What is a Security Wipe and when should I use it?

How-to

Security wipe

(You may have noticed more how to/help related content on Inside BlackBerry recently. This is all in ramp up to something coming to our happy blog family a little later in September. Stay tuned, and for now enjoy Ty’s great post! – ed.)

In his previous post 5 BlackBerry Safety Tips to Protect your Personal Information, my fellow blogger Alex M. talked about protecting personal information on your BlackBerry® smartphone. The first suggestion he made was to ensure a security wipe is performed before moving to a new device, and I’d like to expand on that a bit.

Before using this function, it is recommended that you back up any data and applications that you like to use on your new BlackBerry smartphone. For information on how to back up and restore your smartphone using BlackBerry® Desktop Software for Windows® or Mac, review the product documentation for your specific version of BlackBerry Desktop Software at http://docs.blackberry.com.

Another thing to note is that this process may take about an hour to complete if the BlackBerry smartphone has encryption enabled. If this is the case, review the user guide for your particular device to identify how to disable encryption before completing these steps.

To initiate a security wipe, complete the following steps:

  1. On the BlackBerry smartphone, select Options from the home screen.
  2. Select Security Settings, then Security Wipe.
  3. Specify what items will be wiped during this process by checking off the boxes.
  4. Enter “blackberry” (field is not case-sensitive) and select Wipe.
  5. The BlackBerry smartphone will reset a few times, and after this process is complete, it will no longer contain any of your personal data.

If you are replacing or upgrading your device and you have a carrier BlackBerry email account, you will need to contact your wireless service provider to disassociate the account from the smartphone in order to prevent messages from being sent to your old device.

Do you have a question about your BlackBerry smartphone or would like to see a specific topic discussed? If so, please leave a comment!

About Ty Williams

Community Content Manager & Blogger @ BlackBerry. Follow me on Twitter or Google+

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  • M_agathagelou

    i used security wipe by mistake.and now i cannot lock the keyboard from the lock button etc.what should i do to restore the default settings?

    • http://www.blackberry.com BlackBerry_Ty

      Hi M_agathagelou,
      Did you recently upgrade your BlackBerry device software? The lock button functionality has changed in recent versions of BlackBerry device software. For more information, check out the following knowledge base article. It also contains a workaround that you may be interested in using.

      A password is not required to unlock the BlackBerry smartphone after the Lock key is held
      http://www.blackberry.com/btsc/KB22261

    • http://www.blackberry.com BlackBerry_Ty

      Hi M_agathagelou,
      Did you recently upgrade your BlackBerry device software? The lock button functionality has changed in recent versions of BlackBerry device software. For more information, check out the following knowledge base article. It also contains a workaround that you may be interested in using.

      A password is not required to unlock the BlackBerry smartphone after the Lock key is held
      http://www.blackberry.com/btsc/KB22261

  • BlackBerryHelp_Pavel

    Hello,

    Security wipe restores the default settings. What type of BlackBerry smartphone do you have and what version of software under Options-About.

    Thank you

  • Cotton247

    I don't know if anybody can help me,

    I select the security settings, however once in I do not have the security wipe option to select.

    Is there something that I need to enable to make this sub option available ?

  • http://www.blackberry.com BlackBerry_Ty

    Hi Cotton247,

    The option to perform a security wipe is located in different locations depending on your BlackBerry device software version. Check out the following knowledge base article as it contains instructions for all of the various BlackBerry device software versions.

    How to delete all data and applications from the BlackBerry smartphone using the Wipe Handheld option

    http://www.blackberry.com/btsc/K14058

  • http://www.nur.li Dr. Robert Poehler

    Additional its possible to upgrade BBs firmware. This process will also delete existing data. Software and tool can be found on RIMs homepage.

  • JJRoberts

    Really the most important thing I think new BlackBerry users need to know is that you can (and ought to IMHO) upgrade your software/firmware from time to time as some apps will work better/faster/less bugs with updated versions.

  • Raskenas

    My track pad is broken and I can't get around the screen. How do I do a security wipe without the assistance of the track pad/track ball?

