BlackBerry How To: Transfer Files Between Devices Using Bluetooth

Ever wondered how to use your Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry's Bluetooth to wirelessly transfer an image or other media file to a coworker or friend's mobile device? Here's a set of simple, step-by instructions.

If you use your Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry's Bluetooth wireless connectivity, it's probably to connect to a hands-free headset or ear piece so you can drive or take notes during conversations, or a set of earphones to beam your latest tunes from your device sans wires. But did you know you can transfer files like photos, voice notes and songs from your BlackBerry to other compatible mobile devices using Bluetooth?

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Over the past few weeks we shared our best BlackBerry keyboard shortcuts, our favorite free software downloads, offered up a handful of ways to extend your RIM device's battery life and published five advanced tips and tricks for all you BlackBerry experts. This week's Bluetooth file transfer technique can come in handy in areas with poor or no cellular coverage or when you need to get files off an old device which no longer has active cellular service.

You can transfer files between a wide variety of compatible mobile devices, but these instructions cover only BlackBerry-to-BlackBerry Bluetooth transfer. Generally, you need to be within a range of roughly 30 feet of another Bluetooth-enabled device to connect. (We used a BlackBerry Curve 8320 and a Pearl 8130, but this process will work for any 8800 series device, as well as a number of additional RIM smartphones.)

1) Enable Bluetooth Connectivity for Both Devices

From the BlackBerry icon screen, click Manage Connections and check the box next to Bluetooth.

Screen shot of BlackBerry Manage Connections Window

2) Make the BlackBerry Devices Discoverable

Click Options on the devices' icon screens, and then select Bluetooth. From there, hit your BlackBerry Menu key—the one with the seven-dot RIM logo—and again click Options. Then set the Discoverable option to "Yes" and exit the menu by hitting Escape—the key directly to the right of the trackball on 8800 series devices. Don't forget to click "Yes" when a dialogue box asks you if you want to save the changes.

3) Pair the BlackBerry Smartphones

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Go to the BlackBerry icon screen and once again select Manage Connections. Then scroll all the way down to the Bluetooth Options menu item and click it. Hit your BlackBerry Menu key again and select Add Device. The BlackBerry will then search for Bluetooth devices in range. After it has found one, it will show the name of the device and ask you to confirm that it's the correct one by clicking on the device's name.

After you've followed this process for both handhelds, you'll be prompted for a numeric passkey to access the devices. The default passkey is "0000," so unless you've changed either default code you'll only need to enter four zeros.

After the connection is finished you'll see a dialogue box on both devices that says "Pairing Complete," and the device you wish to connect to will appear in your list of Paired Devices. This list displays when you first click Bluetooth Options inside the Manage Connections icon.

screen Shot of BlackBerry Bluetooth Options Menu

4) Set Devices to "Trust" Each Other

Select the device with which you want to transfer files from your list of Paired Devices—within your Bluetooth Options. Then hit your BlackBerry Menu key, and set the Trusted field to "Yes." You'll have to do this for both devices. (If you want to do a one-time transfer, you should return to this menu when you're finished and reset the Trusted field to either "Prompt" or "No.")

5) Transfer File

Using the device that you want to receive the transferred file, click Media on the icon screen. Then select Music, Videos, Pictures, Ring Tones or Voice Notes, depending on what type of file you wish to send. Hit your BlackBerry Menu key while inside the media type folder and choose "Receive Using Bluetooth." A "Waiting for Connection" box will then appear.

Pick up the device you want to use to send the file, and click Media on its icon screen. Again, choose what media type you wish to send—Videos, Voice Notes, Pictures, etc.—and then highlight the specific file. Click your BlackBerry Menu button, choose "Send Using Bluetooth," and voila, the file is transferred.

screen Shot of BlackBerry Menu

Finally, you need to select the location to which to save the transferred file using the recipient device, and you're good to go.

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