How to Upgrade BlackBerry OS Using Mac, Macbook Pro, iMac

TP Friend Chayie Maligalig (remember her BlackBerry Curve 9520 Review?) shares how she upgraded her BB's operating system using her new Macbook Pro and...

'Why I stuck it out with my BlackBerry'
by Chayie Maligalig

I have been using my BlackBerry Curve 8520 aka Gemini for more than a year now.

It’s true what they say about having a BlackBerry; It can really be addicting. I love the convenience and efficiency of push email the most. The social networking applications are addicting too -- especially Twitter, which was one of the reasons why I first was attracted to my phone.

But in recent months, while using my BlackBerry browser, my device would freeze and hang. Before that, I also had to buy a new battery pack because my BB's uptime was becoming too short and was causing me inconvenience. It was really frustrating.

Admittedly, friends and relatives who had other phones would convince me to shift to using one of theirs. I was tempted at one point - but due to lack of budget to buy a new phone, I decided to stick it out with my BlackBerry. But this is not the only reason I did.


After the constant freezing came yet another issue. Upon updating BlackBerry App World, its icon disappeared. Frustrated, I left it as is for two weeks.

Finally becoming really annoyed with it one day, I decided to join a forum about App World’s update causing the App World’s icon to disappear. Apparently, other users are also experiencing the problem.

A couple of days upon joining the forum, we were all still baffled and waiting for RIM to come up with a repair patch. Then one forum member finally shared that after he updated BlackBerry OS 4.6 to 5.0, the App World icon returned and the application began to work as usual. That was the solution, apparently.


Mr. TechPinas himself told me, using a Windows PC would be my best option to update my BB. But I was wary as I've been a Mac user for almost 4 years now. So I did some research and found out that other Mac users were actually able to use their BlackBerry desktop manager to update their OS; It sounded too good to be true but for me it was worth the shot.

So here’s what I did:

First, I tried installing the latest version of BlackBerry Desktop Manager for Mac (version 2.0). I found the download link here:

I thought at this point everything was going to flow smoothly but boy was I wrong.

Apparently, I had the previous version of the desktop manager still installed on my Mac; So I couldn't load the latest version. I decided to use AppZapper (the best Mac uninstaller I have used so far) to remove the previous desktop manager and its components. AppZapper is available here:

I successfully loaded the Desktop Manager version 2.0 thanks to tips and suggestions from forums which I followed (e.g. unclick languages you don’t actually use before updating). It took several tries and tested my patience before the OS 5 update began to run.


I began to familiarize myself with the new OS by tinkering with it. I had to reinstall the Blackberry App World for it to finally appear on my BlackBerry. And then it didn’t work over WiFi so I had to subscribe to Blackberry Internet Service or BIS (I’m on prepaid subscription, relying heavily on WiFi and activating BIS only when necessary).

Next, I noticed both my Twitter and Facebook apps were missing so I had to reinstall. It took a while before I could do that and I was glad when I finally saw them on my screen. Finally, I could post status updates again.

But the biggest booboo with the OS update was that my back-ups became only visible in the previous version of the desktop manager. I tried to backup again using the new desktop manager but that didn't work. As a result, I lost some 700+ contacts. I was beyond pissed at that time and really wanted to say cuss words but I controlled my temper and instead looked for a solution to my dilemma.

I had old backups in .bbb format, so I copied them and compressed them to a zip file as suggested in:

I was able to open the back-up file in Excel but it came with lot of gibberish so I had to edit contacts one by one. I used a new Excel worksheet and put the back-ups under the fields which the Blackberry directory uses (First name, Last name, Mobile 1, Mobile 2, Email) and saved it as a .csv file which can be imported by my Mac’s Address book.

A lot of patience (I’m actually still scanning and updating my contacts on Excel) and several hours put into just making my phone work properly. I think it was only with sheer love for my BlackBerry that I didn't bail out and stuck with it.

Life after OS 5

After my OS update, I'm happy to say that it was worth the trouble and the lost phonebook! I find OS 5 more responsive especially while using the Blackberry browser. I’m happy with it so far and would not exchange my Blackberry for another phone. For better or for worse, I’m still very much a Blackberry fan.

*Update: several days after I updated my OS, RIM came up with a patch for the missing App World icon. The patch is downloadable here:


  1. Mr. TechPinas, check for beta apps like the latest facebook 2.0 with wifi support and facebook CHAT.. and a new UI! :)

    ~Cesar Nikko Caharian

  2. I'm slightly confused here as you haven't really explained the steps to updating the OS. Okay, you said I need Desktop Manager 2.0. Then what? How do I get the newest BBOS update. Do I have to download it first or does the Desktop Manager download it? Could you perhaps aide this with screenshots? It's terribly unclear.

  3. DJ,

    Yes I said update to Blackberry Desktop Manager 2.0. And then I said I had a problem with the remaining (last version of the Desktop Manager) so I used AppZapper. 

    Upon updating to Blackberry Desktop Manager 2.0, it will prompt you to update applications and you should find OS 5 update there. 


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