stated.

  • ppnair73

    I have an unlocked Verizon Storm that I use in a different CDMA network. If I do this stealth install, will that change the settings on my phone & become unusable in the current cdma network?

  • Epponkneerae

    I have a Curve 8520. I have downloaded the correct Device Software v5.0, installed it, deleted the vendor.xml file but it is still not working.
    I also have tried every trick on this thread (uploading from AppLoader), from Desktop Manager (v5.0.1), etc.
    Even my PC says the software is installed. However I still can't upgrade. Please help.


    thank u so much vojta i was trying and try and thing got it the 1st go round! High 5!

  • hello30

    From loader.exe where do I browse to in the computer to install v5? I cant use DM as I dont have BIS activated!
    Please guide me in installing it via loader.exe in the folder where vendor.xml is located in.

  • okartie

    Me too. I have the latest version available from AT&T which is the 4.6. I could not find the vendor file that we are supposed to be deleting so I think that's why we can't upgrade. That and the 5.0 version I downloaded is in .exe format and that doesn't work on my computer.

    What are we supposed to do if we're mac users?

  • SXA

    The correct answer is….to run the loader in dos and use the following command

    Loader.exe /nojvm this will upgrade your blackberry to os 5 as long as you have deleted the vendor.xml file and have the latest OS 5 downloaded. I also got the message I need to have a plan etc..when using the Desktop Manager.

  • SXA

    The way to get around this is to use the loader with a command. Go into dos and get to the loader directory its in c:program filescommon filesresearch in motionapploader
    once you get here..type in loader /nojvm and you will get the app loader menu which will let you install the new version without complaining

  • SXA

    You have to run the loader with /nojvm command

  • hello30

    You LEGEND! make sure not to leave a space between the two words and it works like a dream! and its fast too :) THANK YOU!

  • Madmaajid

    Can't see the OS files on the Apploader list when I fire it up. What am I doing wrong, people?

  • padua

    nyc 1 man. ur a life saver. cheers!!

  • Walt

    Worked like a charm! Had been trying to update my bberry for a while and now it's all good. Thank you so much!

  • Cesqo

    hey kyle, i've got a Blackberry Bold 9000 and installed the v5.something, vodafone netherlands, exactly in the way you described. after installing my BB booted with the BlackBerry screen and the loading bar – filling ¾ and then it got stuck.
    after 10 mins it rebooted and showed a white screen saying Reload software:507

    i have no idea what to do.

  • Guess

    your comments worked buddie! You have to be quick to remove the battery and plug it in.

  • anonymous

    ZOMG!!! THANKS!!!! I was gonna blow up some Claro office in DR (j/k) until I found this xD… But I was going crazy trying to find a solution :)

  • Dark Spate

    thnx Vojta(CZ)

  • holyroller

    you are a god among insects

  • bbloverallday

    it works it works!!!!

  • bbloverallday

    i fill out the guess thing just to tell everyone that it works ive been up all night for two day to try to get it to work too

  • thiyagi

    thanks dude it worksss…