How do I reset my BlackBerry?

Differences between hard, soft, and master resets

Thank you for BlackBerry.com, JSanders and Grimlin @ BlackBerryForums.com for contributing to this FAQ.
Resetting the BlackBerry device is a useful way to resolve issues and is usually the first step in troubleshooting the BlackBerry device. Knowing the differences between a hard, soft, double-soft, and master reset ensures that the correct troubleshooting method has been chosen.

Note: Backup all applications before resetting the BlackBerry device using the Backup and Restore tool on the BlackBerry Desktop Manager.

Performing a SOFT reset on the BlackBerry device

Performing a soft reset stops all applications on the BlackBerry device by pressing the ALT+RIGHT SHIFT(CAP)+DELETE keys. A soft reset re-establishes communication between the BlackBerry device and the computer.

Note: This does not apply to the BlackBerry® Pearl™ smartphone or BlackBerry® PlayBook™.

Performing a DOUBLE-SOFT reset on the BlackBerry device

Performing a double-soft reset stops all applications on the BlackBerry device and is nearly the equivalent of a hard reset. Timing however is critical. Perform a soft reset by pressing the ALT+RIGHT SHIFT(CAP)+DELETE keys. The screen will go blank. When the screen is no longer black, press the ALT+RIGHT SHIFT(CAP)+DELETE keys again. You should then see another blank screen followed by an hour glass.

Note: This does not apply to the BlackBerry® Pearl™ smartphone or BlackBerry® PlayBook™.

Performing a HARD reset on the BlackBerry device

The first step in troubleshooting a network, software or hardware error is often to perform a hard reset. With Java® based devices, this is accomplished by removing the battery, while the BlackBerry device is powered on. Hold the battery out for about 30 seconds, and replace. The BlackBerry device will reboot.

Note: A hard reset on a C++ based device is accomplished by pressing the Reset button.

Note: To perform a hard reset on a RIM models 850, 857, 950, or 957 device, insert the end of a paperclip inside the small hole on the back of the handheld.

Resetting a BlackBerry PlayBook

To perform a hard reset on a BlackBerry PlayBook, press and hold the volume down, volume up and power buttons at the same time for approximately 15 seconds.

Reasons to perform a hard reset

The following shows the possible reasons for performing a hard reset on a BlackBerry device.

Network Issues

  • Handheld displays an X beside the coverage indicator.
  • Handheld displays GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) or lower case gprs (General Packet Radio Service) as the network status indicator.
  • User is unable to send or receive messages on the handheld.

Software Issues

  • User receives an error code on the handheld.
  • Applications do not appear to be functioning correctly.
  • Desktop Manager is stuck at “working” status when the handheld is connected.
  • Bluetooth is not detected.

Hardware Issues

  • Handheld display is hard to read. For example, the display shows lines obscuring text.
  • Keypad is not functioning correctly. For example, keys do not work, the trackwheel is not functioning correctly, or the handheld does not turn on.

Performing a MASTER reset

The master reset feature is not available on the BlackBerry device and is only applicable to selected manufacturer devices. A master reset removes all user-installed applications and data, including BlackBerry Connect software. For more about master resets, contact your service provider.

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