The Basics Of BlackBerry Messenger, Including Restoring BBM Contacts

August 13, 2010 | By | 8 Comments

I’m posting this in response to the few questions and comments over the update of the newly released BBM and some users have experienced the loss of their contacts, or appear to have lost their contacts. This is to show you the basics for those of us who are new and those who are new to the newer version, especially how to get your contacts back. Check it out…

We’re excited over the new BBM, we had a version similar through the BlackBerry Beta Zone. This is the full shiny version though. And there’s some improved features that I’m going to go through. So grab your BlackBerry and follow through with me.

The first thing I highly encourage you to do is make sure that you have your emails set up prior to using your BlackBerry Messenger and make sure the BBM and emails are registered. First and foremost if you click on the top you can set up your Display Name. If you click on the square, it allows you to choose a picture to set up. It shows your Pin, your Pin Barcode, You can set a personal message, and in Status you can customize it to be anything you want. You can click Show What I’m Listening To and Show My Location/Timezone.

If you click your Menu button, you’ll find the Options. I’ll list them as follows:

List View

  • Sort Chats By: Most Recent or Alphabet
  • Contact List Style: 1 Line or 2 Lines

Chat View

  • Show Participant Names
  • Combine Sequential Messages
  • Chat Style: No Borders, Bubbles, or Stripes
  • Press Enter Key To: Send or Insert Line Breaks
  • Save Chat History: Never, Device Memory, or Media Card
  • Automatically Accept Voice Notes
  • Automatically Record When Sending Voice Notes
  • Vibrate When Receiving A Ping

This next part will apply to everyone who has “lost” their BBM Buddy list of Contacts. Or if you’re hesitant to update because of you’re concerned about losing them, no need to worry.

Backup Management

  • Save a Backup of Your Contact List: Back Up. Clicking on Back Up brings you to the two options of Back up files remotely or Back up files locally. If you click remotely, it will show you your emails that are registered with BBM.
  • Restore a Backup of Your Contact List: Restore. This gives you two options, Restore using email or Restore using a backup file from the device. This is great if you backed up to the micro sd card. If you lost your contacts from BBM, try this first.
  • Delete Your Backup File(s): Delete

Recent Updates

  • Show Recent Updates: None, 25, 50, or 100
  • Combine Recent Updates From Same Contact or Group
  • Display Music Updates From Contacts


  • Show Chats in Messages Application:
  • Show Text Messages From Contacts Linked With BlackBerry Contacts:
  • Replace BlackBerry Contact Pictures With BlackBerry Messenger Pictures:
  • Display Security Question on Invitations:

How to add a contact:

Invite a contact in the following two ways. First is to click on the link that says Invite Contact. Or click the Menu button and click Invite Contact. Here’s where you’ll see four options:

  • Invite by sending a PIN or email message
  • Invite by scanning a PIN barcode
  • Invite by selecting a member from a group
  • Add text messaging contact

How do you add a contact with your barcode? This is the fun part. One of you clicks the Invite by scanning a PIN barcode. The other person will go to the top bar, and below your name where it shows PIN Barcode: Show, click the Show and the first person can scan the other persons barcode, as it uses the camera to scan the barcode. You can also integrate your favorite friends who text you so your messages of the people you chat with the most are in one place.

Now I’ll cover the menu. The menu button brings up a menu which includes the following:

  • Help – This has a list of faqs and tips to help you use the BBM.
  • Start Chat - Just like any instant messenger.
  • View Contact Profile – This shows the Display Name which you can change, PIN, Personal Message, and Status.
  • Contact (Display Name): This allows you to PIN your contact right from BBM.
  • Move Contact: Move your contact into another designated category.
  • Delete Contact.
  • Show on Home Screen- This is a really neat feature that’s integrated. Click on this option and your contact’s icon will show on the Home Screen where it’s located. So when they message you, the alert will show on their pic.
  • Link With BlackBerry Contact – If you have your contact in your BlackBerry Contacts, you can link them to their information. This will link their picture, email, phone number, etc. It integrates nicely.
  • Forward to Messenger Contact- Share your Contact with someone else.
  • New Multiperson Chat- This helps immensely when you’re doing a quick chat between more than one person.
  • New Broadcast Message – This is by far one of the most annoying little options in the BBM. Please don’t use it unless it’s something major, such as sharing an update. It’s annoying and shows up in purple to let everyone know it’s shared. Don’t share chain letter type of spam, or false announcements. Your buddies will thank you later.
  • New Contact Category – This is where you can separate all your contacts like family, coworkers, friends, etc.
  • New Group  – Make your own group.
  • Scan a Group Barcode- If you are close enough to someone who’s scanning you in, or if there’s a barcode for a group.
  • Invite Contact
  • View My Profile
  • Options

Now last but not least, the Groups. If you join a Group, we can take a look at the profile and options.

  • Group Details – This is the profile of the group, which you can edit.
  • Group Name- This too you can edit.
  • Description – You can edit this.
  • Group Icon. You can change the pic in case you have more than one.
  • Share My Message Status: Yes or No

Group Options:

  • Save Chat History: Never, Device Memory, Media Card.
  • Notify Group When I Tag A Picture As Favorite: Yes or No
  • Save Pictures: Never or Media Card.
  • Message List Integration: Options which brings up: Message List Settings and shows No Activities, All Activities, or Some Activities.
  • Turn Off All Notifications For This Group. This is a great feature. If you have a busy group and can’t keep up, choose to turn off the notifications and you won’t be bothered consistently.

Your Option in your Group are:

  • Members – Who and how many.
  • Chat
  • Pictures
  • Lists
  • Calendar
  • Group Updates

Out of all the things that take a bit to load, you’ll find groups to be the most tedious to load. Otherwise the BBM is amazing, pics send fast and you can now add a note to your pics. And you’re given two times to change your mind.

If you have any further questions, please leave them here and we’ll answer them. Keep in mind a BlackBerry that stays updated stays happy.

You can grab your updated version of the BlackBerry Messenger free here.

Filed in: BlackBerry, Downloads, Free Apps, Tips n' Tricks | Tags: , , ,

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