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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  • Amar Vallapreddy

    Dude……you are awesome…it worked for me….thanks for the info man….

  • Anchal_rich

    I bought blackberry 9700 from Mexico which is unlocked. Now in India I am able to make calls but my Vodafone data services are not working at all. Customer care is unable to help me on this because my SIM is working on into other blackberry device.
    Please help!

  • Supanovaboi

    dude install software on pc

  • M Ntimba

    please try those instructions again delete the vendor file and keep trying it might help to e-install the desktop software with automatic updates on. I kept trying and it worked bb8900.

  • bicka

    Thank you Kyle. Your tutorial has worked for me. After couple of times I finally was able to do all the steps very QUICKLY :)

  • 123

    That really work. Very easy for me. Thanks!

  • Adeel Malik1985

    thanks i unfortunately installed 4.6 but through this process my bb is now again upgraded to 5.0

  • ohyong

    updating now! after one long night ug searching for solutions. thank god! THANKS A LOT VOJTA! more power!

  • ricky

    why wont mine upgrade to 5.0 through the blackberry website it says there is no software available when my version is 4.6

  • Terence

    i can’t seem to view chinese words on my BB Storm 9530. how do i install the chinese language pack?

  • Mellowcello315

    worked perfect. really good job figuring that out. thanks a ton! :D

  • Holreading

    It does work!!

  • Thom


    I bought a Bold 9700 on eBay from Australia, but labelled T-Mobile (UK), and I use it on Vodafone Australia.
    It seems that with Vodafone Australia I can upgrade to a version 6.0 whereas T-Mobile seems still to be at 5.0.
    Do you know if I can upgrade to 6.0 through the Blackberry/Vodafone link without any problems?


  • Georgina-wheeler

    mine does that too, what do i have to do.. do you know???

  • Adarrsh

    hey having a problem with 9700 which came loaded with os5 now my Indian carrier has come out with the official os6 for 9700 but i am unable to install that, the desktop manager states while i try to update that “this new update has significant enhancements for which you need to be a blackberry service subscriber…” i am already subscribed to blackberry services in India with the same carrier which has come out officially with the update for 9700 with os6. carrier is vodafone which you guys can check from balckberry Indian website.

  • rroverusa

    I need a free download of a flash player for my blackberry storm2. where?

  • Sidny

    when you do the stealth if it is sucessful do you atill loose all your contacts and bb contacts?

  • Rajendra

    This is a easy workaround solution. I tried it on my BB Tour. Further after upgrading to OS5 when I rerun the DM to check for upgrades, it did not flash “subscription” message, so it look like the restriction is from 4.7 -> 5.x, once you reach 5.x then other upgrades should be easy (I hope, will validate once next upgrade is available).

  • Kelly

    I have a Blackberry Curve 8310. Which I got in Dec 2008.
    Which software do I use for the Desktop Manager? And the Handheld ?
    (I never put the Desktop Mgr on my computer. I want to upgrade my phone, but don’t want to loose all my contacts)

  • Lovelychick

    I have a blackberry curve 8520 + recently downgraded to version 4. So I would like to upgrade back to version 5 but I need to be a service provider :S Tried the below deleting vendor file etc but I am not quick enough for the USB unknown part, it keeps showing my PIN. Please help is there any other way of updating??

  • Div

    great work man!!

  • Adham_salem96

    please help me when i come to the part of connecting the blackberry i do it very fast but still my pin shows and i dont know what to do please please help me :) thankk you

  • RB

    doesnt matter how quick it always finds the pin!!? quicker is not possible wah am i doing wrong

  • Adishdro

    thanks great !

  • Shereeren1

    me soon scream!! I hope it my os gets back on after weeks of trying to reload it and almost crying!!!
    I followed what u posted but the prob with my fone was that i could not reconnect to jvm. so people if u are experiencing this

    1. follow what vojta said up to run loader.exe

    2. pull the battery from the fone and keep it out. plug in the bb and click ‘next’ button.

    3. if it ask to do something to the usb port follow that instructions and den close the instruction box and the port box.

    4. then watch it load until it reaches ‘unable to reconnect to jvm’

    5. when it says that, before clicking retry, put in back the battery and it will load from there..

    ps. mto install the correct desktop manager and handheld software for your fone. oh and allow desktop manager to run in the background also.

  • Paradiso27


    If I upgrade my OS, will I be able to keep my contacts if I don’t back them up? I have a “Reload Software: 507″ message and Desktop Manager doesn’t recognize my phone therefore, I can’t back up my contacts….or can I?

