How To Update Your BlackBerry Device Operating System

May 29, 2010 | By | 13 Comments

We all know that BlackBerry smartphones are the best mobile known to (wo)man.  That’s not even a matter of opinion, it’s fact.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t guarantee perfection.  Sometimes we’re happy with how our operating system works and that’s great, but when there are features missing or running slower than they should, new operating system versions can potentially diminish these issues.  Therefore, I’ve got a foolproof installation of updating your device OS on Windows.

Let’s keep going…

Step 1: Ensure Desktop Manager is installed, but not running.  You can download the latest version of BlackBerry Desktop Manager here (it’s available for both PC and Mac, however the Mac OS X version only allows you to install OS’ supported by your carrier).

Step 2: Download the executable setup file for the right model and operating system version you plan to install.  Now, install it.  After you’ve gone through all the obvious prompts, the last window of the installation will say “Yes, I want to start the BlackBerry Desktop Software.”  Ensure that box is NOT checked.  Then click Finish.  You have now installed the operating system to your computer in preparation for upload to your handheld device.

Step 3: Through windows explorer, navigate yourself to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\AppLoader.  In there, you’ll see a file called vendor.xml.  That file needs to be deleted.  Don’t worry, this file isn’t crucial.  In fact, it’s crucial that the file does NOT exist so that it doesn’t restrict the operating system from being installed on a phone that doesn’t belong to the same provider that released the software.

Step 4: After completing the previous step, in the same folder where you deleted the .xml file, run Loader.exe.  Go through the normal prompts.  On the Communication Port Selection screen, ensure you select the PIN of the BlackBerry you are updating.  After the second prompt, the process will retrieve device configuration.  This will disable user interaction with the device

Step 5: Once your device’s configuration has been retrieved, it will give you the option to install the operating system however you choose on your device.  If you only use one language but you see that many others are installed, un-check the boxes.  These language packs take up good amounts of space on devices with less memory.  Any third-party programs you have installed will appear at the bottom.  Leave those checked otherwise they will be erased once your device is erased.  Once you’ve chosen which options to update and install, selecting next will bring you to the backup stage.  I personally recommend backing up everything.  This means when your device is restarted, it will be in exactly the same settings as it was when you started the process.

Step 6: Once you pressed Finish at the end of the last step, the loader will go through an 11 step process that will complete the update to your device.  During that time, your device will be rendered unusable.  Don’t be alarmed by the lengthy time of initialization.  As it is the first time the operating system has loaded, it can take anywhere up to 30 minutes.  The progress bar will likely stall a in one (or many) places for long periods.  This is typical and should not be cause to worry.  Once your device has booted up, it will restore all the data that was backed up during earlier stages.

Step 7: Once the Application Loader Wizard says “Your device’s software has been updated successfully” then you’ll have updated your own operating system, that easily.

If you’ve got any questions feel free to post a comment below and we will try and help out…

Filed in: BlackBerry, BlackBerry OS, Guides | Tags: , , , , ,

  • Jay Berry

    what’s the step by step process to reload os for my bold 9700. I am getting an error “Uncaught exception java.lang.illegal argument” after it reboots that is not allowing several functions. example: bluetooth not working, cant’ open pictures. man this is frustrating.

  • Rob


    Nice write up! I actually wrote something similar for eHow awhile back about reloading your Blackberry OS from scratch. Feel free to include a link to it:


  • Nishant Sharma

    Thanks, helped in reloading my Storm 9530 OS.

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