  • Indra

    if my blackberry loss . how to block my pin? tq

  • Mikey

    my camera isnt working on my blackberry curve 8530 and it hasnt been working since i bought the phone. it says “could not start the camera, close other applications and try opening the camera again”. ive turned it off for 30 seconds, held my finger on the lens but it didnt work. i wanted to know if wiping it would be the right thing to do? and if so, after i wipe it can i restore it the settings using the back up and restore application and not have it be back to the factory settings (the way it was before activation)? please help.!!!

    • BlackBerryHelp_Heather

      Hello Mikey,

      Reboot your BlackBerry by removing and reinserting the battery. If the camera still fails to launch after the reboot, back up your BlackBerry and do a clean software reload as shown in http://bbry.lv/cG8oer; test before restoring any data.

  • Whiteboy 29

    if you do a security wipe will it lock your phone, erase your BBM contacts and lose the internet provided by my cellular service provider?

    • BlackBerryHelp_Heather

      Hello Whiteboy 29,

      A security wipe will erase the current user data as well as installed 3rd party applications. You can still use your device after the wipe.

  • David Russell

    Blackberry Apps. I forgot my password on my account. You are then asked a security question, this I have been answering correctly, yet it says this is wrong. It locks me out and cannot change my password. I haven’t been getting any help from Vodafone or Blackberry to get round this! Any ideas.

    • Victoria

      Hi David, have you found a solution to your prob. I have the same issue and need a solution.

  • yaz

    The music and videos on my blackberry would not play it says “unable to play”. If i do the security wipe would it work? and would i lose my bbm contacts?

  • smooth

    if u just tick of the application box to be wiped will it affect the service that is currently on the phone?

  • Maiquel712009

    the problem is to select both first and clean up deleted and now I enter the picture messages or emails … I know how I can solve this problem , I would like to help… thanks

  • Jlowe1

    I did a security wipe, and accidentally deleted the Blackberry web browser. How do I get it back?

    • Anonymous

      Hey Jlowe1,

      If you go to Options> Advanced options> Applications, is the Browser listed? If the browser is listed go to Options> Advanced options> Host Routing Table> Press the menu key and select ‘Register now’, and then remove the battery.

  • Ddpballer12

    i accidentially used the security wipe is there a way i can get my contacts back or set up my email accounts?

  • Giridhar Sridharan

    I just bought a new curve smartphone but wrongly entered the unlock code. The phone ultimately wiped itself of all my personal data. I would lila to know whether if I enter all the data again! Would I still be able to send and receive email?

  • 4nonso

    I cant remember my username and password for my email account setup. how do i get it back? My carrier is not very helpful, they dont have a solution. i use a 9780, will a device wipe help?

    • ayanda

      Hi there

      I have the same problem how did u overcome it? I have my username its just the password

  • darren

    what do you write in the bit it says Enter “blackberry” to confirm handheld wipe makes no sence blackberry are so crap they always break!

    • Anonymous

      Hey Darren,
      Its asking you to type/enter the word “blackberry” before it wipes, this is a security feature so the device doesn’t accidentally get wiped.

  • http://www.twitter.com/BlackBerryHelp BlackBerryHelp_Brian

    Hey javed alam,

    Are you unable to type the word BlackBerry in the box?

    Brian

  • Alex_2506

    would this break your blackberry.

    • bbhelp_cynthia

      Hi Alex_2506,

      Performing a securtity wipe will remove all your data from the device. http://bit.ly/gl79nF

      Thanks,

  • http://www.facebook.com/xtine1020 Christine Walsh

    I am giving my phone to a friend and all my stuff deleted. If I Security wipe will she be able to register her email or have any problems connecting to the internet when she hooks it up?

  • Rlm

    I lost my blackberry, can someone else make use of my bbm

    • BlackBerryHelp_Heather

      Hello Rlm,

      It is recommended to contact your mobile carrier to inform them of the loss of your BlackBerry device.

  • http://hackersplay.com/900/  /  Hackersplay.com

    […] The BlackBerry smartphone will reset a few times, and after this process is complete, it will no longer contain any of your personal data. [Source] […]

  • http://usa-news.tk/?p=1723 How to Dispose of Old Devices Without Losing Data or Harming the Environment | USA News

    […] has a tool called Security Wipe, which you can reach by going to Options and then Security Settings. But if you have encryption […]

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