    Please help.

  • Beulahr

    i wanna update my bold 9700 5.0 to 6.0 but everytime it says ‘no updates avalible’ help?!?!

  • Pumzy69

    it works with desktop manager 5…delete vendor.xml

  • Gyst

    is there any hope for me? am using curve8320 v4.2 and its not listed.

  • Habibullah

    @bce7be055ac6d55518c54ec9405dfee3:disqus  I updated my blackberry 9630 tour,,,,,,,,,,,, thanks aalot

  • Captianjamil

    yeah it work like magic thanx dude

  • laura

    i follow all the step that are showed here, awhen i connect my bb and start the bbdm it starts checking for ‘new updates’ and it tells me that there arent and that my bb is updated with the latest software -which its not since I still have the 4.6- what can i do then? 

  • laura

    same thing is happening to me, and everyone in my house have 8900 and they could update the software, mine is the only one that wont.. 

  • laura

     worked! everything got erased but i had the back-up

  • oceanesa

    Owner of a BB Storm 9530 from Verizon.

    Follow instruction from Vojta up to the part where you pull the battery.

    Just pull out the battery and leave it out.  If your PIN shows up, just click NEXT even if it does not show USB: UNKNOWN. You should notice 5.0 os update and click NEXT.

    About half way into loading on reconnection to jvm, “connection prompt” pops up.  Do not click RETRY just yet.

    First: Unplug BB from the PC and wait for a few seconds, Second: put battery in BB, Third: plug BB back into PC and let your BB load up.

    Now look at your BB, it should say something and click OK/RETRY loading.

    Once you’ve done that, go ahead and click RETRY on the “connection Prompt” pop up.

    Now it should continue on loading and letting it finish. 

    Hope this helps those who couldn’t get USB: UNKNOWN to show.  Read a few comments from other websites saying that they were able to continue on with PIN showing, but failed to follow up on how too.

  • Prateek Jain

    I am using Bberry 8900 on OS 4.6 and if I scan my phone via bberry desktop software for updates it doesnt show any updates available. However, OS5 is available for my phone. Please help how to update my Bberry

  • valencia

    mm, scuse me mr. i’m having problem here

    my memory card wont work, it’s like plug, reject, plug, reject, with itself, so i cannot use the device manager either,
    so how?
    frustrated here please.

  • Shoaib

    Hi guys…my name is shoaib…and im frm india…i have a (BB-8900 / Platform & App Version… i want to upgrade my phone to Version 5…can any of u help me plz…i am kind off confused about how should i dooo…and i am also a bit afraid…that if i dont do it properly will it make my phone dead…plz help….

  • Muta

    Dude your are a God SENT many thanks worked in one simple swoop brilliant and will be coming back for more

  • Muta

    Dude your are a God SENT many thanks worked in one simple swoop brilliant and will be coming back for more

  • Jimoh

    I have a blackberry 7290 and the IMEI Number Is:354222002797944 The Pin number is 2c2681A3 So it got a virious so i went to people flashing phone around me may be they could do it but the said they don’t have the software again so can any body help me out.Because now is not more working and it shows the red flash light on the phone.



  • Emily_skelly

    will i lose everything on my phone when i upgrade it?

  • Emily_skelly

    will i lose everything on my phone when i upgrade it?

  • Alvinplata

    Im using Windows 7 64 bit and I had difficulties upgrading my BB8900 to OS 5. I then aside from Vendor.xml file in the program files, there is also a Vendor.xml file in USERS file. Search Vendor.xml file in your computer and delete them all.

    After doing this, I was able to upgrade.


  • araalistorm

    I upgraded successfully from OS to OS on my BB storm 9530. However, when I receive calls they do not display the user even though his name and phone number are saved in my contacts

  • Micalaryas Micalaryas

    OS upgrades appear with achievement enhancements and sometimes new
    appearance that will accomplish your BlackBerry acquaintance abundant
    smoother. While we can’t acclaim avaricious actionable software, as it
    could bork your device

  • Mini-man-rhys

    I Have Just Used This Website To Try And Update My Blackberry 8310 Smartphone  (EDGE) And It Did Nothing except Wipe Everything From My Phone And Mess My Blackberry Messenger Up?

  • Marwii 1996

    will this work on locked phones ?

  • Isra

    I tried doing this, but the problem is, my “next” button doesn’t work unless i put the battery in :( and even if i do put the battery I have to click the “next” a few times for it to change the screen..please help, I have a 8900 curve too 

  • Sadham

    It Really worked. Thanks Dude!!!